National Braai Day at Weinhaus + Biergarten

 

The bromance continues on Wednesday. To celebrate Braai Day, which (I guess) was borne out of a desire to celebrate Heritage Day, FFMM are teaming up with Weinhaus + Biergarten across the road. As with everything Jason Lilley does, the menu has been scrutinised and I can tell you two things:

1. That dude takes meat seriously.

2. That dude takes his guests seriously.

We were briefed with creating a meat platter and, having presented him with a few options, he had no hesitation in choosing the most expensive one. It’s worth remembering that the end selling price was always going to remain the same so – essentially – all he wanted was the most kick-arse platter we could do. And he kept wanting to add more. Eventually we talked him out of adding a whole beef rib to the platter. (We figure that deserves an event all on its own)

If you like the idea of lighting a fire next week, cracking a few beers and getting some mates over please go ahead. Nothing wrong with that. At all. But if you like the idea of one of the best pound-for-pound cooks I’ve met lighting a fire for you…and you like the idea of his well-drilled staff cracking beers for you…then you know where to go.

A quick note on the meat you’ll be enjoying:

Chicken wings. Our chickens come from one farm near Mossel Bay. They are all reared with compulsory exercise hours and they have no animal by-products in their diet. They are farm chickens, from a farm, delivered by the farmer.

Smoked brisket. Our beef is grass-fed and pasture-reared. We are currently buying Simmentaler beef from a farm in Elgin and a Beef Master/Hereford cross from Natal. Brisket is a fibrous cut from the breastplate and requires a long, slow cooking time. This obviously makes it a popular cut for smoking. The meat will be brined for 3 – 5 days before the smoking process begins.

Boerewors. Come on. We can’t celebrate Braai Day without it. Ours is gluten-free. No cereals, rusk, bulking agents etc. Also, no MSG or other nasty shit. Just meat, spices and fat.

The P.A.C.MAN sausage. Pig and cow. That’s the basis of the second sausage you’ll be eating. Smoked bacon that we grind and add to forequarter mince. Throw in chilli flakes, white pepper and celery seed. Some garlic too. Ka-tang. One ticket to flavour town please.

Doors open at 12. See you there.

Go forth and eat,

Andy

. . .

Food by others | Comments { 0 }

Pot Luck Club brunch

 

This is not a restaurant review. Me telling you that The Pot Luck Club is awesome would be a bit like Barry Ronge telling you to go watch Wolf of Wall Street. (Except that I’m not old, grey and – let’s face it – a little bit fruity.) This post is more to tell you how you should plan your next visit to one of Cape Town’s best.

Two words:

Sunday

brunch.

I’m a bit late to the party when it comes to fully appreciating Sundays. I’m not sure if it’s because I work most Saturdays nowadays, but lately I am very much on board with Sundays. They are my new Fridays. Fact: there is not a nightclub or a bar in Cape Town that can compare to a boozy lunch. And Sundays are the day for these affairs. Up until very recently this would mean The Queen and I heading out to the winelands. Places like Camphors, The Table at De Meye, Overture, Jordan etc. were all ticked off. Bread & Wine was hit. And hit often. La Motte. Maison. Delaire Graff. These are all likely candidates. And – don’t get me wrong – they are all brilliant. But I’m here to tell you that arguably the best venue for a Sunday brunch/lunch is sitting in the heart of Woodstock. Waiting for you. Let me break it down for you: we live in one of the greatest cities in the world. That’s not an overstatement. Cape Town was voted number 1 in a New York Times piece, ”52 Places to go in 2014″. The Guardian also released a list of “International Hotspots” and, again, Cape Town came in at Number 1. Throw in the fact that we are hosting the World Design Capital and we are talking about a world-class city. But maybe that’s another post entirely for another day entirely.

Back to Pot Luck Club. The reason I love going there on a Sunday is because it’s light. The 360 degree views that are so special during dinner at the same venue are – arguably – even cooler at 11am on a Sunday morning. Views of the mountain. Views of the harbour. But, more importantly, views of the actual city. The city we love. It’s gritty and real and brilliant. When you sit in Pot Luck Club during the light of day you can’t help but feel proud to be Capetonian. Anyway, back to the food.

