The Gardens Collectors Club

I was recently invited to go and experience the newly renovated Gardens Collectors Club, previously known as Chalk and Cork, located on Kloof Street in Cape Town.  I had heard great things about Chalk and Cork for a while and had been meaning to go and try it out when one of their incredible chefs contacted me and asked if I would like to come and review their menu!  I was so excited to discover that they had also just undergone a massive change to not only their menu but had renamed themselves as the new and improved Gardens Collectors Club.

Located in between NY Slice and Tiger’s Milk on Kloof Street, this cute little restaurant boasts stunning minimalist interiors and a new outside patio area with a bar that is sure to be the perfect spot for sun-downers on hazy summer nights.  The staff greeted us enthusiastically and we were instantly made to feel at home.  The service was truly impeccable, and I was impressed with our waiter’s intimate knowledge of the menu as he gave us informed recommendations of what items were sure to tickle our taste buds.  I took my best friend Gaby with as my plus one and they were completely accommodating to her diet as she is gluten intolerant.

I ordered their absolutely mouth-watering deep fried chicken wings (not so gluten friendly) and Gaby ordered a gluten free based pizza.  The chicken wings came with pickled cucumber and a yogurt herb dip that provided the perfect respite to the spicy tang of the wings.  Gaby ordered the Salsiccia Pizza with the cauliflower base.  With a topping of bacon, spicy Italian sausage, buffalo mozzarella, basil and tomato it truly satisfied the taste buds.

The wine was exquisite and to top it all off they provided us with complimentary desserts, the Bloedlemoen gin and grapefruit sorbet cone for Gaby and a chocolate brownie sundae for myself.  I’m very particular with my brownies, I love them still gooey and fudgy in the middle so I was a bit nervous that I would be disappointed my worry was for nothing as I was blown away by an absolute flavor sensation!

I would highly recommend that you pay them a visit if you’re ever in the beautiful city of Cape Town.

A xx

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Burger & Lobster

I’ve walked past this spot many times when walking along Bree street in Cape Town, and for some reason, even with people flowing out onto the sidewalk its been so full and the sound of laughter and conversation trickling out from inside, I never thought about venturing in and seeing what all the fuss was about.

Then it happened.  I was meeting a friend for drinks and we had no idea where to go.  After some research on her part she suggested that we go and enjoy a 2 for 1 drinks special at Burger & Lobster!  Who passes up a deal like that?  And so, for the first time I stepped into this beautifully grungy, perfectly dimly lit restaurant that had me enchanted and intrigued as soon as I had one foot through the door.  There was a tank of live lobsters back lit by an eerie blue light along one wall, a long bar along the opposite wall and tables placed perfectly all around.  The music set the perfect ambiance, vibey and at a level where you didn’t need to shout to be heard (one of my pet peeves at any restaurant).  So far so good!

I had such a great time there I just had to go back to try out what the place was really all about – burger and lobster.

And so on my return I was filled with excitement as I knew that this experience could only be better than the one I’d had before.  And wow was I blown away.  This restaurant knows how to treat their guests well and from beginning to end we were entertained and waited on by one of their fabulous managers who made us feel like we were the only ones there.  The evening started off with the most delicious cocktail I’ve had to date – perfectly mixed and with just the right amount of sweetness that I didn’t feel as though I’d drank a glass of pure sugar.  All of their cocktails come presented as a work of art, so beautiful you don’t want to take a sip!  But once you do they’re so delicious you just can’t stop.  For mains I decided to try the best of both worlds and ordered their famous Wolf Burger.  I can honestly say that I have never had an experience like it before.  The brioche bun was light, sweet and buttery.  The 100% pure beef patty was cooked to perfection and smothered in truffle infused mayo.  The lobster was soft and tender and drizzled in lemon butter.  And to make it even better there was gooey brie cheese stuffed in there too.  I’m salivating just writing this it was that good.

When I thought I could eat no more, our waiter arrived with a dessert tray that looked so delicious I was agonizing over what to choose.  Luckily I have a separate stomach for pudding! I went with a slice of “cake” consisting of a brownie base followed by a layer of Reese’s peanut butter cup deliciousness followed by a layer of lighter than air chocolate mousse.  Could there be anything better?

