PHWOAR! 

PHWOAR! 

I guess I knew early on today that I was going to fall off the wagon.

The choice became not IF I was going to cheat on my new eating plan, but how. 

I’m far more picky about what I put in my body these days, so greasy, revolting fried chicken or sad cardboard burgers from the drive-thru were never going to be on the menu tonight. 

I decided to head to the opposite extreme and took myself to Belthazar at the V&A Waterfront – because if you’re going to fall off the food wagon, you should do it in style.

Effusive food writers would potter on endlessly with rich, colourful prose unpacking the subtle spice infusions, the heady flavours and incredible complimentary textures of the food laid out before me, but there’s no need for that sort of nonsense. 

Let’s keep it simple.

Fresh homemade white bread and butter, served with beef sausage in a Napolitana sauce. That’s just while you read the menu to decide what to eat. 

Starter. Burrata. Soft mozzarella with a warm creamy centre. 

 Main course. Tasmanian grass-fed beef sirloin with a thick Bearnaise sauce, baked potato and roast pumpkin. 

 Dessert. Frozen berries topped with hot white chocolate. 

  
Here are my thoughts:

Burrata should be the first thing you eat in heaven, just so you know you’re in heaven. Warm, soft cheese and cream? It’s seduction through your palate. With extra cream. And baby rosa tomatoes, basil and black pepper. And sighs of happiness. 

Tasmanian grass-fed beef is the closest you’ll get to the ecstasy of Wagyu beef without actually paying for  Wagyu beef or travelling to Kobe prefecture to eat the best version of Wagyu beef. A touch of marbling in the tender sirloin with a crispy side of rich, salty fat – sweet Mary, Mother of God! Or in other words, divine. 

Frozen berries in hot white chocolate. Listen to me – this is important: EVERYTHING in life needs to end with frozen berries in white hot chocolate. Everything. Sex. Your work day. Meetings. Walks on the beach. And dinner. Just add frozen berries in white hot chocolate. It’s the afterglow to good food porn I’ve always been looking for. 

So yes. I cheated. I cheated on all my good food intentions and I don’t regret a thing. Not one. I ate too much, but the pain is a good pain – like Fifty Shades of Grey, but for food. 

THIS food loves me. And it is good and proper to idolise this food.

Well played, Belthazar. Well played. 

© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved. 

5 Green Foods To Enjoy

5 Green Foods To Enjoy

In a recent medical check up, my doctor asked if I ate any green foods that weren’t jelly or cream soda. I couldn’t think of any, and I don’t like lying to my doctor.

I have decided that the next time he asks, I will answer him truthfully, and say “Yes!”

Here’s a list of 5 green foods you can enjoy, so that the next time your mother, doctor or significant other asks if you’re eating your greens, you can answer honestly:

1. Wasabi mustard: apply to lots of sushi, and enjoy! The tears that follow are mostly from the enjoyment, but also because HOT!
2. Blue cheese: it’s only CALLED blue cheese – look closely – that mould is actually green. (Fun fact: the fungus that creates blue cheese is not the same as the one that causes athlete’s foot, even though the cheese and the rotten foot smell the same. Now you know.)
3. Green macaroons. Because fun and pretty food should happen to you often. Although macaroons were invented in 791 AD, you should try ones that are a lot fresher than that.
4. Avocado. On everything. Including your face, if the beauty industry is to be believed.
5. Pistachio ice cream. What better way to end off your slightly odd but highly gratifying 5-course meal, than with creamy pistachio ice cream, sprinkled with chopped peppermint?
Yum!

Enjoy while you can – because it’s only fair to mention that at some point someone will try to modify your menu (people can be nosy like that) and insist that your green foods should be leafy and branchy. Huh. No-good spoil-sports, the lot of ’em!

© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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Join Me On An Energy Diet! #SmartCooking

#SmartCookingI’m being a lot smarter in the kitchen, starting now. I’m going on an energy diet.

I have staunchly resisted New Year’s resolutions again this year but that said, I’m looking at all sorts of little tips and tricks to just make life easier and better this year. My motivations?

  1. Reduce my bills.
  2. Do some good.

Simple.

When it comes to environmental matters, I’m not a fan of trawling rivers and beaches myself, for discarded trash, or venturing off to the South Pole to count baby seals, so being smarter around the home and reducing my energy bills makes me feel good, plus I save money. That’s the “what’s in it for me?” sorted.

