In the last few weeks leading up to Christmas, That’s Cape Town (being lovers of good food and suckers for anything festive) visited many Christmas Markets. Some were really lovely, a few were a complete disappointment, but a few really stood out. The Blaauwklippen Christmas Market is one of these.
Blaauwklippen’s weekly market has been running for some time now, so when Market Architect, Hugo Le Roux, got to work planning a specially Christmas-themed, evening market, he had a strong sense of what would work and what wouldn’t. Adding a number of new craft stalls, and stringing long strings of lights through the big trees created a festive, almost magical feel, with the horses playing in the paddocks a little way away, and the many old-fashioned carriages standing out on the front lawn.
Candy-floss, popcorn, pony rides and a jumping castle, ensured the kids were very well taken care of and mom and dad were free to sip on a glass of wine, listen to the Marimba Band and wander through the stalls. A number of stalls struck us as unique and special: an antique jewelry stall was a breath of fresh air, considering all the modern jewelry most markets have for sale nowadays; Burtschers Chocolaterie was also there, selling a vast array of handmade delicacies that were beautiful to look at, and delicious to taste. We were particularly interested in the chocolate appreciation courses Birgit told us she offers. The Art stall, too, with its original, local pieces for sale reinforced that local is, most definitely, lekker.
On the food side, the Thai stall, replicating an authentic Thai food market stall was a real treat. The shwarmas from Eddie and his team were definitely one of the highlights of the evening. With four different home-made chilli sauces to try, and the many shwarma ingredients stuffed generously into a bulging pita, the meal was both incredibly tasty and very good value for money. Lastly, the ice-cream stand, Cold Gold is so good it demands a mention. Only starting the company a few months ago, and creating each of her inventive flavours by hand, the proof of Janine’s talent lies in the fact that she has been nominated for two of the prestigious local Eat In awards. With flavours like White chocolate, cashew and coconut; and a kiddies ‘Bubblegum’ flavour made up exclusively of a mix of fruit flavours (taking her 3 weeks to perfect!) her ice-cream is an art and truly a passion for her.
Serving several award-winning wines, (you really need to try the Before & After – an aperitif made of fortified Nobel Late Harvest) Blaauwklippen has remained an unpretentious, family focussed farm. And if you missed out on the Christmas markets, be sure to visit their weekly market on a Sunday morning. You will be wowed. We assure you.
In early August, Leisure Hotels (a hotel group with five hotels in Cape Town) decided to put their outstanding food and beverage team to even better use. They decided to create some “how to” videos using Stefan, the Executive Chef from the STrand Tower Hotel who certainly knows his stuff!
Here, Stefan whips up a perfect Hollandaise sauce to accompany a delicious peppered steak. He makes it look so easy!
Enjoy folks, there’s more to come!
I went with four friends to Active Sushi in Strand Street, having never gone before. I knew that they had a R109 all-you-can-eat special and, being sushi addicts, the five of us decided to give the place a try.
The decor of the place is pretty minimalistic but the food is great. You are given a menu where you can pick any sushi they serve, and eat as much of it as you want.
They do the usual favourites – salmon roses (we ate a LOT of those), rainbow rolls, nigiri, sashimi, fashion sandwiches, maki, california rolls and some quirky variations. We had tuna roses and especially hot cry rolls (like a rainbow roll, except the avocado is wasabi and it covers the entire top). We didn’t have to take the person who ate them to hospital, but it was close. And they finished them.
After two full plates of sushi, I was about to pop. There is a rule that any wastage is billed, and I began to get worried I might not finish, but after some help from my friends, my plate was empty. Checking the menu, it was evident that we had eaten over R109 of sushi on each first plate, let alone the second. I also had a Coke Zero – a large can which was an unbelievable R10!
The service was quite slow, but the waiters knew their stuff, and they didn’t exactly have control over how quickly the sushi was made. On the whole, an absolute gem of a sushi spot in Cape Town. Good sushi, good prices and a great evening
63 STRAND ST – CAPE TOWN – Tel: 0214220462
Review by Rosie