Tag Archives: chicken

Best of G’Town: Milkshake hotspot

Mmmm milkshakes. I used to think that Bar One milkshakes was about as extreme and amazing as you could get (there is no disputing that they are fabulous, though). Then I found Red Café, and I was completely blown away.

Peanut butter milkshakes to blow you away, strawberry and banana smoothie (Pam thinks she's healthy). Bar One milkshake next to a peppermint crisp milkshake which tastes just like the dessert.

Peanut butter milkshakes to blow you away, strawberry and banana smoothie (Pam thinks she’s healthy). Bar One milkshake next to a peppermint crisp milkshake which tastes just like the dessert.

They have your traditional chocolate and vanilla, but then they also have Milo, Horlicks, and even peanut butter milkshakes! It’s like a perfect peanut smoothie, but it’s a milkshake, so it’s better. Then they have Dessert Milkshakes, which include peppermint crisp (Peppermint Surprise for those students who live in res at Rhodes University), Bar One and Oreo (cookies and cream is always a winner). They also serve smoothies if you would prefer to appear healthy, but they taste so great that it’s hard to believe it’s healthy fruity ingredients.

They have a charming breakfast menu, but the food menu is dominated by tramezzinis and baguettes. Their tramezzinis are definitely the better option, though, as they crisp up nicely, while the baguettes are rather bland… They also do salads and cater for certain fussy diets.

Breakfast wrap and a breakfast tramezzini, same filling, different outside. The wrap itself was somewhat bland, so it is better to have the cheese, scrambled egg and bacon in it's crispy tramezzini form.

Breakfast wrap and a breakfast tramezzini, same filling, different outside. The wrap itself was somewhat bland, so it is better to have the cheese, scrambled egg and bacon in it’s crispy tramezzini form.

They have a charming breakfast menu, but the food menu is dominated by tramezzinis and baguettes. Their tramezzinis are definitely the better option, though, as they crisp up nicely, while the baguettes are rather bland… They also do salads and cater for certain fussy diets.

Darren enjoyed a chicken mayo tramezzini, which was full to bursting with more than just a chicken mayo filling - there was cheese and I think they even crammed some mushrooms in there. The chocolate brownie was one of the greatest in Grahamstown for sure

Darren enjoyed a chicken mayo tramezzini, which was full to bursting with more than just a chicken mayo filling – there was cheese and I think they even crammed some mushrooms in there.
The chocolate brownie was one of the greatest in Grahamstown for sure

My first port of call, though, is the sweets and treats, obviously. Brownies, millionairs shortbread and an assortment of cakes go down a treat. My latest delight there was a chocolate brownie that was delicious. I couldn’t figure out if it was a especially gooey brownie, or slightly under-done; either way, it totally worked.

Red Café is definitely under-appreciated, though it does receive a steady amount of business by the sounds of things. It’s a pity about their open times, but it is understandable for a café to not be open for dinner; their menu doesn’t lend itself to that as much. Their food is consistently improving, providing reliable deliciousness – keep it simple and you’ll definitely get it right more often. Their location and set up is also ideal – the balcony overlooking the high street is quaint and cool (under the shade at least) for a hot summers day with a shake or a smoothie.

They have a unique balcony with a charming view. Here I enjoyed a roast chicken and cheese baguette with an Oreo milkshake.

They have a unique balcony with a charming view.
Here I enjoyed a roast chicken and cheese baguette with an Oreo milkshake.

Dining Hall dinners can’t be all that bad… Can they?

Dining hall dinners are the biggest challenge for the fussy eaters in Res. You can have chicken, or something whose name you don’t recognise… And more often than not, people will order anything, and just grab slices of bread to make a sandwich, or they will organise something in their room, like microwave pasta, 2 minute noodles, or take-aways. At least the lunches aren’t quite this bad.

This is a collection of most of the dinners I experience on our two week meal cycle.

Week 1

Chicken stew and dumpling (but actually it's just a ball of flavourless dough that apparently tastes ok if you add stuff to it)

Chicken stew and dumpling (but actually it’s just a ball of flavourless dough that apparently tastes ok if you add stuff to it)

Tuesday: Bean wrap (vegetarian option)

Tuesday: Bean wrap (vegetarian option)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday: One of the good ones: Grilled sirloin with cheesecake (some of the best we could know)

Wednesday: One of the good ones: Grilled sirloin with cheesecake (some of the best we could know)

Thursday: "Grilled chicken strips" with health bread (pretty darn good bread)

Thursday: “Grilled chicken strips” with health bread (pretty darn good bread)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday: roast chicken again

Friday: roast chicken again

Saturday: Chicken schnitzel. One of those meals that reminds me of home. Generally the rice is also done quite nicely as well

Saturday: Chicken schnitzel. One of those meals that reminds me of home. Generally the rice is also done quite nicely as well

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday: tuna wraps with tomato and mozzarella cheese. This one is quite delicious if you like tuna

Sunday: tuna wraps with tomato and mozzarella cheese. This one is quite delicious if you like tuna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 2

