The BugEyed Review Blog

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Archive for the 'Food' Category

27 – Post Analysis

Posted by Bug-E on 28th February 2007

I just got back from the [tag]27dinner[/tag] at [tag]Relish[/tag] in Cape Town.
Nice venue, expensive food. Big bowls, not a lot of food in said bowls. I had a Thai something Fillet salad for R50 as a starter. Whoa. Too much green stuff in there. Didn’t like it much, but then, I’m not really a salad person. The fillet was nice though. :-) Main course was pork something, with crackling and delish garlic roast potato mash. Yummers. But that was the food.
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Breakfast of kings!

Posted by Bug-E on 25th October 2006

I’m sitting on a flight to JHB at the moment, and just finished having what the airlines would lead us to believe is “breakfast”. OK, it’s not *that* bad, but it’s airline food, right? I feel like such a geek using a laptop on a 2 hour flight. I left my PSP at home, so no luck playing a game.

A chunk (yes, literally) of scrambled egg, one rasher of cooked pig, and a hashbrown. Oh, and there was this red thing that’s supposed to be a tomato. I can’t confirm. Strawberry yogurt and a Mantelli’s buttermilk rusk finish up the “meal”.

The egg was stuck to the bottom of the foil container, the hashbrown was, well, actually, the hashbrown wasn’t bad at all! The bacon had to be eaten in two larger-than-I’m-comfortable-with pieces, as the plastic knife and fork just didn’t do much for holding it down or cutting it. Not to mention the fact that the nice lass at the check-in counter was polite enough to place me in the middle seat between two strangers. I’m finding it hard to type this due to the space restriction in this flying sardine tin. I keep on bumping my elbows against the two people next to me.

The yogurt was passable, there was even a piece of what looked and tasted like strawberry. The rusk was a bit stale, but still nice. Oh, and here’s the highlight!

“Coffee, tea, juice or mineral water sir?” After the japanese tourist next to me grunted and pointed at the orange juice, I opted for coffee. (This was a 6:45 flight after all, I can do with any wake-up juice I can get!). “Milk and sugar sir?” “Ayup! 2 sugars please!” I an 8oz cup of filter coffee, with milk. The branding on the cup? Wiesenhoff! Heh! The sugars go in, and I stir with the plastic spoon I used to eat the yogurt with. The damn attendant woman didn’t give me a stirring stick. And as luck would have it (Murphy being on every flight I’m sure…), the flight goes a tad bit bumpy as I get my coffee. Not bad enough to worry though. The coffee was actually good. Not too strong, not pissy weak, with no after-taste at all.

Anyway, I’ll see later on what my stomach thinks of this “breakfast”. I suspect it might just agree that it’s not something to hold on for long…

Oh, and what flight was this? “Welcome to British Airways flight BA6400, operated by Comair.”

What fun! I’ll be spending the next couple of in Johannesburg, catching up with the long lost family (Haven’t seen them in a year), and sleeping as late as possible to catch up with 9 months of newborn-baby interrupted sleep… Oh, and there’s this business meeting today as well. I won’t go into that.

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The Rosmead – Coffee & Muffin

Posted by Bug-E on 20th October 2006

On Wednesday I decided to go past a coffee-shop-bakery-sitdown-deli place that opened a couple of months ago on the corner of Adderley and Darling streets here in Cape Town, called The Rosmead.

They have a R12.50 coffee and muffin special, so I tried that.  I’ve had this before, the first time about 2 months ago early on a saturday morning.  The muffin was so hot I couldn’t hold it, it was *fresh* out the oven, I actually had to wait 5 minutes for them to finish making them.  At that stage their coffee and muffin special was R10.  Obviously supply and demand rules say that lots of people want this special, so they can safely put up the price.

Anyway, their coffee is quite nice.  Small 8oz cup, typical cardboard one, with fancy sippy cup lid that has that little part that needs to fold back first, before you can actually sip the coffee, this just means no mess at all while walking with the cup to the office or wherever you’re going, and the coffee stays hot for that little bit longer.  Staying hot is something they don’t need to worry about for their coffee, ‘cos it’s hot hot hot!  And this is not normal filter coffee either, it’s really a latte in disguise.  Espresso, filled with steamed milk, a little bit of milk froth on top, and the guy even adds a little bit of chocolate sprinkles.  He even adds your required amount of sugars and stirs for you, before putting on the lid.

