Saturday, September 29, 2012

Healthy Heart Luncheon at Table Bay Hotel

I attended a Luncheon held by Good Housekeeping Magazine yesterday at the Table Bay Hotel promoting healthy living with talks on keeping your heart strong and a tasty healthy Lunch.

Think Red supported the event with Liezel van der Westhuizen as the entertaining hostess for the day.
I learnt firstly that a shocking 1 in 3 men and 1 in 4 women develop heart disease in their lives and they gave us tips to try prevent this from happening, mainly diet and exercise.
We were also given the opportunity to check our cholesterol, BMI and blood pressure then they use this information to calculate your hearts age, happily mine is 2 years younger than my actual age, I would prefer 10 years younger but it's great considering I used to smoke but gave up 6 years ago.

The menu was heart healthy too with a Peppered Ostrich Carpaccio topped with beetroot slices, pickled cucumber, shimeji mushrooms, fresh radish and balsamic caviar, dressed in a parsley olive oil.

Main course was grilled Blue nose, carrot and celeriac puree, warm quinoa salad with lots of herbs and a fennel and red onion slaw.

The dessert was spiced panna cotta with chopped up pear inside, red wine poached pears, berry coulis and a chocolate heart.

Vital brands also launched their flavoured rice cakes which come in 4 addictive flavours which they cleverly used as welcome canape's topped with guacamole and goats cheese and tomato.

The room and guest's were all decked out in red and our gift bag was amazing it must have weighed about 6kg which was so much fun to unpack when I went home.

Very interesting outing which highlighted the importance of healthy eating and living! Thank you to Flora for the big tub of margarine too

Article and pictures copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

City Bowl Market

I heard along the Cape Town grapevine that City bowl market is now open on Thursday nights as opposed to just Saturday mornings so I decided to check it out on it's very first launch evening.

I love markets I must say and this one is small but really vibey, on this opening night it was however too full to move and I must admit I did not stay long but there was a large variety of food to grab for dinner and many of them were almost sold out when I got there at 7pm so hopefully they going to prepare more this week.

Some of the traders I saw on my quick browse around was Down South Dim sum and another dim sum / spring roll trader, beautiful cupcakes, curries, baked goods like brownies, coffee, beer and much more.
Open 16:30  - 20:30 on Thursday evenings and 9am - 2pm on Saturdays. I will go back but try a little earlier next time.

14 Hope Street
Cape Town

Pictures and article copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


 I have been wanting to go to Haiku for years now, my brother went a few years ago and he raved about the place for weeks, Finally I asked friends of mine who are regulars there to please let me join them and to make it as soon as possible.

It is situated on a small street with its entrance on Burg street which has an alley way feeling when you walk towards the door. I love the interior, the lighting is dim and the Chinese style decor is quite glam so I had this feeling of almost illegal underground entry.

The barman welcomed me with a glass of wine as I awaited my friends arrival. The bar is beautiful all dark wood but the bar stools were a bit low as I sat eye level with the bottles pictured above.

I left the choices to my friends who are all foodies and know what's really good to try, there are specials on at the moment, 2 course meal R179, 5 course meal R249 and lunch specials which are assorted platters for R119 but we went with A La Carte. We were 4 people which is a good number as most dishes come out in fours so we could each try everything except the spring rolls.

On the table they serve condiments, pickled cucumber, sesame oil bean sprouts, a chilli sauce and I think a tomato chutney of some kind. We started with BBQ duck spring rolls and hoisin sauce, delicious prawn toasts, spinach and cream cheese translucent steam dumplings ( Har Gau) and chicken potstickers which are pan fried dumplings. 

These were all absolutely divine, the food kept coming, next was a raw tuna salad which had a sesame dressing, lettuce, raw onion slices, avocado and cucumber.

Lastly were our two main courses which was a saucy stir fried calamari, crisp fresh vegetables, sticky coconut rice and another favorite of mine, Peking duck pancakes with cucumber, spring onion and hoisin sauce.

Everything was really tasty with perfectly balanced flavours, I heard there is a system they use to help you order using star ratings however this was not explained to us and I can't help but think its not quite the same as in it's heydays when they were on the top of all restaurant lists, the service was a bit slack but I can't fault the food. I can say that I will go back and eat plate's full of dim sum, in fact just the pictures are making me crave to go back. The mains were perfectly made however you could get these dishes at Chef pons in town and be just as satisfied.
Our meal came to R250 per person with 2 bottles of wine and a tip.

Haiku Restaurant
33 Church street, enter from Burg street
021 - 424 7000

Pictures and article is copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tom Yum Goong

This is one of my favorite soups in the world, its great in summer or winter, sweet, sour and salty in flavour, its so addictive you find yourself wanting to pick up the bowl and gulp it down like a mug of coffee.
This soup originates from Thailand, is spicy and clear normally with coriander, vegetables and prawns / shrimps bathing in the bottom of the bowl. It is a stock base using Thai flavourings like lemongrass, lime leaves, chilli, lime juice and ginger (galangal). There are many different varieties influenced by all the surrounding Thai countries as well as versions made using a tom yum paste purchased from Asian supermarkets which is the version I made as it's much quicker and easier to find than shopping for all the ingredients in the paste and I would say just as tasty. I will however provide a basic tom yum paste recipe in case you prefer.