Food is a huge part of my life – anyone who knows me or who reads my blog will know that. I spend a lot of time in my tiny kitchen, whipping up lavish meals for one – and I usually make a HUGE mess and use all the pots and pans. Then I moan about the mess on, on Twitter, for hours afterwards. This is a great place to start making small changes that will improve my life.

Did you know that stoves can make up to 8% of your electricity bill? And I normally have three or four pots going at a time, plus a host of other kitchen appliances. For just little old me! That’s a bit excessive, and it kills my electricity bill.

So that’s why I’m putting my kitchen on an energy diet.

We’re all aware of the demand on our national electricity grid – so making small changes to reduce our own bills and help reduce the strain are just a practical, sensible way to go.

I’m watching – and learning from – Justin Bonello, as he takes us on a culinary tour to be more energy efficient in the kitchen and around the home. (Bonus – I’ve also entered the 6-ingredient, one-pot competition to prove myself here. And to win a R25 000 gas braai. Because I’m worth it.) I’m actually going to make and photograph the dish I submitted.

So watch this space to see how easy it is to explore simpler ways to live, eat and enjoy life. And save money, too! What’s not to like?

© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved.

I was prompted to write this as part of my effort to reduce my monthly bills and so I joined the #SmartCooking campaign as part of an energy efficiency drive. This is a sponsored post.

Hudsons’ Hype Is Spot On!

Hudsons’ Hype Is Spot On!

Cape Town’s hipsters, pseudo- and sudo-hipsters* and Instagrammers alike have been punting Hudsons Burger Joint for a while now, so Ryan and I tried out the Somerset Road branch.

The menu boasts “the best Stealworks in town” – I’m not sure if that spelling is ironic or not, but I am pretty sure that although it’s a great steelworks, and a very large one, you can get bigger and more refreshing steelworks at Coco’s in Hermanus, and Driftwood in Langebaan. Technically those are not in town, so Hudsons still has a pretty good shot at that claim.

One thing that is immediately noticeable is that Hudsons’ menu is very well priced – the gourmet burgers run between R45 and R90 – though you do have to order your fries or salad extra, so if you build a lavish plate, expect to pay a premium.

Ryan opted for The Works, a gourmet burger on a fresh bun, topped with mustard, relish and cheddar cheese – it was a solid and juicy-looking affair. I didn’t have meal envy, though, because the BBQ ribs I ordered were such succulent, sweet chunks of absolute heaven. I always say that the sign of decent ribs is the huge basting mess made of a face – mine was proof positive I really enjoyed the ribs. I had to make an awkward dash to the bathroom to restore some civility to my appearance (note to Hudsons: wet towelettes and a few more serviettes would be a great standard on the table for folks ordering ribs!)

We discovered that Hudsons also has the MOST spectacular milkshake selection, from Nutella to Lindt brownie – but you can forget all about those; the ONLY milkshake you should have is the homemade fudge shake. It’s topped with sweet, soft crunchy fudge and has more of the same mixed into the thick, creamy vanilla ice cream. It easily rivals some of the sublime shakes on offer in Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s top notch eateries (which I consider the place good foodies go when they die…)

Hudsons is definitely worth many repeat visits, to explore their gorgeous menu. Go. Try it out. Your tummy will thank you with a flood of such good feeling and wellbeing that only great food can give!

For more info or to make a reservation, check out the Hudsons website. The chain recently opened in Johannesburg. Click here for the Hudsons menu.

© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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*sudo comprehend the pun

Five Reasons Why I Am Not An Emotional Eater

  1. Yes, yes – I hear your “I don’t live to eat, I eat to live” mantra, but I do live to eat. And I’m in therapy because I won’t allow myself to have emotions. (Essentially, this means I only have to make this a listicle of one item, but in case you need more convincing, let me carry on…)
  2. Putting Descartes before the horse: I eat, therefore I have an emotion – not the other way around.
  3. Point one aside, I eat when I am happy, sad, tired, angry, bored, busy, excited, anxious – essentially, whenever I am awake. This does not fit in with the traditional view of an emotional eater, who – according to Hollywood and trashy glamour magazines – only eats when they are sad.
  4. I am in complete control and can stop overeating any time I like. ANY time, you hear me? I just don’t feel like it, right now.
  5. Three out of five points on this list are false.

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© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved.

BIG Sushi at Blue Waters

BIG Sushi at Blue Waters

You get sushi, and then you get Blue Waters Seafood & Sushi Restaurant. Phil and Grethe have been talking about Blue Waters for some time, so Maru and I decided at the end of our road trip to give it a bash.