The coffee has a sweetish taste, stronger than a medium strength espresso, and quite a nice after taste once you’re done.  The muffin this time around wasn’t hot, but it was fresh.  I think they’ve changed their schedule for baking muffins, but if you can catch them at the right time, you can get a really hot one!  :-)  The muffins are a decent size, not these small tiny ones you usually get elsewhere, but not as giant as the Mugg & Bean ones.

In the end, a nice coffee, nice muffin, friendly service, all in all a great experience to pick up some good coffee and a pretty decent muffin.

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Wiesenhof Coffees Tokai – Latte review

Posted by Bug-E on 12th October 2006

This morning’s latte is compliments of Wiesenhof Coffees in Tokai, at the new Pick’n'Pay building.  Well, it’s not new anymore, but it’s newer than the old one that used to be there.

I actually wanted to go to the PnP to get some more Frosties (Hey, at R9.99 a packet, you go back for more!), but they only opened at 8am, and I didn’t want to wait 15 minutes, so I just popped into Wiesenhof to get some caffeine-in-a-cup.

Cha-Ching!  R9.95 later, I have a small, yet stylishly branded latte.  Sippy-cup lid and all.  The nice lady behind the counter made it all fresh using one of those really nice coffee-shop proper espresso machines, and even added a little bit of milk froth on top.  No chocolate sprinkles, cheap skates.  Two sugars go in, stir with a stick, and off I go.

I had to walk to the car quick-like.  That cup was hot.  Too hot to hold.  Good thing I still have that cardboard cup-holder from when I sampled the McDonald’s coffee…  It must have been a good 15 minutes before I could take the first sip without burning my tongue.

Nice, smooth coffee, medium strength, with a slight smokey after taste.  Quite a nice taste.  2 sugars was just the right amount for that cup, I quite enjoyed it.  R10 for that small cup is a bit pricey for my liking though.  I noticed under the cup it says “8oz Hot Cup”.  So ja, our small cups seem to be 8oz cups…  And according to Google, that’d be 0.236588237 liters, or just under one standard measuring cup.  But still, R10 for that is still a bit pricey, but this time around it was worth it, it was a good cup of coffee…

Anyway, Wiesenhof Coffees also does a nice R10 breakfast, had it before (well, had two in one go).  R10 for a slice of toast, an egg and a rasher of bacon.  Only between 8:00 and 8:30, no exceptions.  The waiters actually check the wall clock when they place the order. :-)  And they even have a guy sitting in the corner playing guitar sometimes, all in all, a nice coffee shop to go sit and chill.  And drink some nice coffee indeed.

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“Cappuccino” at London Pie Company – Greenmarket Square

Posted by Bug-E on 11th October 2006

Having sampled London Pie Company’s “Two R8.95 pies for only R12.50″ special earlier today, I decided that I’ll go back and sample their “Hot stuff”. Being some dark liquid being pumped into a polystyrene cup from a small machine. I take comfort in the fact that it only cost R5.00.

I say “some dark liquid” for a reason. The coffee is produced by a small machine, about 45x70x50cm in size, with a spot to put the cup, an LCD display on the front, and about 7 buttons down the front next to the LCD screen, one button per beverage. You know the type. You must have seen something similar with Nestle beverages at some other establishment. Anyway.

The nice lass behind the counter promptly stuck a cup in the machine, and delicately pressed the “Cappuccino” button the same way that a woman with long fingernails presses buttons on a phone, you know, not with the fingertip, but more with the finger. A gurgle and a splutter later, out pops some foamy white stuff slightly resembling milk. “How many sugars?” Why two of course! It’s a small cup after all… More spluttering, more gurgling, and I notice a dark liquid pouring into the cup. From the looks of things, it might have been coffee. I can’t be sure until I taste this stuff.

A beep later, the lass puts two sugars into the cup, stirs with a stick, and proceeds to pour a copious amount of chocolate powder onto the white foamy stuff. And on goes the sippy-cup lid. Cha-ching.

OK, so this coffee is hot. Really hot. Even to the touch.

I’m sitting at my desk, so don’t really need the sippy-cup lid (dammit! What are these things called?! Sippy-cups are for toddlers! Or is this a sign of age where adults revert back to toddler utensils to make things easier? Like those goddamn sporks that are making a comeback!) I digress, again.

