Category Archives: Reviews

Cadbury Marvellous Creations Pop Up Store

Perhaps this is my way of pining over the chocolate that I haven’t had since I started taking my healthy kick seriously… I’ve been really good, feasting on chocolate-flavoured healthy treats, think protein shakes and nutty energy bites and granola bars with the merest suggestion of chocolate drizzled on… I’ve been really good and I am starting to see some really motivating results. It’s really me fighting the internal battle of whether or not chocolate tastes as good as strong feels…

Last month, before this commitment began, we went through to the Cadbury Marvellous Creations Pop Up store in Sandton City. Pop up stores are obviously all the craze at the moment… This one was by far the most value for money, though they are all done pretty effectively and there really is a full product experience all around.

CMCPU really gave you value though because all you had to do was buy the slab of chocolate, and then you get free treats afterwards, for TWO PEOPLE! So basically 3 treats for the price of one slab. I would definitely call that #winning.

Treat options were a block of shortbread, a mini cupcake (incl. icing) or a slab of chocolate. I chose the chocolate so that I could drizzle more melted chocolate on my chocolate and then top that with mini chocolates (crumbled cookies and astros). Chocolateception…

Bliss Juicery

There are so many delicious bakeries, coffee shops, fast food restaurants around, that it’s quite tough these days to find somewhere convenient to get something healthy to snack on, something quick that’s not loaded with sugar or salt or a million and one preservatives. I have recently found a delicious and unique solution to my problem, and it’s only 5 minutes away from work!

Bliss entrance

Bliss Juicery is tucked away in the Colony Shopping Centre in Craighall, Johannesburg, and has been operating from there since the beginning of the year. They started out as a cleanse-only delivery service, which has now upgraded to supplying ready juices, practically on demand. They still offer juice cleanses, and they deliver your order within 15km of the shop.

Shelves

Juice cleanses from Bliss Juicery involve drinking 6 juices per day, for your choice of 1, 3 or 5 days. They also offer nut milks for some added protein, which seems like it would offer some welcome relief from straight juice for the whole day. Their Vanilla Almond Milk is absolutely incredible – and so fresh as well, it’s amazing.

bliss snacks

Bliss guides first-time juicers through the process, pre-warning them about the potential (side) effects. Basically a cleanse is like a detox, so when you go on a cleanse, you may experience similar symptoms as a standard detox, which involves headaches, caffeine withdrawal (is that really a bad thing?), and hunger. Also, “hunger”: we eat out of habit or boredom. I think that would be a big deal for me to overcome…

Health

Their juice recipes are designed based on a combination of flavour and health-benefits, in conjunction with a dietician, so not only does it taste like it’s healthy (especially their broccoli, spinach and courgette juice), but it actually is!

Bliss stocks a range of other healthy snacks as well, for those who feel like they are missing out on fibre or just want something delicious to nosh on. My favourite is their stock of Raw’s Truly vegan and gluten free snacks, especially their truffles. My mind is reeling just thinking about them, I can barely put into words how amazing they are… *zones off into daydreams of the melted “chocolate” and creamy “caramel” centres*

Healthy snacking

I am really looking forward to this health trend that many new restaurants are picking up on. It really helps when you are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I hope to try a juice cleanse soon – hopefully flush my system of all the other delicious snacks I’m experimenting at the moment.

Those with hidden beginnings are often the ones who are focusing on what is most important.

Getting Lucky at the Good Luck Club

The Good Luck Club

And by lucky I mean free food, because we all know that that is the best score you can get.

I stumbled upon this neat little restaurant on a casual afternoon drive home from work when I was actually looking for another restaurant, and discovered that the Good Luck Club, which I had never heard of before, was going to be having a Grand Opening launching their new expansion. I wasn’t planning on staying for lunch, but a launch I could definitely count myself included in. And man, was I NOT disappointed.

 

The Good Luck Club has a branch in Illovo, so the quality of the food in this new branch in Emmarentia was unsurprisingly delightful. I love how the menu brings Asian cuisine into the suburbs of Jo’burg, without being too pretentious (although the restaurant was packed to the BRIM with hipsters on opening night – it was the craft beer they were there for, I’m sure of it!)