R350 gets you an absolute feast. Seriously. Eggs Arnold Bennett, smoked salmon wrapped around sour cream and served on rye, mushrooms on toast, oysters with perfect seasonings, popcorn milkshakes, Korean BBQ chicken, fish tacos, bowls of churros, smoked beef fillet with cafe au lait sauce. It’s a ton of food. Throw in the fact that for R150 more you get bottomless (yes, bottomless) bubbly and you’ll understand the levels of excitement we’re dealing with here. R500 a head for a meal like this is serious value. Oh, did I mention the DIY Bloody Mary Station? I didn’t? Forgive me. Get your head around a Consol jar packed with your choice of bacon, pepper or jalapeno-infused vodka. Throw in chorizo and huge sticks of celery. Crispy bacon stirrers. Stuffed olives. Sriracha sauce. It’s mental.

Luke Dale-Roberts is the one you’ll see in the magazines, but chef Wesley Randles is very much the man in charge here. He sticks to his guns of walking guests through sweet, salty, sour, bitter and Umami experiences. And he does it so, so well. The food is good but the experience is even better. The ideas are fresh and the service is spot on. Keep this one in mind for your next Sunday treat. Celebrate the city by staying in the city.

Go forth and eat,

Andy

. . .

Food by others | Comments { 0 }

OZCF

I don’t blog much anymore. It bums me out. One of the reasons for stopping/slowing down was the constant press releases, the constant media events, the constant product drops and the eventual decline in the standard of my own writing. I felt like I was writing for the sake of writing. I promised myself I would quit. And I did. The new site was dedicated to posting about food experiences that actually moved me. Food experiences that were worth sharing. Food experiences that made me smile or made me pause for a second to reflect.

Oranjezicht City Farm is one of those.

I haven’t seen something as cool as that in a long time. Most people know it as a Saturday morning market but the real secret is Wednesday evenings. The place is open to the public from 4pm – 6:30pm and all you need to do is rock up with an empty bag and an open mind. You’ll get led around the place and shown what you can harvest. You’ll even be shown how to do it. (Yup, there’s a way to do it). This week I went to town with Swiss chard, baby spinach, baby marrows, lettuce, radishes, red basil, aubergine and kale. I packed a basket full of the stuff. And the cost? The cost of fresh, seasonal produce pulled from the soil? R70. FOR THE WHOLE BASKET.

Woolworths will never see me again.

The setting for all of this is a bit of a joke too. With views of the sun setting over this incredible city that we call home, even if I wasn’t allowed to take anything home I would recommend a visit.

Go forth and eat,

Andy

 

. .

Ramblings | Comments { 2 }

BROR Restaurant

 

“Welcome to the brotherhood”.

When a bearded Dane utters these words (as he ties an apron around your waist and hands you a big-ass carving knife), it’s a food memory that you know is going to stick with you. Probably forever.

Add to the surreal setting the fact that David Chang and Chris Ying (Lucky Peach Editor in Chief) are at the table next to you and you might get a feel for what a special night it was. But not without a few nervous moments.

But let’s take a step back. I was hanging out in Copenhagen for the MAD Symposium – arguably the greatest food festival in the world – and I had left the three day affair with a book full of notes and a head full of ideas. The festival itself is ridiculous. It would be too easy to call it inspiring. It was so much more. Held in a circus tent, it is two days packed with some of the biggest names in the food world. Neil Perry, Fergus Henderson, Margot Henderson, Sean Brock, Rene Redzepi, Barbara Lynch, Christian Puglisi, Alain Ducasse, Roy Choi, Dario Cecchini, Alex Atala, David Chang, The Voltaggio brothers. And a whole lot more. The audience? People from all over the world; united with a basic, simple love of food. A common geekiness for food. A need to know more about it and the people behind it. A thirst for more. It is a rock concert for food nerds. It’s electric and contagious and awesome.

The theme for the event was GUTS and you can imagine how various speakers interpreted it. Sure, there were guts – literally cut and displayed on stage. But what struck home for me was to hear these household names talking about courage in their industry. To hear them speak about taking risks and to hear them speak about blazing a new trail for themselves, instead of following the rules. The common theme of self doubt was addressed and the common theme of perseverance seemed to emerge as an answer. In a world where “follow your passion” can be an empty cliche, to hear some of the greatest food minds on the planet echoing exactly that sentiment was comforting.

Anyway, fast forward a few days days and my wife and I were ready for a week of eating and drinking in one of the coolest food cities in the world. She hadn’t been lucky enough to attend the event and – although she wouldn’t admit it – I think she was pretty sick and tired of my gushing, as I tried to explain how great the whole thing is/was. She was just looking for a chilled dinner. Instead, what followed was us arriving to the restaurant and literally bumping into Chang & co. I managed not to go too fan boy. Then we were seated next to their table. And then came the announcement to the restaurant that “a South African butcher is in the house”. That’s when the apron and the knife came out. By now people were beginning to wonder what was going on. People were definitely staring. Chang was staring. And I was sweating bullets.

