Category Archives: Travel

#stellenbosch street soirées

#stellenbosch street soirées

One of my favourite food and wine tasting experiences was recently at the bi-monthly Stellenbosch Street Soirée. Presented by Stellenbosch Wine Routes, this regular pop-up wine and food tasting event transforms the lower part of the historic town’s Drostdy Street (in the shadow of Moederkerk) into a culinary haven for connoisseurs and students alike. The Soirée is a great event to go to with friends, and to make some new ones. Expect live music, great food and loads of wine.

Stellenbosch Street Soiree

Dates: 8 and 22 March 2017
Time: 6pm – 8pm
Where: Drostdy Street, Stellenbosch
Cost: R70 (includes tasting glass and unlimited tastings)
More info: www.wineroute.co.za
Contact +27 21 886 4310 or +27 21 886 4330

Tip: Go early because the tickets sell out fast.

Tasting wine in the shadow of the Moederkerk

Tasting wine in the shadow of the Moederkerk

Upbeat vibes by talented local musicians

Upbeat vibes by talented local musicians

Snack on some delicious bites

Snack on some delicious bites

Chat to local wine farmers like Nora Sperling-Thiel from Delheim

Chat to local wine farmers like Nora Sperling-Thiel from Delheim

Enjoy the best local wines

Enjoy the best local wines

If you want to stay over try the luxurious Life and Leisure Guest House

If you want to stay over try the luxurious Life and Leisure Guest House

Look at this  dreamy bathroom!

Look at this dreamy bathroom!

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kachumbari #salad

kachumbari #salad

On my recent travels to the island of Zanzibar, chef Prabhakar Kumar from the Diamonds La Gemma Dell’ Est Hotel, introduced me to the local Kachumbari salad. It is so simple that you might start thinking to yourself…so what is the big fuss? This scrumptious salad consists of onion, tomato, cucumber and carrot and is seasoned with lemon or lime and salt and pepper. But it’s the way that you cut your veggies that differentiates this from you normal run of the mill veggie salad. It must be cut with love into very fine thin slivers. Don’t discard the pips of the tomato or cucumber – use it all. This salad is a perfect accompaniment to poached fish.

Kachumbari salad

Kachumbari salad

Chef Prabhakar Kumar served poached fish on pilaf rice and a bit of kachumbari salad

Chef Prabhakar Kumar served poached fish on pilaf rice and a bit of kachumbari salad

Beautiful fresh fish poached in whole spices

Beautiful fresh fish poached in whole spices



Kachumbari salad

1 onion, halved and cut it into fine slivers
1 tomato, halved and cut it into fine slivers
½ cucumber, halved and cut it into fine slivers
1 carrot, julienned
10 ml lemon or lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Mix all the veggies together then add the lemon juice and salt + pepper.

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rose iced tea in #dubai

rose iced tea in #dubai

Dubai Tourism recently invited me to the Dubai Food Festival – what a magical and enchanting experience! One afternoon we wondered off to the Dubai Creek and sat down at a little restaurant. I ordered a rose iced tea. It was this beautiful, pale pink colour, refreshing and made from dried rose petals. Back home I just had to make some but had to do so without the rose petals… I made it with rose syrup. It’s just a delight to look at and reminds me of my truly wonderful Dubai experience. To to see more of my Dubai journey click here.

SONY DSC

The rose iced tea I drank on the Dubai Creek.

The rose iced tea I drank on the Dubai Creek.

Rose iced tea
Serves 4

2 tea bags
750 ml of boiling water
5 ml honey
50 ml of rose syrup (get this at any supermarket)
2.5 ml teaspoon lemon juice
rose petals
mint leaves
ice

Pour the boiling water over tea bags and let it steep for 2 minutes. Stir in the honey, rose syrup and lemon juice. Put the tea in the refrigerator and let it cool down. Put lots of ice in a glass, fill it with the tea. Top with a rose leaf and a mint leaf.