Taking the lid off, I notice the total lack of foam, and the chocolate powder along with it. This looks like normal coffee now, with a slight trace of foam floating around, it looks like somebody spat in the cup before putting the lid on. Not to worry, I was watching that girl, she didn’t.

*sip*

Dear god! This stuff is… is… is not worthy to be referred to as anything remotely related to coffee…

It tastes like dish water. (No, really!) OK, it’s not that bad, but then, it was R5. It’s weak, doesn’t have any kind of coffee taste to it. I can actually taste Cremora (Coffee creamer…). Go figure. I actually want to spit in this myself to give it a bit of taste. Maybe some London Pie Sausage Roll flavour from lunch. Argh. No, this cannot be called a Cappuccino, they’re fooling people! Don’t buy this stuff unless you only have R5 on you and you absolutely *must* have youur morning fix. And only if you’ve just rolled out of bed. London Pie Company’s “cappucino” might just fool your body into thinking there’s caffeine in there somewhere…

Do Not Buy!

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Sundance Gourmet Coffee Co. – Cappuccino

Posted by Bug-E on 27th September 2006

After a rather trying night trying to sleep in between the wails of an 8-month old, I was really ready for a good cup of caffeine. I parked the car in the parking garage, and went straight next door to a coffee shop named Sundance Gourmet Coffee Co. They opened a couple of months ago (probably closer to a year ago…), after the previous coffee shop there, The New York Coffee and Sugar Exchange, closed down for some reason…

Anyway, Sundance’s prices seem a bit high. R9 for a regular cup of coffee, and R9 for a large cup of coffee (go figure…), and R12 for an even larger cup of coffee… R12 for a regular cappuccino or latte, R15 for the larger one. I opted for the R12 regular cappuccino, two sugars.

The to-go cappuccino comes in a paper cup, with sippy-cup lid, and a round piece of cardboard that wraps around the cup itself to shield your hand from being scorched by the hot-hot liquid inside through the non-heat-resistant paper cup. Thoughtful.

The cappuccino was quite bitter, and rather strong. I suspect that the large cup would have the same amount of espresso in, just more milk and froth, so would likely be less bitter. The regular cup is rather small, but sufficient for a first shot of the morning cuppa… The barista (heh-heh, I’ve been reading!) even added a dash of chocolate powder onto the froth, but that’s a rather useless action ‘cos of the lid that goes onto the cup. The chocolate sticks to the lid. (I licked the inside of the lid when nobody was looking…). All in all, the cappuccino was a bit too bitter for my liking, and a bit too expensive for what you get in the end… I think the large (not grande) size cappuccino or latte will probably the better tasting one. But at R15 for the large, I won’t pay that for just any cappuccino.

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McDonald’s Cappuccino review

Posted by Bug-E on 19th September 2006

So this morning on the way in to work I decided to stop at the Tokai [tag]McDonald[/tag]‘s drivethru and try one of their coffees. They have normal filter coffee, and the only other option under “[tag]Coffee[/tag]” was a cappuccino. One of those please! R8.95 later. I was even asked how many sugars I wanted. (No option between white or brown sugar.)

The cappuccino comes in a heat-resistant cup, with a sippy-cup lid, a swivel stick to stir, and the amount of sugars requested. My car lacking cup-holder, I requested to have one of those cardboard cupholder things. The guy complied.

Cappuccino, meet three sugars, three sugars, meet [tag]cappuccino[/tag]. I must say, trying to get three sugars to dilute with a swivel stick is a mission and a half. 1 minute later, I’m done, ready to roll. The cardboard cupholder even fits perfectly right behind my car’s gearlever in the middle, so no mess no fuss. Hot coffee!

The first thing that I thought when tasting this coffee was “Whoa this is sweet!”. They seem to use sweetened (of sorts, I think) milk for the froth. Not a lot of it. Those Press-A-Button-To-Get-Your-Beverage machines that McDonalds have, have NO idea how to make a proper cappuccino, there was way too little froth, and likely too much milk. Anyway, the [tag]froth[/tag] was sweet, the cappuccino itself also fairly sweet (maybe 3 sugars was a bit over the top.)