The wine I was throwing back didn’t help much as my mind started racing. These Danes are fucking crazy. Everyone knows that. The staff in this place look like extras from Vikings. Who knows what they’re going to make me to?! Am I going to have to break down a carcass for the restaurant? Am I going to have to debone something for Chang’s table? Are they going to bring a live pig out here for me to slaughter?

The eventual scenario was tame in comparison. A roasted pig head brought to the table on a wooden board. Just for us. Relief. Then a few more aprons and a second head for Chang’s entourage. I’m not sure if it was the crisis that had been avoided, or the wine eventually doing its job, but that pig head was one of the greatest meals I’ve ever had. It formed part of a tasting menu filled with soul and personality. Blackened catfish. Pike with grilled cucumbers. Chicken wings and kelp. Buttermilk with currants. It was all laughably simple. I don’t remember seeing more than three ingredients on a plate. But every bite was perfectly executed. It was real, tasty food and it was presented with some of the most unusual and interesting wine you can imagine. In fact, the wine is reason enough to visit BROR. Billed as stuff they are “enjoying at the moment”, it is wine that encourages questions and conversation. It is not easy-drinking wine, but it is delicious wine. (Mind you, when the sommelier pulls up a seat and puts his arm around you while he talks about ” the joy of cloudy wine” everything seems to taste better.)

I will eat at BROR if I’m ever lucky enough to be in Copenhagen again. I will visit MAD Symposium if I am ever lucky enough to be in Copenhagen again. I will make sure I am lucky enough to be in Copenhagen again.

Go forth and eat,

Andy

 

 

. .

Food by others | Comments { 0 }

Pot Luck Club x Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants

At FFMM we’ve been flattered to have received a few proposals from chefs looking to collaborate with pop-up style restaurants/concepts in our store. Naturally, we’ve been hesitant. Who runs the thing? Who staffs it? Where do we prep? How is point of sale organised? What is a fair split of profits? Blah blah blah. On top of that, we love our brand and are fiercely protective about who we would want to let in our doors. In short, we’ve come up with quite a few reasons NOT to do a pop-up.

But when Luke Dale-Roberts called us up to chat about a joint venture with Pot Luck Club I forgot about technicalities. He described a night of “bohemian madness” with no reservations, no pre-bought tickets and a first-come, first-served menu. Three dishes, 30 kg of meat and some barrel drums full of flames. That’s it.

Wesley Randles will be the man in charge and will be bringing some of his team to help out. With a loose theme of organised chaos expected, Simon Widdison will hopefully be bringing his calming influence to the party, as we hit the street for some fun times. The Baby-faced Dane and The Foodie have come up with some good wine pairings for the night and you can bet your ass we’ll have some cold beer too.

Go forth and eat,

Andy

 

. . .

Food By Me, Food by others | Comments { 0 }

Chef’s Warehouse is back.

 

I’ve written previously about the first time I met Liam Tomlin and how he scared the shit out of me. Seriously. He was terrifying. A lot has happened since then and – having been through the process of judging the Eat Out Awards together – I’ve got to know the man well. I’ve seen a guy who has strong, simple food philosophies. I’ve seen a guy who appreciates attention to detail and solid service. I’ve seen a guy who hates flowery explanations of food. I’ve seen a guy who expects a high standard when that’s what you’re selling.

Throughout the judging process, I learnt a lot from Liam but most notable was the constant desire for the chefs to strip out all the unnecessary nonsense and keep things simple. I’ve always asked the question why local chefs are obsessed with technique, rather than produce and, in Liam, I found someone who had the same thoughts. Overworked, over-styled food doesn’t blow my hair back and he feels pretty much the same way.

All of this might explain why he has taken the (ballsy) step of opening his new cafe/restaurant/food nirvana on Bree Street. I think he just did it out of necessity. Where else can you go for a plate of roasted bone marrow topped with capers, parsley and nothing else? Where else do you get a jar packed with rabbit rilletes? You want authentic raclette, with the cheese bubbling as it gets brought to the table? This is the place to get it. A craving for Bouillabaisse has got you? Don’t worry. He’s got you covered. Looking for the single, greatest collection of cookbooks in Cape Town? Look no further pal. Throw in the fact that he will soon be slinging Asian street food from a hatch facing Bree Street and we’re looking at one of the coolest things to happen to the Cape Town food scene in a long time.

