If for nothing else, this lockdown has taught me to utilise my kitchen. I am not going to lie – if The Cave didn’t come with a dishwasher included in the rent, I would be living in PB&J sammies, served on paper plates and drinking my coffee out of a paper cup.Continue reading
Review: Sekelbos Restaurant
I’ve been seeing daily ads in my Facebook newsfeed for a place called Sekelbos Restaurant, so decided to take The Bean there yesterday for a light bite. Sekelbos, as explained to us by our polite waitress (whose name I didn’t get) is a type of wood that is said to burn for ages, but never to ash.Continue reading
Restaurant Review: Salt & Copper
I took my folks and a follower-friend to a new place that opened its doors during the week called Salt & Copper, based just outside Hartenbos, Mossel Bay.
We were met at the door by the hostess, Samantha, who gave us menus, and said she’d get our waiter. We perused the menus for about 10 minutes. The food options look delicious, with dishes available for both the carnivorous human, as well as the herbivorous ones. The dessert options sound sinfully good too.
There is a extensive wine list, featuring wines for all tastes from local wineries, as well as a great gin selection. There are also gin and wine tastings available as well as pairings for both. Prices are in line with what you would expect to pay at a mid-level to up-market restaurant.
Sadly, the service left us wanting – we tried to get someone’s attention three times to no avail. Eventually our waiter came along and apologized, stating that it was his first day. There were more than enough staff on the floor (many of them behind the counter), but it is clear that some are still very unsure of themselves, and while I understand that teething problems are to be expected, I’ve lived in Mossel Bay long enough to know that bad service is not going to go down well with the often-impatient holiday makers that will be flooding in from up North later this month.
On the positive side:
The quips on the menu: “Unsupervised children will be sold to the circus…” got a chuckle out of me, as did “Champaign ice cubes” because Champaign is a city in the US State of Illonois. Champagne is what I think they meant to say. Proofreading is important, particularly when you’re presenting such a chic, swanky image.
The building itself has an industrial feel about it, but is very stylishly decorated, with various seating options, lovely glassware and striking copper items against dark, charcoal-like walls. It’s hip and trendy.
What’s also great to see is a spekboom (called an Elephant Bush, or in some instances a Pork Bush) in English on each table. It is referred to in many circles as a miracle plant and it is waterwise too, an added bonus given the water restrictions in our area.
We didn’t stay long, having only hot beverages as we had a reservation for lunch elsewhere.
** Menu, Wine, Gin and Hot Beverages Images from Salt and Copper’s webpage **
The tea was served in delightful glass teapots, but there were no teaspoons on the saucers. The only one that received a teaspoon with her drink was the cappuccino-drinker in our group. These small details need to enjoy more attention.
The cappuccino had by my follower-friend was very tasty. My beetroot latte was deliciously hot, but a little too spicy (in comparison with those I’ve enjoyed at establishments in Wilderness and Knysna) for my personal taste. I love the cup in which it was served.
There are play amenities outside to keep kids busy – one for 0-4 years, and another for bigger kids. There is also a large chessboard for those enthusiasts wanting to exercise their strategic brains into a good ol’ checkmate.
I do hope that things will improve, because its close proximity to home and variety of food and drink make it the ideal place to support. Honestly though, if I’m going to pay between R125 and R155 for a main meal, I do expect good service as well and unfortunately, our short experience yesterday left a slightly bitter taste in my mouth.
With that said, I am a believer in second chances, so will visit once the Silly Season is over (but it will have to be on a weekend, given the odd operating hours:
Sun-Thurs 08:00 – 17:00
Fri-Sat 08:00 – 22:00
In the Season it will undoubtedly be profitable to trade during these hours, given the setting, but what about the locals who work (both in and out of season) who would like to have an enjoyable dinner during the week?
My suggestion is that the business hours be revisited – possibly open later during the week (my suggestion would be round 10:00 and shut shop at 20:30).
That’s my R91.00 worth, with a star rating of 2 ½ out of 5.
Una Grande Serata
“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” – Sophia Loren
In our case (that’s Eleanor and I), it was gnocchi…
Contrary to popular belief, I love cooking, and for the most part (barring one night I served a burnt offering to Charlie), I do it well. The reason I don’t cook often is because I don’t have a proper stove. I have a mini-kitchen, which is two plates and a small oven, which doesn’t heat evenly at the best of times.
Last night though, I outdid myself. Nathan was away from home yesterday for work, so I told Eleanor I’d cook for her, if she saw to the boys. I gave her a choice: Moroccan or Italian. She opted for the latter.
Granted, I didn’t make everything from scratch, and know that traditional Italian pasta sauce is usually tomato-based, but I do love bacon and cream and I had to factor in the time of preparing everything, in an unfamiliar kitchen. I did make up for everything non-Italian with a bottle of imported Prosecco of which I had a taste.
The menu was as follows:
Salami, Pastrami, Ham, Blackberries, Raspberries, Almonds, Pears, Mozzarella, Gorgonzola, Cheddar, Bread sticks, Yoghurt & Caramelized Onion Dip, Salmon & Feta Terrine, and Tomato & Olive Bruschetta
Main Course (Primo Piatto)
Gnocchi with Butternut and Peas, served in a Bacon & Cheese Sauce from this blog
Chocolate Mousse with Raspberries (which I concede isn’t authentic Italian, but I couldn’t find Tiramisu or Panna Cotta anywhere).
Cappuccino with Chocolate, Cranberry & Almond Biscotti
All in all, I think I fared well. Eleanor was pleasantly surprised, and we had a lovely evening, just us girls.
We decided that travelling round the world, right at the dinner table will become a regular thing. Here’s to the next destination! Any suggestions?