Let’s lunch @ The Steamworks Gastropub

Since moving to Fourways recently, I have been scouting out new hangouts for hubby and I to take friends when we are not in the mood to entertain at home.

On Saturday, we decided we wanted to do a lunch date and settled on a spot we drove by a few times to see what the deal was. I have seen so many pictures on social media and it looked cooky and fun, so The Steamworks Gastropub was on my radar.

We waltzed in a few minutes after opening time (12 on a Saturday) and found the pub empty, but fully booked for the entire afternoon. Luckily we came before all the bookings and had the place  to ourselves for a while.

The most noticeable aspect of this place is the decor. Steampunk everything, everywhere. And here I was thinking that only Cape Town could brag with cool themed pubs! The bar is a visual masterpiece of old world maps, clocks and gears and the rest of the space is decorated with quirky Steam punk inspired pieces that you need to see in person to really appreciate.

The cocktail menu made me feel like I was in an episode of Dr Who! With names like Particle Diffuser, Bubbly Bioshock and Sazarac you can’t help but feel like you are in for a wild adventure come cocktail hour. They have an impressive array of flavours and ingredients including absinthe, ginger beer, beetroot juice, 3 different kinds of aromatic bitters and candyfloss. If you are feeling brave, order the Tiki Mai Tai, served in a handmade mug which, legend has it, will invoke a mischievous party gremlin. My guess is that they might just be a little heavy handed on the rum!

We started out with coffee (the flat white and cappuccinos are equally tasty) and although their coffee options are limited, the basics are pretty good. I had a Chicken and Cheese Prego Burger and the hubby at a Philly Steak Sandwich. I won at food this time around, but only because the brie on the Philly steak sandwich was a little too mild. My burger was spicy but not too hot and I liked the array of flavours that came with the burger thanks to the flame grilled chicken, prego sauce, guacamole and cheese.

I can’t wait to go again in winter to see the fireplace in action and to try out some of the cocktails!

The Steamworks Gastro Pub Lowdown:

  • Need to know: You better book a table if you are going on Friday from lunch time to Saturday closing time. It gets full very quickly!
  • Location: Corner of Forest Road and Sunset Avenue, Fourways
  • Menu: The selection is impressive for a “pub” setting. They serve everything from starters, bar snacks, mains and desserts. You can choose between nachos and salads, pizzas, ribs, burgers and even seared tuna.
  • What to drink: Being a pub, the alcoholic options are limited only by your tolerance. They have wines, beers, champagnes, and a huge range of spirits including some seriously fancy (a.k.a expensive) imported gins and tequilas. Try one of their aptly names cocktails or settle in for a flavoured coffee if you are not in the mood for shenanigans.
  • Caters for: most dietary requirements. Vegetarian customers have a few nice options and gluten free and banting pizza bases are also available
  • Price range: R250 for two, but this could be more if you are having drinks. The cocktails are actually reasonably priced for how pretty they are.
  • Go if: You are in the mood for a pub lunch with friends or you are up for a party with strangers.
  • Don’t go if: you want to order crazy coffee concoctions or if you are planning on having a quiet business lunch.

If you ever end up finding the mischievous party gremlin after throwing back a few Tiki Mai Tais, don’t forget to tell me about your experience and go show the world some love this week!

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Let’s Lunch @ Burgundy Restaurant

As part of our holiday in Cape Town we ventured to Hermanus in hopes of spotting some of the majestic Southern Right Whales on their migration route. The peak season for whale watching in Hermanus is between September and November and we were lucky enough to see a mommy with her little calf as well as a few other whales breaching as we were enjoying lunch. It was absolutely amazing to see these gigantic animals so close to the shore and to experience their playful nature.

So before this story gets cold (like my food almost did while I was enchanted by the whales breaching), I would love to share one of my favourite finds- Burgundy Restaurant in Marine Drive, Hermanus.

