Quirky Jo’burg Street Food

Clever wordplay got me to visit Sumting Fresh, a diner-like restaurant that knows everything there is to know about street food. If I only knew what I was getting into…

When I first heard about Sumting Fresh, I thought: “Hey, another healthy eatery in town!” To my surprise, that was not exactly the case. The name rather suggests that its menu is fresh. New. Unique. Different. What it doesn’t suggest is that almost everything on the menu is deep-fried, which I suppose is what street food is all about.

What started out as street food trucks at local markets, evolved into a quirky, yellow-framed, diner-style eatery in Norwoord, Johannesburg. Sumting Fresh has been catering to people in Jo’burg’s streets for about 2 years now, with a menu that seems to be ever evolving as customers dine and comment.

Chef Andrew says things have changed a lot since they originally started. A menu that was initially launched with very similar items to that of other food trucks at local markets, evolved into a menu that features Sumting Fresh in comparison to the usual street food options available at markets, festivals and events.

Their jam jars are delightful with choices like Elderflower, Grinadella Passion and Kiwi Apple – all very refreshing and delicious. A popular newcomer to the menu is the Cheese Burger Springrolls and you’d be surprised at how many other things they have found to deep-fry. From deep-fried Mac and Cheese Balls drizzled with a tomato salsa and cheese to Gua Bao (two Taiwanese steamed buns with crumbed, deep-fried chicken) and much more.

I believe the word “fresh” has got a new meaning. At least at Sumting Fresh it has.

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New SAA Voyager Cheque Card – What you need to know

Travellers always want to know how they can stretch their budgets and get more out of their trips while simultaneously spending less.

South African Airways officially launched their SAA Voyager Cheque Card in collaboration with Nedbank this week. Obviously, as a frequent traveller, I wanted to know if this card would really be beneficial to my pocket and if it would be worth my while to hop on over and get one.

As SAA CEO, Vuyani Jarana explains, the card is a great add-on to SAA‘s initiatives in delivering unmatched customer experiences. With this card “there is no need to increase or have a credit spend.” Mike Brown, Nedbank‘s CEO, adds to that when he says that the card is “a symbol for real customer value.”

With travel being an increasing aspiration worldwide, I wanted to know how I will be able to manage my travel money with this card and what the pitfalls are. Here are the main things you need to know:

  • You get a Voyager mile for every R1. 60 spent.
  • The card has a companion ticket benefit, which gives you the opportunity to pay for your partner’s ticket with your miles. This can only happen, though, if you have reached your spending thresholds and you only get one companion ticket per calendar year. You can get an additional companion ticket if your SAA Voyager Premium Card spend exceeds R1million per calendar year.
  • Your miles expire after three years, so be sure to use them when you can and use them well.
  • It is the only cheque card that earns you Voyager miles.
  • A Premium Cheque Card’s membership fees are R170 per month, where a gold cheque card will cost R60 per month. The credit card will cost R2040 per annum.
  • By using this American Express card, you get the fastest miles earn rate.
  • You get 19 000 bonus miles with the purchase of your first SAA ticket. (These points are, however, only rewarded on completion of that trip).
  • You can earn up to 15 000 bonus miles annually if you spend R300 000 or more.
  • A premium card gains you access to SAA-owned departure lounges. This includes access for companion ticket holders when they accompany you (the primary card holder).
  • With this card you also get premium check-in, irrespective of your class of travel, when travelling on SAA flights.
  • You also get always on-flight discounts on selected SAA flights and promotional flight discounts of up to 40%.
  • In addition to on-flight and promotional flight discounts, you also get 20% discount on top-up travel insurance.

nedbank.co.za/saacheque

How to save Valentine’s Day

This year is going way too fast for me. So fast that even I, quite the fan of Valentine’s Day despite all the red hearts and cheesy love bears, forgot that it’s today.

So, the question is: How do I save the day?

There is still time for a couple of rescue dates. Consider these:

Couples Cooking Class

If you live in Jo’burg, book yourselves a couples cooking class with the Wooden Spoon Kitchen. The evening includes a welcome drink. You’ll also learn how to make maki rolls with pickled ginger and soy sauce, Vietnamese spring rolls with hoisin and peanut butter dip, as well as mango and lime sorbet with passion fruit.

Cost: R900 per couple

Date: 15 February 2019

Venue: 51 Eleven Street, Linden

Time: 18:00 – 21:00

Contact info@woodenspoonkitchen.co.za 

 

Steenberg Bubbly Tasting

Enjoy a complimentary pairing of note at Steenberg Farm, the Cape’s first farm. Enjoy a magical, romantic pairing of Steenberg’s blushing Pinot Noir Rose Méthode Cap Classique and heavenly macaroons. This tasting will be available at Steenberg’s tasting room from today until Sunday, 17 February 2019.

www.steenbergfarm.com

Bring the Cape up North

Not from the Cape, but still feel like enjoying a good bottle of bubbly or wine? Try Kleine Zalze‘s 2018 Cinsault Rosé (R56). It is an easy drinking wine, the ideal summer companion, and can be enjoyed on its own or with a spread of fresh summery snacks. It’s perfect for a picnic under the stars (if the rain allows). Or, if you are feeling in the mood for a dark red, consider Alto‘s Rouge 2016 (R112). It displays powerful berry fruit with cigar box and dark chocolate flavours, followed by vanilla and oak spices. Light a fire, create a romantic ambiance, prepare a tasty red meat dish at home and enjoy each other’s company.