Although I am a huge sushi fan, I am not au fait with all the names of the different types of rolls, roses and fashionable sandwiches – I know what I like and I like lots of it! Blue Waters has an extensive menu but it has no pictures for the sushi-illiterate like me. You either have to know what you want, or take pot luck and hope for the best.

Give me sashimi and anything with crispy prawn, wasabi and a choice of salmon or tuna, and I’m happy as the proverbial pig. What I wasn’t expecting was the SIZE of the sushi pieces – they are HUGE! We’d ordered salmon roses and MY GOD they’re huge! Positively indecent! You can’t help feeling that you’re auditioning for a very racy movie as you negotiate one of these giants into your face. Luckily they also have mini salmon roses on the menu, which we ordered the next time we were there. Much easier to deal with!

On the menu there are ‘jacked up’ versions of traditional sushi, like the Jacked Up Wasabi Parcels. Wasabi parcels, only with MORE, and bigger. They are incredible – and, unlike wasabi parcels I’ve eaten elsewhere, you can actually taste the wasabi in them.

Phil and Grethe ordered the party platter with extra sashimi. It’s bloody impressive, served as it is in a huge wooden boat. Maru and I concocted our own platter of 6 different types of sushi – and it was almost (but not quite!) too much to eat.

The only downside is that Blue Waters is not a cheap night out – if you enjoy your sushi, I guarantee you’re going to order a lot of it and the size of their portions means you can expect to pay a premium rate. This is no two-for-one sushi joint, this. Flipside of the coin? It’s worth it! You really walk away having eaten like a king. You won’t feel done in at the price you pay, that’s a promise!

Another point to note is that the wasabi is hot – not like the ridiculous excuse for wasabi you get served up at a supermarket sushi counter. Blue Waters has two seating options – you can choose to sit at a table or at the sushi bar itself, although there is no sushi belt, and the sushi is served by the waiters and not by the sushi chefs themselves. Pick a table – it’s more comfortable.

Tel: +27 21 852 8012

Address & Directions

© Dave Luis 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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Shimmy? Thanks, but no.

Shimmy? Thanks, but no.

Shimmy: (noun)
1. an American ragtime dance marked by shaking of the hips and shoulders.
2. excessive wobbling in the front wheels of a motor vehicle.

A third definition presents itself once you’ve visited “South Africa’s Premier Beach Club And Restaurant” at the V&A Waterfront:

3. To be ripped off in the presence of spoiled rich white kids.

Ryan, James and I were excited to see Goldfish play live at Shimmy. We shelled out R250 each for VIP tickets and then stood in the baking hot sun for an hour past the opening time because…well, no excuses, because poor time management and organisation by the venue. Plain and simple. So, not a great start.

Once we were in, we found a table and had a fair meal of two pizzas, three bottles of water, a couple of sodas and a vodka and Red Bull. That was R500.

Having been relieved of R1250 collectively by this stage, there was a lot of pressure on the DJs and Goldfish to deliver the goods. The DJ was OK. Goldfish was amazing – they really are crowd pleasers and gave a phenomenally energetic performance.

But it wasn’t enough. Because despite the gorgeous venue and great act, you had to contend with the very worst kind of Capetonian: the spoilt rich white child. You know the type – poseurs to a man. They strut and cock their heads just so. They are incapable of going more than three words without interjecting “Bro!” or if they’re properly local, “Bru!” They pop their collars and pump their guns and peer myopically at you through their premium brand of shades. At sunset. And after sunset. Because it’s cool to wear shades at the club at night, bro. Like it’s the ’90s and they’ve all been popping pills and staring into strobe lights.

And the girls. Dear GOD the girls! Drink-addled giggling idiots, who shriek and scream every time they see a mate from the mall. Or hear a song they recognise. Or remember to take a breath. It’s difficult to reconcile these howling dervishes with any sort of intelligent young woman you meet outside of Shimmy – do these morph into wailing waifs as soon as they step through Shimmy’s imposing portico? They yell and stumble drunkenly, waving their cigarettes in your face, while the bros pose and prey. It is vile.

Do you know what Shimmy is? Shimmy is the very pricy, affected, white privileged stereotype that the rest of South Africa thinks Cape Town’s southern suburbs are. Live, and in the flesh. And not even the amazing Goldfish can make me want set foot in there again.

© Dave Luis 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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