Monday: chicken stirfry (looks just like the grilled chicken strips, but ok) with a wrap and an apple crumble-type dessert

Monday: chicken stirfry (looks just like the grilled chicken strips, but ok) with a wrap and an apple crumble-type dessert

Tuesday: chicken curry. This was definitely on a bad day, not the most appetising piece of chicken I've seen

Tuesday: chicken curry. This was definitely on a bad day, not the most appetising piece of chicken I’ve seen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday: Sweet potatoes with grilled soya sausages (yes vegetarian option). It comes with chocolate mousse. This one is a good one, especially because you score some cheese with those protein-packed viennas

Wednesday: Sweet potatoes with grilled soya sausages (yes vegetarian option). It comes with chocolate mousse. This one is a good one, especially because you score some cheese with those protein-packed viennas

Saturday: Cape Malay style mutton curry. This can be a good meal, but one can be put off sometimes by the fatty or gristly bits that occasionally put a dampener on the meal

Saturday: Cape Malay style mutton curry. This can be a good meal, but one can be put off sometimes by the fatty or gristly bits that occasionally put a dampener on the meal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday: Mexican enchiladas. Basically another vegetarian bean wrap. But hey: cheese is always a win

Sunday: Mexican enchiladas. Basically another vegetarian bean wrap. But hey: cheese is always a win

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 2

I suppose when I look at it like this it really isn’t that bad… But the lunches are definitely better. I also feel that they really skimp on the vegetables. When I ask for lots of vegetables, I get a normal sized serving. When I ask for less rice, or a small amount of rice, they halve it, and I still end up getting served more than I would if I had dished it up myself. I only have a few more weeks in this town, not many more dinner cycles left. I will enjoy my last days here! The food isn’t bad enough to change that.

Also be warned that I need to review just about every restaurant in this town before that time is up, so much delicious content is on its way.

Twing – the only real sushi restaurant in town

Bear with me on the title as it is not the only place in Grahamstown that one can buy sushi from, but it is the only restaurant where sushi is their key dish, their initial reason for existing. That is, until I discovered their deep fried ice cream with is heaven in a bowl, drizzled with condensed milk. It is the best desert I have ever had, end of story. And then there are a couple prologues where I go into pecan nut tarts and cheesecakes and other puddings that blow me away, but we won’t go into that just yet.

Chop sticks are great, aren't they?

Chop sticks are great, aren’t they?

We will return to the sushi. I was never a fan of sushi, up until about a year ago, when I decided that I needed to get over my allergy to fish, and broaden my culinary horizons. My first sushi sample was average. My second followed suit. It was only on my third attempt that I really started to appreciate the delicacy, now that I was over the really weird texture and rather fishy flavour that I just wasn’t used to in general. But from that day, I was sold, a true fan. Condemned to a town where the only place worth buying sushi from (where I have not heard reports of people falling ill from eating the sushi) is Twing.

Maki Monday: an assortment of Maki as a special

Maki Monday: an assortment of Maki as a special

Twing has a great look about it. It has expanded into a separate upstairs and downstairs, where the latter hosts the cool green sushi bar, and the upstairs provides a comfortable setting for other Eastern delights, such as dim sum, soups, and noodles. I absolutely love noodles, and Twing Wok (the upstairs section) offers a wide range of noodle and rice dishes, with a number of different sauce options as well; one is truly spoiled for choice. And it tastes pretty wonderful too, as long as bitter taste of the price doesn’t ruin your appetite.

Noodles are the greatest! Here is a sample of chicken noodles in "Japanese" (soy) sauce (left) alongside the pork with fried rice (right)

Noodles are the greatest! Here is a sample of chicken noodles in “Japanese” (soy) sauce (left) alongside the pork with fried rice (right)

A similar thing can be said for the sushi: they most certainly have the monopoly for sushi suppliers in Grahamstown, and they exploit that extensively: it is nearly double the price of most sushi in Johannesburg, and about two thirds of the size. This is disappointing, but when you need your sushi fix, and if you can afford it, it really is worth it.

Teeny fix of sushi goodness

Teeny fix of sushi goodness

What is also really great about Twing, is that they deliver. They do free delivery, and they even bring their card machine, which makes it really easy and convenient to buy lots of delicious sushi. It’s a great service.

Salmon California rolls are probably my favourite

Salmon California rolls are probably my favourite

Sushi in general is an expensive venture, wherever you decide to enjoy it, and if you happen to be in Grahamstown, then Twing is a good idea if you need that fix. If you aren’t a fan of sushi, their noodles and rice dishes are also really delicious, so treat yourself to some prawns with udon noodles and Chinese sweet and sour sauce – totally worth it.

Lovely assortment of salmon samples: fashion sandwiches, California rolls, and Delux rainbox rolls

Lovely assortment of salmon samples: fashion sandwiches, California rolls, and Delux rainbow rolls

The best pizza in the country… Apparently

Public holidays are great, especially when you get given money to buy whatever food you want. Granted, it was a limited amount, but still, it’s money that you didn’t have before, and if you were smart, you spread it out nicely over a few meals. Unlike me, who spent it all in one excursion. This is not a bad thing though. It’s not every day you get an opportunity to visit a place you’ve never been before, AND get to try what has been dubbed as the best pizza in the country. So all in all it was a pretty successful midweek public holiday.