This is not a post to announce that Liam Tomlin is the best kept secret in South Africa. This is not a post to tell you when he was at Banc in Australia it was voted Restaurant of The Year by the Sydney Morning Herald, as well as receiving three hats (the highest accolade possible). This is not that post. This is a post to tell you that Liam Tomlin and his wife Jan are spearheading a new shop that you need to go to if you love food. This is a post to tell you there is a chef’s chef who is cooking his socks off with a young team.

Chef’s Warehouse is not fine dining. The service is not flawless. But the space is seriously, seriously cool and the kitchen is serving food that tastes good and looks good. They’re also having fun. The best part? I know Liam would say they are nowhere near a finished article. Get there anyway – the Irishman still has a few tricks up his sleeves. Turns out the new kid on the block isn’t that new at all.

Go forth and eat,

Andy

. . .

Food by others | Comments { 0 }

Cape Craft Beer Fest

 

I’ll be brief. I realise that if you’re reading this right now then you’re one of the sad bastards who (like me) is not yet on holiday. I realise that you’re sitting at your desk trying your best to look busy. I understand. You don’t feel like wading through loads of information. I get it. But surely you don’t mind reading a few details when said information is about beer? And not just beer – but where and how to consume it this weekend. Interested? Thought so.

The Jozi Craft Beer Fest is coming to Cape Town.

A cunning name change (now called the Cape Craft Beer Fest), a rad and unusual venue, some belting music, great chow and suddenly Saturday the 21st of December isn’t looking so bad. Hell, if I was in Plett already I’d drive back here. This one is going to be a really, really good day out.

What can you expect? Farryl Purkiss is not a bad start. Beatenberg too. That’s a decent drinking soundtrack. We (Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants) will be teaming up with the boys from The Southern Smoke to bring you lamb ribs, pulled pork sandwiches and a few other bits and pieces. Cooked in the beast of a smoker (seen above), they’ll be pretty damn good. Trust us. Oh, then there’s the beer. Here’s a list of the types of guys who will be pouring pints.

  • Darling 
  • Jack Black
  • CBC
  • Citizen
  • Everson’s Cider
  • Lakeside
  • Birkenhead
  • Lakeside
  • Triggerfish
  • Boston Breweries

Food. Beer. Music. That’ll do it.

Details:

Venue – The Garage, cnr of Bree and Carisbrook Streets

TIme – 11h00 to 23h00

Cost – R80

Go forth and eat,

Andy

 

 

 

. .

Ramblings | Comments { 0 }

Publik Wine Bar

 

I met David Cope 6 years ago. We had a coffee and chatted about food and booze for hours. Essentially, we went on a blind date. We set up the meeting because – basically – Cape Town is a tiny city and we kept getting told by people who knew both of us that we could be the same person. We had the same ideas. We wrote the same articles. We went to the same restaurants. We cooked the same food. We drank at the same bars. So we went on a date.

The bromance has been pretty thick since then and we have been trying to collaborate on a project for years. There was talk of a gin joint. There was a TV pilot. (We still think we’re awesome in that by the way). There was craft beer in a can. There was whale sushi. But the timing was never right.

Until now.

As is the case with most good ideas, Publik Wine Bar was conceived halfway through a fair amount of booze. The idea seemed simple. I was opening a butchery with a liquor license. I didn’t want to run a bar. Dave did. Two beers later we had pretty much come up with the concept. A wine bar inside a butchery. That’ll work, won’t it? What if it was a wine bar inside a butchery that concentrates on natural wines. A bar showcasing interesting varietals. A bar championing winemakers who like to do as little to their grapes as possible. A bar for people who love wine but are bored of drinking the same stuff.

And guess what?

We actually did it.

Publik is a place where you come if you want to hang out in a chilled environment, sip some wine, eat some cured meat and basically just hang out for a few hours. It’s a place where you can lean back and take your time. It’s a place where you can learn a thing or two while you discover some new favourites. Or celebrate existing ones. It’s a place where we open magnums on a Monday. For no reason at all. I’m very proud of it.

Dave was quick to snap up Kristian Sorensen (a very smooth, very cool, very knowledgeable, very passionate Dane) to help him steer the ship. I’ve got a feeling they are onto a winner. Find out tonight, as Publik opens its doors. Umm…to the public.

Go forth and eat,

Andy

Publik Wine Bar, 81 Church Street.

Food by others, Ramblings | Comments { 0 }