A Homely Setting for a Hearty Meal

The Hussar Grill franchise has been around for many years and it suits Paarl’s streets perfectly.

Nestled between old trees and vines, The Hussar Grill in Paarl has much more to offer than good steak. I must admit, I wished it was winter while visiting, as the fireplace looked all too cozy and the warm ambiance was perfect for those wet winters of the Cape.

The Hussar Grill franchise is celebrating its 50th birthday this year and with it comes a lot of perks for diners, including a fine bottle of birthday wine. Couple this with a well prepared steak or even some of their other dishes like their Parmesan Chicken – a lovely meal for someone who would rather keep it light. It wasn’t in the cards to go for dessert too, but when the waitress (bless her) brought the menu and asked if we’d like dessert, I spotted it: Baked Cheese Cake. I’m a sucker, I know, but it was so worth it. It came with ice cream – the vanilla seeds clearly visible in those scoops of indulgence – and a small glass filled with a mixture of chocolate sauce, vodka and cream. I know, right?

It might be Paarl’s historic buildings and oak lined streets that add to the ambiance, but The Hussar Grill‘s interior creates an an old world charm with loads of books and antique artifacts that are perfectly positioned. The furniture and bottle green couches fit in well with this nostalgic setting and the wine bottles, stacked up against the walls, add that final touch. Dark wooden tables and homely fireplaces round off the overall ambiance of the restaurant – a homely setting for a hearty meal.

South Africa’s premier grill room, The Hussar Grill, will be sharing some of the expertise behind its successful 50-year legacy in a series of Steak Masterclasses. Aspirant cooks and foodies are welcome to attend these stand-alone evening events, which will be held in a professional kitchen at the prestigious Silwood School of Cookery in Cape Town, South Africa’s oldest cookery school.

To book your place, contact Azraa Bedford, the Academic Manager at Silwood Cookery School on +27 (0)21 686 4894 or visit http://www.silwood.co.za/.

South Africa – The perfect bleisure destination

South Africa certainly has it sorted when it comes to the bleisure trend. In fact, Sisa Ntshona, CEO of South African Tourism and member of the advisory board of The United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s QUEST program (focusing on leadership and governance within Destination Management Organisations) says it’s a fact that people who visit South Africa for trade shows, tend to stay for longer or they return and bring their families.

Here is why you should combine your business trip to South Africa with some leisure time and activities:

Semi- or fully sponsored trip

Seeing that your company is already sponsoring the business part of your trip, you should have some extra cash to spend on leisure activities. Make it the adventure of a lifetime – take a trip to the beautiful Western Cape, drive the Garden Route, fly up North to the Kruger National Park or halt halfway at the majestic and super underrated Drakensberg.

Family friendly

South Africa has always been a family friendly destination and even while travelling for business, there are always ways in which you can combine it with a holiday. In fact, it is the best excuse to bring them along and show them what the country has to offer.

Scout and set up

Scouting has never been so much fun. See why your next meeting or exhibition should be hosted in South Africa and make a proper trip of it.

Competitive destination

Because of the bleisure trend that is so well nestled into what South Africa has to offer, South Africa is a highly competitive destination to host events and meetings in.

The know-how

South Africa has been investing in its MICE industry for quite some time. In fact, the Meetings Africa business events trade show that is coming up has been hosted here for 12 years and it has grown and attained competitive strength in the global market. Visiting this event will show you why South Africa is capable of hosting world-class business events and meetings.

Packaged for you

Many travel companies and hospitality specialists will admit to doing in-depth research into what business travellers expect from a visit to South Africa. This, in effect, allows them to tailor make packages for you, including both the best business and leisure experiences to your liking. Tsogo Sun, for one, is definitely one of the leaders in the field of customer profiling and the designing of customized experiences.

Sustaining and developing

With these things on everyone’s lips worldwide, greening, sustaining, uplifting and developing the environment and South Africa’s economy is certainly top of mind. Supporting initiatives and entrepreneurial enterprises that are key in getting these things done, are reason enough to take a bleisure trip to the sunny South.

Job creation

Bringing business to South Africa obviously means creating more jobs. Your leisure activities, in addition to your meetings and business endeavors, put bread on one or two families’ tables.

These upcoming trade shows are also another reason to visit South Africa:

Meetings Africa | 25 – 27 February 2019, Johannesburg

Seamless Africa | 12 – 13 March 2019, Cape Town

Decorex | 21 – 24 March 2019, Durban

IBTM Africa | 10 – 12 April 2019, Cape Town

International Luxury Travel Market Africa | 10 – 12 April 2019, Cape Town

World Travel Market Africa | 10 – 12 April 2019, Cape Town

Indaba | 7 – 9 May 2019, Durban

Carry-on’s never been this easy

Like any frequent traveller, I am always on the lookout for luggage that is durable, user friendly and suitable for my travel needs. It’s also a bonus when everything I need to take with can fit into one bag that can be stowed in an overhead compartment.