Good Luck Club Dumplings

After 2 hours of waiting (apparently everyone knew it was opening night) we were finally served our free dim sum platter of 6 dumplings in 3 varieties. Though they were late, they were still steaming hot, and coupled with a deliciously spicy dipping sauce.

It is cheaper than many of the Asian fusion restaurants that are popping up around Jo’burg, however it is still out of my price range at about R98 for the average main (so much, and just for noodles or curry!?) As a result, I had the miso soup for main. It was tiny, but full of flavour, and of course packed with protein-filled tofu. Mr Kendz had the Thai Chicken soup, which he was thrilled with: there was a delicate balance of coconut and undertones of subtle and beautifully combined flavours – not overwhelming, and really generous with the chicken. He was satisfied after his half of the dim sum platter and his soup, so it is still possible to make it a cheap date and get some great tasting good quality food.

Good Luck Club Miso Soup

Deep fried banana spring rolls with chocolate dipping sauce for dessert. Delicious (even though we got it before we even got our dim sum)

Deep fried banana spring rolls with chocolate dipping sauce for dessert. Delicious (even though we got it before we even got our dim sum)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The restaurant itself is stunning – it is simplistic, with concrete walls and simple wooden tables. The lights hang off the walls on neatly wound cords of wire (I’m sure it’s safe!), and there are Sir Cats on the wall. I would go there just for Sir Cat. He’s majestic.

One day when I’m big and rich I will go to restaurants like the Good Luck Club all the time! But for now, I will just save it for payday (along all the other exciting restaurants Jozi is tempting me with).

Bean Republic, Corlett Drive

You know those places that every time you drive past, you think to yourself: “I really need to go there!” Bean Republic is one of those places. The facade out onto Corlett drive is all wooden, echoing the trend of coffee shops everywhere these days, with huge green signage beckoning you in. The colour scheme and decor are reminiscent of Cuba, but owner Edwin Ndlovu explained that his coffee is absolutely not “single origin”, but rather a collection of coffee, a big coffee Republic, where the best of the best coffee comes together to give you great coffee. Under the supervision of experienced and passionate Edwin himself of course.

There are quotes and satirical fictional headlines from newspapers all around the shop, so you really get the feel that you might be in some sort of republic after all

There are quotes and satirical fictional headlines from newspapers all around the shop, so you really get the feel that you might be in some sort of republic after all

After years in the industry, Ndlovu finally decided he needed to branch out on his own and do the job better than the people around him, because why should customers receive anything less? Bean Republic has been open since November 2012. Edwin Ndlovu Despite the vibey exterior and his catchy enthusiasm, however, the coffee was a bit disappointing. The flavour wasn’t full or significant, leaving a slight taste of dirty water, as weak coffee tends to do. The interior also felt like it left much to be desired, with a greasy countertop and peeling menus. Apart from that let down, the interior was also a fun mix match of furniture which Ndlovu has developed a collection of over the past 20 years, since he started working towards his dream. Downstairs is a room that looks like it probably bustles with less mainstream entertainment, which Ndlovu has big plans for this year. Some of which includes wine and traditional food menus, poetry readings and other performances. Bean Republic Downstairs They didn’t have any cake when I was there, but their cake menu looked amazing. Ever had Hummingbird cake? I feel like I might just go back there to give it a try. Edwin was in the process of creating some pasta recipes to populate the menu, to accompany the rump steak and other main menu options. Their breakfast menu is also really extensive with a good range of recently repopularised recipes like frittatas and solid classics like French toast, all for a highly competitive price. This is important because lately all restaurants are charging so much for the most important meal of the day! It’s definitely worth giving a chance, even if it’s just to have a chat with Edwin. He says,

“For coffee to survive, tea must die”

While I’m quite a fan of tea (though my love for coffee hasn’t died either), his message has political undertones, which I encourage you to find more about when you pay him a visit.