One thing I missed in the taste of this McDonald’s Cappuccino, was the taste of coffee. The taste of the milk and froth was so overwhelming, that I could hardly taste the actual coffee. All in all though, it wasn’t too bad, but not exactly something that I’d go and pay R8.95 for again in a hurry. Maybe a bit too weak (if there’s any coffee in there at all, I can’t say for sure!), and perhaps a bit too much sweetened milk. They get plus points for the cup though, I like these stripey cups that don’t scorch the crap out of your hands.

So, want a quick cup of wake up juice? The maybe McDonald’s cappuccino is not the thing you should be buying. Want a quick convenient way of getting some sweet caffeine into your system, then try the McDonald’s Cappuccino. At least once.

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About Coffee

Posted by Bug-E on 14th September 2006

This morning I had a Jimmy Neutron moment…

I had to go put petrol into my car at the Tokai BP, and while waiting I saw their “Wild Bean Cafe” sign.  I had a thought that, with the past couple of weeks worth of no-blogging, maybe I should force myself into some form of habitual blogging mood.  Then it struck me.  No, not the keys, the idea.  Coffee!  I can blog about coffee!

I did a quick count from memory how many coffee shops (or at least shops that sell coffee) there are within a short walk from where I work in Cape Town CBD…  10.  All within about 300 meters from our front door.

So, this is the start of a (hopefully) regular blog-posting about my experience and tastes of coffee from around here.  Do keep in mind that I’m no professional coffee-taster.

Wild Bean Cafe – Cafe Latte

This morning’s coffee was a large Latte from the Wild Bean Cafe at the Tokai BP petrol station.  It cost R9.95.  It was made within about a minute.  I was given a steaming paper cup, one of those nice heat-restistant thicker-than-paper cups, which is nice ‘cos it doesn’t scorch the crap out of your hand.  Three sugars go in, sippy-cup lid goes on, and I’m outta there.  After spilling some of the coffee in the car (due to not having one of those cup-holder doodads in the car), I finally managed to take a sip while driving.  The first thing that went through my mind was “Where’s the caffeine?!”.  The Latte was weak, to say the least.  Little bit of a smokey taste, Arabica beans I believe.  But weak.  I think all they do is use the same amount of coffee powder, and just stick more water into it, to get a Large instead of a standard, weakening it.  So the standard size might taste a bit better.  Regardless, I didn’t have the standard size.  I finished the coffee, feeling rather cheated.

Plus points for Wild Bean Cafe is the cup the coffee comes in.  The sippy-cup lid even has a big red “CAUTION!  Hot contents!” sticker on.  Minus points is really that the coffee tastes too watered down.  If you want a great coffee, then don’t bother buying theirs.  If you want an average cup off coffee, then try the standard sized one.  (Even though it’s only R1 cheaper…)

Anybody else tried their coffee?

What’s next?  I’m going to take on McDonald’s coffee I think.  Get all the dodgy ones out the way first. :-)

UPDATE 1: Apparently, it’s been decided that coffee *is* in fact good for you!  I came across this article on the Cape Argus just now: Coffee shakes off bad rap

UPDATE 2: That same article has subsequently made it onto IOL too…

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Magica Roma – Pinelands, Cape Town

Posted by Bug-E on 20th December 2005

Having had a birthday last week, my S.O. treated me not only a great Mellerware 3-in-1 Espresso Bar, but also a fantastic evening at an [tag]Italian restaurant[/tag] in Pinelands (Cape Town), called [tag]Magica Roma[/tag]. At first I was a bit skeptical about going there, thinking that the only reason for going there is due to the S.O. having a cousin that works there. Boy was I pleasantly surprised.

Parking at the restaurant is ample, and from the outside it looks nothing more than a grey building with tinted windows. Walking in we were greeted by a hostess, checked our reservation (do not try to go here if you did not make a reservation, booking a couple of days in advance for evening meals is advisable, also, they’re not open on Sundays), and seated in the non-smoking section. I was later surprised to find that they converted the smoking area into a non-smoking area earlier in the evening, kindly asking smokers to step outside to feed their addiction. They do this in the event of non-smokers outnumbering smokers. Loved that.

The setting at Magica Roma is traditional, low-volume music in the background. There was a Christmas get-together in the one upper area of the restaurant while we were there, with a couple of guys playing live musical instruments, traditional Italian music, with one or two other songs that I recognised as not Italian. There was some dancing going on, as well, so it seems to be quite a versatile venue.