The evening continued late into the night with more cocktails, more laughter and more great conversation.  It was a night I definitely won’t forget!

Things to know:

  1. There is a 2 for 1 happy hour EVERY DAY from 4-7pm
  2. The last Thursday of every month is ladies night with bottomless bubbles and a burger/lobster roll for just R349 so ladies get involved!!

If you’re in Cape Town make sure to pay them a visit, I promise you it’ll be worth it.

A xx

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Klein Constantia

A few weekends ago my incredible friend Jamie took me with her to go experience the wine tasting at Klein Constantia wine estate.  I had never been before so I was excited to try out a different wine farm and to have a new experience.  The estate is absolutely beautiful and the drive to the restaurant and tasting room makes you feel as though you are somewhere deep in the country side.  The long driveway is lined with beautiful big trees on both sides and right by the main building is a field with horses.

The building is a beautiful red brick establishment that makes you excited for what’s awaiting inside.  On the one end of the building is the tasting room which has the most spectacular center serving table showing all of their delicious wines.  Through a corridor, visible from the tasting room, lies The Bistro.  I haven’t had the experience of going just yet but I am absolutely dying to as the restaurant is run by Cordon Bleau chef Graham Davies who has traveled throughout Europe exploring his passion for food.  He aims to showcase the rich culinary history of South African cuisine through his “farm to table” theme, popular in most modern restaurants today.

The tasting comprises of 7 wines of your choice including a taste of their incredible MCC.  Klein Constantia produce two ranges of wines: the Estate range, an accessible and easy-drinking KC range and their iconic natural sweet dessert wine, Vin de Constance.  You can choose any 7 wines of your choice.

I’ll start with the positives:

Their wines truly are delicious and since I’m such a fan of dessert wines, I had to include it in my tasting too.  I have to say it is absolutely gorgeous and I will definitely treat myself to a bottle soon!  I am a lover of chardonnay and their’s truly is delicious, it isn’t as buttery and rich as I normally like but it’s very easy drinking while still getting that after taste of oak and vanilla.

Now onto the negatives:

The tastings are tiny!!!  I’m talking maybe 3-4 ml which is literally one sip.  I was pretty disappointed because you hardly get to enjoy the taste or really experience the wines fully.  I also felt that the tasting was extremely rushed.  We had hardly sipped back our meager portion when our waitress was back with the next one!  Hardly enough time to let your brain register what you’re drinking, and certainly not enough time to enjoy any conversation with my dear friend.  Another unfortunate thing is that they don’t have a liquor license permitting them to offer tasting outside on their exquisite lawns which is such a waste of their gorgeous property.  So even on the most sunny and brilliant days you are forced to sit inside a dark, chilly building missing out on spectacular weather.  This is something I really feel they need to do something about because it really isn’t a place that I would want to go to again based purely on the venue of the tasting.

With that being said, Klein Constantia do produce beautiful wines so I would suggest buying a bottle and enjoying it on your lawn instead!

A xx

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Gibson’s Gourmet Burgers and Ribs

I had the incredible opportunity to pay a visit to the famous Gibson’s at the V&A waterfront on Saturday night.  I had been noticing their posts on social media for quite some time and each time they posted a picture of one of their mouthwatering burgers or milkshakes I honestly started salivating!  That’s how good they looked!

But as we all know, Instagram doesn’t always portray reality, so I decided to go and try it out for myself.  The experience when I walked into the restaurant was not what I was expecting at all!  I had envisioned the decor and feel of the place to represent an American diner, with vinyl chairs and plastic table cloths (which I’m not much of a fan of by the way).  But as I walked in I was blown away by the sleek, sophisticated decor; the filament bulbs hanging from the ceiling, the geometric mirrors and the slick minimalist furniture.  I was happily impressed!  The decor and feel of a place directly effects the enjoyment of my experience there, so I knew we were off to a good start.