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magical zanzibar

magical zanzibar

The past week I was most fortunate to spend a few days at the magnificent Diamonds La Gemma Dell’ Est Hotel in Zanzibar. All I can say is that it was… and is … paradise. I got lost between the beautiful rooms, the crisp white linen, friendly and brilliant staff and then of course the lovely facilities. This is heaven people! The beaches are just amazing and this place has the best restaurants and chefs on hand to tempt and please almost every discerning palate. From the Beach Bar, Coral Cove Pizzeria, the Pavilion Restaurant to the ultimate Sea Breeze restaurant (constructed on a wooden platform just above the emerald ocean), La Gemma Dell’ Est caters to every need.

lagemmadellest.diamonds-resorts.com

Yes, Diamonds La Gemma Dell'Est is paradise

Yes, Diamonds La Gemma Dell’Est is paradise

I cooked with the brilliant Chef Prabhakar Kumar – what a talented man. He served me a lobster bisque with a lobster salad – well, I could just as well been seated in a Michelin star restaurant in Paris, the man is that good. This inspiring chef and engaging personality taught me how to cook fish and rice the Zanzibar way. He shared his knowledge of local cuisine with me (more about what we cooked … next week). What a thrilling experience. Here are a few images for those of you who love to travel and to taste the food from around the world.

Chef Prabhakar Kumar from La Gemma Dell'Est Zanzibar shared some of his cooking secrets with me

Chef Prabhakar Kumar from La Gemma Dell’Est Zanzibar shared some of his cooking secrets with me

The Sea Breeze Restaurant - isn't it just to die for!

The Sea Breeze Restaurant – isn’t it just to die for!

Here I appropriately had plenty of G&T's

Here I appropriately had plenty of G&T’s

The pristine beach

The pristine beach

Spices are plentiful and beautiful. The lovely crowd of ZanTours took us on a tour. Feast your eyes …

The glamorous 'lipstick' plant - yes, they do make lipstick from the seeds :-).

The glamorous ‘lipstick’ plant – yes, they do make lipstick from the seeds :-).

Cinnamon bark. Did you know that they make vicks from the Cinnamon root?  Well, me neither.

Cinnamon bark. Did you know that they make vicks from the Cinnamon root? Well, me neither.

Nutmeg - how beautiful!

Nutmeg – how beautiful!

The magnificent coffee pod.

The magnificent coffee pod.

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#shanghai – food paradise

#shanghai – food paradise

These past few weeks I have taken somewhat of a respite from my ever-busy blogging exploits. But now with the body and mind rejuvenated after the festive break, I feel both rested and at peace and am enormously excited at the wonderful year that lies ahead. Yes, I am sure it will have its challenges, but think of the opportunities to be grasped, the friendships to be made and of course the many food adventures that beckon….!

Dim sum te kus en te keur

2015 started with the most awesome adventure… I travelled to the incredible city of Shanghai in China! What an amazing city and food culture. Spending two weeks in the East gave me a completely new perspective of this amazing world we live in. And the week that I spent with my hubby in Shanghai just blew me away. I have to admit this is the first time that I have been so overwhelmed, astounded and just simply in awe of a city – it left me speechless and so much richer for all the incredible experiences. Did you know there are more than 24 million people living in this one city? People, that is almost half the population of South Africa in one city! It is a bedazzling place, almost like a well-orchestrated ant’s nest. Everyone has a place to stay, everyone has a job they need to do…there seems to be some kind of military management of things that keeps everything running in its proper order.

Eendjies, eendjies, staan in 'n ry ...

Kluitjies (dumplings) vars op straat

Shanghai is a food paradise. I am sure you can imagine the amount of food and the variety of food that needs to be prepared to satisfy the tastes and stomachs of 24 million people. Street food or rather street buffets are BIG and fabulous and it would be difficult to find a stronger food culture than in China. The food is affordable, fabulous and fantastic – a festival of oriental flavours that enriches both body and soul…

Here are a few images for you to feast on …

A friendly street chef preparing delicious squid tentacles on a stick

A friendly street chef preparing delicious squid tentacles on a stick

Fried tofu in the making - food is always served with fresh spring onions

Fried tofu in the making – food is always served with fresh spring onions

Food is made with honesty and pride and the recipes are handed down from one generation to the next over thousands of years….

A street chef busy with Rick's favourite oriental breakfast - a pancake with egg and spring onion.  4 Yuan - about R8

A street chef busy with Rick’s favourite oriental breakfast – a pancake with egg and spring onion. 4 Yuan – about R8

Beautiful fresh green vegetables.