We arrived just in time for lunch on a Saturday and found the perfect spot where we could sip some delicious Sauvignon Blanc from Wijnskool (at only R35 per glass!). We love the terrace area where we could watch the whales frolic while enjoying our lunch but the interior dining area is also gorgeously decorated and features a beautiful grand piano. The host and staff are amazing, and it speaks of well trained staff if they know exactly how to be helpful without becoming overbearing.

The menu features seafood, salads and sandwiches together with some mouthwatering desserts and an impressive list of wines. An added touch is the wine tasting that awaits you at the door where you can have a taste of the wine of the day and order a glass or bottle as you walk in. This is especially great when you are in the mood to try something new, but the menu descriptions don’t really cut it for you and I wish more restaurants would follow suit, simply because I am indecisive and very bad at picking something based on a description in the menu.

Here’s a quick summary of Burgundy Restaurant

  • Location: Marine Drive, Hermanus, Western Cape
  • Menu: Seafood, salads, soups, desserts, quick bites, coffees and wine
  • What to drink: Drink wine! Try the “tasting” if you are looking for something new.
  • Caters for: seafood lovers, holiday goers and sweet-toothed diners. Some vegetarian options available
  • Price range: R80- R100 per person (or less). We paid R450 for two main courses, two glasses of wine, two desserts and two coffees. Seriously budget friendly especially because their seafood is out of this world and priced so well.
  • Go if: you are in the mood for a lazy lunch, sipping wine and looking at the ocean. Lunch time is pretty popular so go early and hang around.
  • Don’t go if: you are not a fan of seafood and wine. But with all the options, everyone should find something they like.

I completely fell in love with Hermanus, and with this restaurant. One of my top favourite must-visit spots! Take some friends and family out and enjoy this friendly restaurant, I know you wil

l love it as much as I did!

And don’t forget to show the world some love!

 

Let’s Lunch @ Knead Bakery

Since The Club shopping centre opened in Hazelwood, the space has been alive with shopping, friends meeting for drinks and ladies who lunch stopping by for manis and pedis. I have heard so many people talk about the great places to eat, so I decided to drop by for lunch today.

I walked into the Knead Bakery, following my nose! The scent of fresh bread and coffee took me right into this gorgeous little eatery. The moment I walked in, I was sold on the setting. There is space to sit inside or outside and the dining area is small enough to be cosy, but large enough to feel uncluttered. A plus point was the blankets hanging over the chairs, because although lunch time in Pretoria is not cold, it’s always good to know there is an option to snuggle in when the weather turns.

I loved the fact that the space was quiet even in the busy shopping centre. The hum of the huge bread ovens and creak of wooden tables made me feel like I was sitting in someone’s kitchen. The staff and manager were all incredibly friendly and the service was great. It always impresses me when waiters know when to drop by and when to leave you alone.

I had a coffee (it was a skinny cappuccino with brown sugar kind of day!) and a delicious bacon and cheese quiche served with salad and chips. The order was absolutely huge, more than enough for a take away bite.

You can also pop in for an early breakfast (with special prices between 7am and 8am, Monday- Friday), grab some delicious bread to go or settle in for a catch up session with dinner and cocktails. They also serve wine and craft beers along with desserts and other yummy coffee options. I love that they have vegetarian, gluten free and low carb dishes. It makes lunch with friends so much easier because I have a lot of picky eaters in my circle.

Here’s a quick summary of Knead Bakery:

  • Location: Hazelwood, Pretoria
  • Menu: Anything from breakfast to cocktails –the bakery serves artisan breads, breakfast, salads, sandwiches, soup, pastas, pies, bunny chows, brownies, cookies and apple crumble
  • What to drink: A variety of coffees, teas, wine and cocktails.
  • Caters for: Vegetarian, early breakfast, gluten free and low carb
  • Price range: R80- R100 per person
  • Go if: you are in the mood for good food and you have many different appetites to please
  • Don’t go if: you don’t eat bread or if you are looking for a small bite to eat, the portions are quite big- but takeaways are fine!

