Tag Archives: Winter Specials

River Café, Constantia Uitsig

23 Aug

9 am on Saturday. Not the time at which you’d normally find me out of bed and ready for breakfast, but friends’ birthdays are special and require extra effort. So it was off to the River Café. It was worth getting up early for the healthy breakfast and champagne (sorry, sparkling wine!).

Krone Borealis Brut was flowing with the fresh orange juice (I think myself quite the orange juice connoisseur, so it was definitely super fresh and delicious). The waiters were really attentive and kept our glasses topped up. Their smiles were constant, but unfortunately the lights were flickering. Sure enough, the electricity cut out, but luckily the River Café has a generator and the manager himself came to apologise to the table for the slight delay with our food.

The food was fabulous! My healthy breakfast was a massive plate of strawberries, grapefruit, kiwi, winter melon, pineapple, banana, apple, yoghurt panna cotta and muesli. I felt like I’d had my five servings of fruit for the day – stunning! The yoghurt panna cotta was smooth and delicious, contrasted to the crunchy muesli.

I must admit that while I was trying to be healthy, I was drooling over the fried up breakfasts around me – potato rösti, eggs and hollandaise sauce or eggs, sausages, mushrooms and all the fried-up goodness of traditional breakfasts. I missed the toast slathered in butter the most, so just had to sneak a piece!

The River Café has a beautiful setting, yummy food and friendly staff. The only thing I would improve is the coffee. It was a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday. Happy birthday, George!

If you get to the River Café before the 29th August, you can also enjoy their Winter Special of a three course meal and a carafe of wine for only R195. If it’s as good as the breakfast, I’m sure it’ll be well worth it.

The River Café: Constantia Uitsig, Spaanschemat Road, Constantia, 021 794 3010  Breakfasts: R40+ Service: Excellent and friendly. Open 7 days a week, but for dinner only Saturday to Wednesday.

Blonde

11 Aug

I love a bit of sophistication. I’m one of those girls who is as comfortable twirling a champagne flute as I am chugging a draft. Thank goodness Blonde satisfies my more refined side. My closest girlfriends and I have a dinner club. This year we changed from hosting each other in our homes to searching for the best deals in restaurants around town.

Blonde is spectacular. The ambience is relaxed, but has those lovely details like beautifully upholstered chairs and gorgeous thin-lipped wine glasses. Our waiter too made the evening, using words like, “soliloquy” when describing his specials speech. I’m a sucker for anyone who drops words like that into casual conversation.

 The food was delicious. I had a beautiful fillet infused with truffle oil, served with perfectly crispy risotto and parmesan balls. Wow, delish. The girls around me were equally delighted with their choices and a rare silence drifted over our table. Remember this is a group of 8 girls who have known each other for years, so silence is not easily accomplished!

 My pudding was a simple peach cobbler with vanilla mascarpone. The cinnamon flavours and the soft baked peach swirled in my mouth and it disappeared rather too quickly for my liking. With a sweet tooth like mine, though, this always seems to happen! I also sneaked a few tastes of Georgina’s chocolate fondant – heaven on a plate! I might have had food envy if the cobbler wasn’t so good. 

 Blonde does something special with their service– before the meal everyone receives an amuse-bouche (I love that word! It’s something to whet your appetite, or an amusement for your mouth, in French). It is a tiny ceramic shot glass of buttery butternut soup. If you order starter, then you also get a palate cleansing sorbet before your main course. And with the bill real chocolate truffles follow (this sure beats old Butterscotch sweeties in yucky plastic wrappers).

 But what about the deal you may ask? Well, the deal is that everything on the menu (yes, that includes the vino!) is 50% less for July and August. Unfortunately, this sounds rather less expensive than it works out to be, considering the full price for my steak would have been R190! I certainly would never pay that for a meal, but maybe other people aren’t English teachers without a second income off which to live!

 It may be expensive, but I think a special night, whether it’s with your partner or an old group of friends, can warrant a little extravagance. But, best head there this month so that you still have money left for your draft chugging on the weekend!

 Blonde: Corner Hatfield and Wandel Road, Gardens, 021 462 5793, Starters: R45+ Mains: R119-189 Dessert: R50-60