Beautiful fresh green vegetables.

Dim sum te kies en te keur

Soup dumpling with the most delicious warm soup inside that you drink with a straw

Soup dumpling with the most delicious warm soup inside that you drink with a straw

Dried fruit and nuts anyone?

Dried fruit and nuts anyone?

Rick with a caramel strawberry kebab

Rick with a caramel strawberry kebab

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lunch at the purple house in the bo-kaap + koe(k)sisters

lunch at the purple house in the bo-kaap + koe(k)sisters

Last week Cape Town Tourism invited me to have lunch at The Purple House in the Bo-Kaap.

Faldela Tolker prepared an authentic Cape Malay lunch for me, La Carmina (CNN TV Host) and Cape Town Tourism.

Faldela Tolker prepared an authentic Cape Malay lunch for me, La Carmina (CNN TV Host) and Cape Town Tourism.

Wale Street - the heart of the Bo-Kaap. The Bo-Kaap is tucked into the fold of Signal Hill.

Wale Street – the heart of the Bo-Kaap. The Bo-Kaap is tucked into the fold of Signal Hill.

We visited the Bo-Kaap museum, a social history museum that documents life in the area. A visit to the museum is a must and I felt I was stepping back in time. You are not allowed to take pics inside the museum.

I buy all my spices from this 70 year old shop.  The first thing you will notice is the strong and fragrant spice smell.

I buy all my spices from this 70 year old shop. The first thing you will notice is the strong and fragrant spice smell.

Mr Ahmed weighing some spices.

Mr Ahmed weighing some spices.

I always add a bit of Atlas' mother-in-law masala to my masala mix.

I always add a bit of Atlas’ mother-in-law masala to my masala mix.

La Carmina (CNN TV Host) in the colourful row of houses in Chiappini Street.

La Carmina in the colourful row of houses in Chiappini Street.

Starters | Chicken and corn samosas +  chilli bites

Starters | Chicken and corn samosas + chilli bites

Tomato bredie with flavoured rice.

Tomato bredie with flavoured rice.

We finished this perfect lunch with traditional koesisters.

We finished this perfect lunch with traditional koesisters.

Make your own cardamom tea by adding five cardamom pods to a pot of tea.

Make your own cardamom tea by adding five cardamom pods to a pot of tea.

Koesisters vs Koeksisters – recipe Lanice Snyman via food24

There are two types: koeksisters and koesisters (without the “k” in the middle).
KOESISTERS Spongier, plumper and spicier than koeksisters (spelt with a “k”) – and never plaited – these traditional Sunday morning Cape-Malay treats were hawked by District Six children, to enthusiastic response from passers-by.

 

lunch at the purple house in the bo-kaap + koe(k)sisters
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 500g cake flour
  • 100ml sugar
  • 2ml salt
  • 10g (20 ml) instant dried yeast
  • 10ml ground ginger
  • 10ml ground cinnamon
  • 10ml ground aniseed
  • 5ml ground cardamom
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 200ml milk
  • 200ml water
  • desiccated coconut
  • Syrup
  • 500ml water
  • 250ml sugar
  • 1ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 10ml butter
Instructions
  1. Sift together flour, sugar, salt, yeast and spices into a bowl. Lightly mix together the oil and egg, and mix thoroughly into the dry ingredients.
  2. Mix together milk and water, heat to blood temperature, and mix in to form a soft dough. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and set aside in a warm spot until double in bulk (about 2 hours, depending on the weather).
  3. Roll out with your hands on a lightly oiled surface into a sausage about 5cm thick. Cut into 2cm lengths, form into flattened doughnut shapes and arrange on a tray; leave space for rising. Cover and set aside for about 30 minutes until double in size.
  4. SYRUP Bring the water and sugar to the boil in a large saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil uncovered for about 5 minutes until thickened to a light syrup. Stir in the bicarb and butter.
  5. Deep fry the koesisters in medium-hot oil for about 5 minutes, turning constantly, until golden, crisp and cooked through. Drain briefly on kitchen paper. Add to the syrup and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Lift onto a serving plate and sprinkle with coconut.

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