Tom Yum Goong
Serves 4

6 cups chicken stock (home made is best but cubes and powders will work too, vegetable stock is good too)
2 sticks lemon grass, outer layers peeled and bruise with your knife
2 kaffir lime leaves, bruised
1 thumb sized piece of ginger sliced
1 shallot, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 tin straw mushrooms (may be replaced with shitake or button mushroom)
1 chilli, bruised (optional depending on heat tolerance)
2 shrimp per person, peeled and veined
pinch of salt
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp tom yum paste
1 tbsp lime juice
bunch coriander
2 cherry tomatoes per person
1 bunch enoki mushrooms (may be replaced with bean sprouts)

Flavour the stock by heating it with the lemon grass, lime leaves, ginger, shallot, tomatoes, tom yum paste, add chilli for more heat.
Once infused with flavour by simmering for 10 minutes, remove the flavourings from the stock.
Cook the shrimp in the stock, at the last minute add the fish sauce, lime juice, cherry tomatoes, enoki mushrooms, straw mushrooms and coriander. These final ingredients may be added to each bowl and the hot stock poured over individually.
Balance the flavours with the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar if necessary.

This dish may be made vegetarian, just omit the shrimp, add vegetable stock and add more vegetables like mange tout and baby corn.

Tom Yum Paste
Makes 1 cup

2 sticks lemongrass, chopped
1 thumb of ginger, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 red chillies, chopped
1/2 cup chopped coriander, leaves and stalks
3 spring onions , chopped
2 limes juices
1 tsp shrimp paste
1tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp soy sauce

Place everything in a blender and blitz until smooth, add a dash of water if necessary.

This paste may also be used for: marinading meat or fish, flavouring soups, adding to mussel pots, making sauces and adding flavour to vegetables.

Pictures and article copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Little Hattery Launch Party

I was fortunate to be the plus one with one of my bestie's for the launch of The Little Hattery the other day, after forcing myself to go in the stormy weather last weekend, I'm so glad I went, what a party it was!

Held at Truth Coffee Culture in Buitenkant street which is such a cool venue but I will review it at a later date. Steam punk was the theme which suited the venue perfectly. The Little Hattery is an event wear company but their hats and hair pieces are especially outstanding, they can help you with your wedding styling, corporate, cocktail and themed events, they designed the Truth Coffee outfits for the Buitenkant branch.

The early evening started off with a show stopping welcome drink sponsored by Don from Puremix fresh cocktail solutions, smoking, icy, alive, bubbling and fragrant, this steam punk styled cocktail was a good start to the evening where sparkling wine, whiskey and beer on tap literally flowed. Puremix is a new company which sells a range of freshly prepared and infused cocktail mixes which can be used as is or over dry ice with rose petals, orange zest and a dash of lemonade.

While glugging down our cocktails we were entertained by a fire dancer which is pretty normal in Cape Town however this guy filled the whole of Buitenkant Street with dancing fire sparks making us feel warm even though we were all gripping our frozen dry ice drinks.

The main event was a fashion show which showcased some amazing creations from The Little Hattery, if only we could dress like that everyday, it was like a fantasy wonderland of ribbons, bows, lace and top hats.

Sadly the night came to an end, played out with a great band, the champagne had finished but The Little Hattery had thrown a kick ass launch party.

The Little Hattery
143 Harrington street,
Cape Town
021- 821 3443

Truth Coffee Culture
36 Buitenkant street 
Cape Town

Puremix Fresh Cocktail Solutions
Woodstock exchange
021- 8018822

Picture's and article copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Sunday, September 2, 2012


I have been wanting to visit Clarke's  since they opened but never seemed to get the opportunity even though I always put the idea forward to go, we ended up putting it off. Finally this Saturday was the day, by chance bumping into friends I found myself entering this diner style bar on the trendy Bree street.

I have drooled over the Diner, drive in's and dives show plenty of times wishing I could try some of the hamburgers and subs they make with such extravagance, Clarke's is based on the meals you could find in an American diner but much cleaner, fresher, more upmarket and modern.

The interior is simple, mostly black and white with fresh green leafy pot plants adding colour, always buzzing with with the Cape Town trendies, even Danny K was sitting at the table next to us with his wife.

The menu is broken up into different times , breakfast 8am, sandwiches 11am, brunch 11am and in the evening is only burgers, chips and other sides, plenty of variety in the day and I have already decided what to try next. The service is a bit slow and sloppy which happens when anybody serves any table at any time causing confusion as to what's already been asked.

I ordered the burger without cheese, with chips and aioli about R67.00 which going back to the waitress, when I asked if it was the one without cheese the waitress proceeded to open my burger with her hand to check if it was the right one, this is pretty unacceptable but on a great note the burger is absolutely delicious, the patty is from Bill Riley but it's the roll that puts this ahead of the rest, its almost flaky like a pastry, similar to a brioche, buttery and rich, add the tangy pickles and you will find yourself craving another bite. The chips were a bit too oily and tasteless but the pickled beans side is a great vegetable to replace the chips.

I will definitely go back, great vibe, fun company and an addictive burger and pickles.
find Clarke's on 133 Bree Street, 021 4247648.

Article and picture's copyright by Tamsyn Wells