Their menu headings and meal names are all in Italian, but it was fairly easy to figure out which bits were Starters, Pizza, Pasta, Salads, meats, etc, and there are descriptive English meanings. After mulling over the wine list for a few minutes, I opted out of having wine (I would have been the only one drinking, and there’d be no way that I’d be in any state of mind to focus on my dessert if I had to finish it by myself…), ordered a beer, and browsed the Starters. They have a nice focus on seafood across their whole menu, and I settled on the Baby Calamari tubs with garlic and chili. T had the Shrimp Cocktail. Wow. The baby calamari was absolutely stunning. It gets fried in the garlic and chili sauce, served with rice. I have never enjoyed a starter this much. The garlic was not overwhelming, and neither was the chili. It had just the right amount of bite to be a bit hot, but not enough so that my taste buds were scorched. There was sufficient garlic and chili sauce to mix in with the rice, and let’s face it, rice with sauce is just yum. T’s shrimp cocktail looked good, I tasted it, the shrimps seemed a bit too crunchy for my liking, but maybe that’s just me. It was server in a typical Thousand Island-type pink sauce.

Main course. This was a bit of a problem. There were so many dishes I wanted to try, choosing just one was near impossible. T settled on a 300g fillet, with a herb and garlic sauce, served with rice and veggies. I settled on their Tagliata Fiorentina, which is a sliced, grilled fillet in olive oil, balsamic and herb sauce, server with chips, no veggies (by choice). The Tagliata Fiorentina was great, a unique way for me to have fillet done. A bittersweet taste, soft meat. Great. T’s fillet was plain, covered in herb sauce, and a dollop of garlic on top, just as she likes it. There was a bit of a mix up with what exactly “Medium to Well Done” means, but Ezio, one of the partners that owns that restaurant, personally made sure that it was sorted out promptly. He’s a nice guy, and even came to chat with us a bit after the main meal. I wish I paid more attention during my Italian Language course, and practiced after the course, I’d have been able to at least greet him in Italian. :-)

After the applause from several tables around the one behind us (One guy just proposed to his girlfriend, she said yes, and from then never took her eyes off of her ring…), it was time for dessert. One look at the menu, and I knew what I wanted. Creme Brulee, and a real Italian-made Cappuccino to wash it down. T’s been at Magica Roma with her cousin before, and that time, after ordering her own dessert, saw her cousin’s dessert choice: Spumone. Vanilla & chocolate ice cream, layered with meringue & dressed with hot chocolate sauce. That was T’s choice this time around. A nice touch was that both our desserts were served on the same, large oval plate. The Creme Brulee was made to perfection. Soft, not runny. Just enough burnt sugar crust, not over done. The Spumone I believe is a house-speciality, and looked fantastic, well dressed, soaked in a combination of chocolate and another, less chocolaty sauce. The cappuccino was also very nice. Properly done, with crema and the right amount of foam, not like other restaurants that only attempt to make a cappuccino. Magica Roma doesn’t try to make a cappuccino. They get it right.

All in all, I had a fantastic night there, the food was delicious, the service was excellent, the owners and staff were friendly, the venue was great, and I enjoyed every minute there. If you want a brilliant experience at a great restaurant with great food, go to Magica Roma in Pinelands, and ask for Chantal. She’s a great waitress, and will make sure that your experience at Magica Roma is well enjoyed. You can tell her that Aubrey (That’d be me) referred you to them. :-)

It was a bit strange to go to an Italian restaurant and order a steak, but as I said, we were very spoilt for choice. Next time I go there, I will definitely consider the Baby Calamari tubes main course, or perhaps one of their delicious-sounding pastas.

www.dining-out.co.za has a page for Magica Roma, including their menu, some pictures of the restaurant and owners (Ezio, the friendly chap that we chatted to, is the guy on the right), and a map on how to get there. You will not be disappointed.

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Seaforth Restaurant – Simonstown

Posted by Bug-E on 25th March 2005

Seaforth Restaurant is located on the southern side of Simonstown, on Seaforth Beach. Had we arrived an hour earlier, the view would have been that of waves ebbing onto a small beach with several large rocks. Several penguins make up the local population of the beach and the surrounds, at times apparently wading all the way up to the parking.
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