The next thing to mention was the impeccable service.  As we arrived we were taken to our table and immediately a waitress came along to tend to our needs.  This, unfortunately, is not a common thing at most restaurants in South Africa and it can completely ruin your evening when you have been sitting at a table for a good 15 minutes before someone slowly ambles over to ask what you would like.  Our waitress was friendly, attentive, engaging and was always close by when we needed her.  Another big tick in my books!

Now lets get onto the most important part of the evening…THE FOOD.  If you are an indecisive person then I would highly recommend reviewing the menu a few days before as it can be slightly overwhelming.  They have close to 50 different burgers to choose from which all look absolutely mouth watering!! Our poor waitress kept coming back for our orders and I think it took nearly 20 minutes for us to finally make up our minds.  One of the things I really appreciated, which I have never experienced at any other burger place before, was the care and detail they go into to make sure you get EXACTLY what you want.

How would you like your burger cooked?, would you like raw or caramelized onions?, would you like hand cut fries; sweet potato fries; a baked potato or a side salad? would you like half and half of normal chips and sweet potato chips?”

Unfortunately we were far too stuffed after our burgers to order a milkshake, but I suggest you do!  They have 120 different milkshakes to choose from and they look like works of art rather than that standard milkshake you order at your local fast food joint.

I’ll have to go again to try one out for myself!

A xx

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Beau Constantia

So first of all I want to apologise for not posting last week!  I have just recently got a new job and things have been a little crazy.  I’m really going to try post something each week because this blog just makes me happy and I love seeing all your comments and likes!

Beau Constantia is another one of the many wine farms in the Constantia area and lies just up the road from Eagle’s Nest and Constantia Glen.  It’s located at the very top of Constantia Nek in Cape Town overlooking False Bay.  The views from the wine tasting area are completely unobstructed and breath taking.  This wine farm has a slightly more upper class feel to it so it’s a great excuse to dress up a little and flaunt what you’ve got!  I promise you won’t feel overdressed.  Plus there’s the added addition of Chefs Warehouse restaurant downstairs which has been acclaimed as the 4th best restaurant in South Africa.  I haven’t yet had the opportunity to enjoy their mouth watering fine dining experience so that’s definitely on the Bucket List for me!

Their tasting consists of four wines, one white and three reds, however we managed to swap out one of the reds for their delicious rose which I would definitely recommend.  The cheese and charcuterie platter is presented in a gorgeous little wooden box which just shows the effort they put into their presentation.  Now I’m going to talk about something that may be a little surprising but here it goes…

THE TOILETS! I can’t help myself from mentioning them as they are definitely a part of the experience of going to Beau.  Each cubicle has a massive glass window looking out onto the stunning vineyards below.  A loo with a view, who would have thought?!

To top it all off, we got a surprise complimentary taste of their exquisite MCC champagne which made the overall experience quite unforgettable.  These guys are definitely in my top 10 wine farms to go to when visiting Cape Town!

A xx

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Foxcroft

Now this was a fine dining experience.

As the chef puts it:

“At Foxcroft, we aim to cook with the same intensity and thoughtfulness as fine dining but in a more casual and approachable format. As a cook, deliciousness must come first and anything not actively contributing to that must be removed.”

— GLEN FOXCROFT WILLIAMS

That perfectly summarises the experience you get when you treat yourself to an experience at the famed restaurant located in Constantia, Cape Town.  The ambience is casual, welcoming and warm unlike some fine dining restaurants where you feel judged as soon as you enter the room.  Not at Foxcroft.  You can come dressed however you like.  I on the other hand will find any excuse to dress up and when I go to a restaurant that has a four course set menu with complimentary home made bread and roasted garlic, well, the heels come out that’s for sure!

The service is excellent with the waiters constantly being on the lookout for whenever you need a refill.  You choose two tapas starters, one main and one desert from a menu that looks almost too exotic to be edible.  The wine is as excellent as the food and there’s a wide range to choose from, so if you’ve spent your whole budget on the food you can go with wine from a slightly lower level of the range.

This was one of my most memorable dining experiences for sure and I hope to be back soon!

A xx

P.S. please forgive me for the bad quality photos…my camera had to be taken in for repairs but it will be back before my next post so fear not!

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