If you ever stop by, remember to let me know what you thought of this lovely little hideout!

Let’s Lunch @ Fabled Foods in Kramerville

I’ve been a regular “Sandtonite” for about four years now. I travel around in Jozi quite often, my offices are in Woodmead and my boyfriend lives in Sandton, so I am not a stranger to the area. I have also been shopping for home goodies in Kramerville in the past, but to my shame I have missed all the wonderful places to eat for way too long.

I recently had some time to spare between meetings and decided to catch up on some emails while having lunch. Something lead me to Kramerville and I decided to venture into Fabled Foods in Desmond street.

At first I thought that I had taken a wrong entrance and ended up in someone’s garden. Two ladies-who-lunch were already sipping on huge glasses of white wine in the sun while little birds chattered away in the trees close by and I decided that even if it were someone’s garden, I was going to stay!

I am ecstatic at this find! Even during peak lunch hour, the place was quiet and serene. The dining area is on the “stoep” of the building, right outside of the gorgeous little antiques shop and although their menu is limited, the food is wonderful.

I had a filter coffee (no skinny cappuccino’s or tall-no fat-mocha-soya-lattes available) and a grilled chicken breast sandwich which may sound like a simple, beige kind of lunch, but the flavors were amazing. The sandwich was finished off with a “lemony” kind of mayonnaise together with some wild rocket. The coffee was absolutely delicious, and so was the little bits of biscotti that came with it!

This eatery is the lunch time equivalent of a quick spa treatment. The peaceful garden setting was so inviting that I am contemplating my next visit already and I paid under R80 for a decent sized sandwich and two cups of great coffee which is doable. The added bonus is that there are two extremely friendly (read well-behaved) Shar Peis roaming around the garden which makes it feel like home! For a quick escape from the hectic office environment, I would definitely recommend Fabled Foods.

Here’s a quick summary of Fabled Foods:

  • Location: Kramerville
  • Menu: Basic (no substitutions) – serves Breakfast, salads, sandwiches and some dessert options
  • What to drink: Filter coffee, variety of teas and flavored water
  • Caters for: Vegetarian
  • Price range: R80- R100 per person
  • Size: Seats 30 max
  • Go if: you are in the mood to kick back and enjoy a break from the rat-race
  • Don’t go if: you often rewrite the menu or if you have strict dietary requirements, the menu is set and patrons are politely asked to refrain from changing dishes to suit them

If you ever stop by, remember to let me know what you thought of this lovely little hideout!

Let’s lunch!

I am currently working on the first installment of something that I would love to make a regular feature on this blog- reviews of all the lovely little spots I discover that are prefect for a quick bite or a lazy lunch.

My work pace is very flexible and because I travel around a lot, I have the opportunity to discover all sorts of amazing places to enjoy lunch. Yes, I am one of those people who have lunch dates on their own. I also unpack my entire workstation and have coffee and conversations with clients all at once, it gets a little chaotic at times and I usually feel sorry for the waiters trying to find a spot to put my food.

That being said, I think I have a good idea of places that are “business lunch” friendly. In this feature, I will attempt to show you some new places you can visit when you feel like ditching the office cafeteria or even new spaces to invade when you are not working in the office.

A new-ish development that I have become aware of is places that like to go “unplugged” during lunch time. This basically means no free wi-fi and no laptops allowed in their dining area (some only enforce this during lunch hours, some are quite insistent on this rule, all the time!). The idea of this feature is to show you places that are not “unplugged” during lunch time, so you know exactly where to head when you are craving a bite that isn’t served out of a polystyrene container in the cafeteria. If the specific eatery is “unplugged” during lunch or they prefer not to host business lunches, I will be sure to make that quite clear.

If there is something specific that you would love to know, please comment below so I can add it to my criteria.  I hope you enjoy this feature as much as I am going to enjoy having lunch at a thousand different places.

Now, off to lunch we go!