When people hear that I’m studying in Grahamstown or the Eastern Cape, they immediately ask if I’ve been to the big pineapple. I still haven’t been to see it, but at least now I can say I’ve been to the dorp that it is situated in, Bathurst. This is kind of a big deal because it is only a 30 minute drive away, it’s unfortunate that I hadn’t been sooner.

Wood fired pizza ovens make the best kinds of pizza

Wood fired pizza ovens make the best kinds of pizza

Pic-Kwik’s menu proclaims “Best pizza in South Africa”, and, as a pizza-lover, this really had me excited. The people I went there with had been there two weeks earlier, and they kept raving about it, although this could have been to make me jealous as well. We sat down for our lunch in the dying-summer sun, in a garden adorned with hair curlers, computer keyboards, and all sorts of other incredibly random items. It certainly had character.

What can you spot in the tree?

What can you spot in the tree?

At times like this, you need to ensure that you don’t waste time deliberating: pick the first thing that you see that appeals to you on the menu. I chose a Milo milkshake, and it was definitely a great choice. I had misgivings at first after I had placed my order and proceeded to peruse the rest of the beverage menu, but I was not disappointed when my milkshake came. You can’t go wrong with that malt-y goodness. It kinda makes me miss Milo Krushers from KFC, but then I realised the milkshake was better. So that says something, if you’ve ever tried one of those Krushers.

Possibly the best drink on the menu

Possibly the best drink on the menu

We had a meander around the second-hand/antique goods store. They had the most wonderful assortment of bizarre things in there, some of which kind of freaked me out (clowns!) and some which truly fascinated me and my friends (“I think it’s a coffee grinder…” “Actually I think it’s a butter churner…” We never got conclusive evidence for what it actually was). Then there were the classic items: old coins, and old type writer, a mix match of mugs, and what could likely be first editions of some of the greatest classic books.

The clown... it's staring at you...

The clown… it’s staring at you…

I don't even understand...

I don’t even understand…

"I have no idea what this is..."

“I have no idea what this is…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So much junk!

So much junk!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They even had old records (LPs?)

They even had old records (LPs?)

Old school

Old school

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the pizza finally came, there was a flurry (at least for me) to swop pieces with my company. That crispy thin base, that melted cheese, those assortments of toppings: all things that make me happy for the existence of pizza. I had a Southwell, named after a place that we drove past on the way to Bathurst. Bacon and chicken is what had me going for it, they’re not paired up often enough at conventional pizza places, and I do think I will do it again next time I get to “make-my-own”.

My Southwell - Bacon and chicken pizza

My Southwell – Bacon and chicken pizza

It was good, don’t get me wrong. Unfortunately, I think they could have done more with it. The bacon was clearly bacon, and it tasted pretty much like bacon, but it didn’t have that happiness-in-a-pan bacon flavour, the one that makes your whole house smell like bacon. The chicken had a similar problem: there was nothing special to it, it pretty much tasted just like cooked chicken, which is a good thing, but it’s also how it should be, so nothing beyond expectations of a cooked meal. Those two ingredients were thus merely average. As a pizza though, it was great: deliciously melted cheese, a trickily thin base that was successfully crispified, but not burnt, and not chewy. Overall, a well-made pizza, with cooked toppings.

Possibly the second best pizza of the day

Possibly the second best pizza of the day

The Salami bomb pizza, with some additional garlic and peppadews

The Salami bomb pizza, with some additional garlic and peppadews

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Mmmm, cooked pineapple

Spinach pizza

Spinach pizza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other pizzas were quite nice as well. The Salami Bomb was subtly meaty, the spinach and feta pizza somehow ended up a bit soggy in one patch, but, so long as you really enjoy the taste of spinach, it was a good pizza, one that knew just how to emphasise spinach flavour. The other to pizzas don’t stand out in my memory apart from: cooked pineapple (I’m not a fan…) on the one, and peppadews on the other, which complemented the meat on that pizza quite well.

Definitely worth the trip though, if you enjoy pizza. It certainly deserves to be near the top of the pizza crop in South Africa, but not quite in first position.

Dessert was an educational experience: Dutch Speculaas – a traditional spicy tart-cake thing with almonds. This was my first time hearing about it, and I was told that it involved chocolate, so I was almost disappointed by the cinnamon-y gingerness I found. It turned out to be great, however. I need to learn how to make this and publish the recipe so that you can enjoy this little piece of yumminess from my country.

Not quite a chocolate tart like I had been led to believe, but a deliciously spicy traditional (apparently) pudding

Not quite a chocolate tart like I had been led to believe, but a deliciously spicy traditional (apparently) pudding

It was a public holiday well-spent, and definitely worth the visit for anyone passing nearby. It needs to build a reputation like that of the Pig and Whistle across the way (which I have also yet to visit…), so that everyone will learn to appreciate great pizza, and share my love for great food.