THULE Subterra Carry-On Credit: Renate Engelbrecht

Travel needs also continuously changes as life changes. Since our baby girl was born, I inevitably had to re-evaluate the practicality of my luggage. If there is one thing that can really get on my nerves, it is struggling with something which should be assisting you. The same goes for luggage – it is there to assist you in transporting your valuables, not to frustrate you with wheels that can’t carry the weight, zips that break or impractical design. I’ve been looking for something that could tick all the boxes in terms of comfort when it comes to travelling. Something that is easy to carry and pull; durable, but not heavy; with handles placed at comfortable angles and in sensible positions considering picking up, pulling and taking out of vehicles and overhead stowage and something that would stand the test of time, because boy, oh, boy, travelling has become expensive!

The latest addition to my luggage collection has proven to be quite handy for multiple travel needs. Whether I travel with my family or for work, the THULE Subterra Carry-On has become my go-to carry-on bag as it is light and durable with its interior brilliantly designed. It’s also quite presentable, which helps me to travel in style.

THULE Subterra Carry-On Credit: Renate Engelbrecht

I’ve found that this carry-on bag is perfect for bleisure travel, as it has a divided main compartment, which assists in keeping your work outfits from your play outfits or clean clothes from dirty clothes.

THULE Subterra Carry-On Credit: Renate Engelbrecht

Travelling with a hat often frustrates me, as I don’t want to wear it indoors, but I like to keep it close for when we get on and off the plane and carrying it by hand is just a schlep. With THULE’s Subterra Carry-On‘s piggyback strap, which can easily be attached and removed, I can travel with at least one hand free.

The bag’s wheels seem to be larger than the norm, making it much easier to pull and they are of really good quality too. So is the handle, which can be adjusted, as well as the bag’s exoskeleton and polycarbonate back panel.

Travelling with THULE has made an immense difference on the way I pack and travel. It’s easier and more organised and it calms the nerves.

THULE Subterra Carry-On C

 

Venue: Menlyn Boutique HotelCarry-On: THULE SA | Flower print dress: EdgarsBlack shoes: Sissy BoyJeans: EdgarsLace top: Pick ‘n Pay ClothingSneakers: SovietGray dress: Pick ‘n Pay ClothingRing: PandoraWatch: HuaweiEarrings: Lovisa | Hat: Woolworths

Christmas is in the air with Nespresso

Okay, I’ll admit it. The fairy lights and Christmas carols around every corner are some of the things that brighten up my day this time of the year. Not the kitsch Santa toys, bright red and green decorations and one-line Christmas jingles – the more sophisticated kind of Christmas things. I mean, have you seen the beautiful decor items at @Home this year? Even Santa’s Warehouse has a few more sophisticated wooden Christmas items among all the brightly coloured and flickering lights.

And, have you seen what Nespresso has to offer for the Season? They’ve got a few options to choose from too:

Parisian-Inspired Coffee and Petit Fours

There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about the Festive Season that tantalises our senses and heightens our expectations, so why not up the ante and treat your loved ones to Parisian-inspired coffee and petit fours? Nespresso has launched their annual Limited Edition Variations coffees, made with Parisian treats in mind. These coffees, inspired by the traditional French flavours of Parisian patisseries, including Macaron and Praliné, are the crème de la crème of decadent delight. These treats are perfect for any summer soiree.

Try this recipe:

Paris Praliné Indulgence

1 Capsule Variations Paris Praline, brewed as an espresso

100 ml Milk

1 tsp Hazelnut Crumbs

1 tsp Dark Chocolate Shavings

2 tsp Chocolate Spread

How to: 

Pour 2 tsp of chocolate spread into a cup. Extract the coffee over it. Froth your milk and pour on top of the coffee. Sprinkle some hazelnut crumbs and dark chocolate shavings on top.

Enjoy!

Picnic with Iced Coffee

A tip for your iced coffee: Infuse ice cubes with interesting flavoured syrups. As the day gets warmer and the ice melts, your drink will slowly, but surely change flavour.

Road Trip!

Appreciate what our country has to offer and take on the open road with a great playlist, good company and a couple of charged Nespresso travel mugs with your favourite brew.

Pool Plunger

Who said you can’t have coffee by the pool? A refreshing iced coffee cocktail sounds like the way to go. Here is a recipe to try:

Variations Paris Macaron with Almond Milk

1 capsule Variations Paris Macaron, brewed as Espresso

30 ml Almond Milk

10 ml Almond Syrup

4 Ice cubes

How to:

Pour the almond syrup into a cup. Place 4 big ice cubes in the glass. Pour in the almond milk. Extract the coffee over it. Add the remaining two ice cubes and mix.

There you have it. A coffee-filled Christmas – two of my favourites at once. Bam!

Buy these Variations at Nespresso Boutiques and Booths nationwide, from The Nespresso Club on 0800 637773 or online at https://www.buynespresso.com/