Silver Orange Bistro Bliss! Almost :)

Silver Orange Bistro! What a surprise!  The word “bistro” mostly refers to a small eatery that serves simple food, but in this case, it’s a small place that packs a huge punch.  Silver Orange Bistro found its feet in the early 2000’s and is situated in the Hartebeespoortdam region just a 30 minute drive from the capital Pretoria or a 50 minute drive from Johannesburg.  Nestled in between the bushveld and orchards  (yes you read right) surroundings, you almost feel like you have just arrived at your mini holiday.

The setting is very laid back and relaxed, and with adequate seating that offers you inside and outside dining, you can take your pick where to enjoy your meal.  One thing is certain, please book before you drive all the way out to Hartebeespoortdam as Silver Orange Bistro is quite popular and you don’t want to be turned away on arrival.  (so be clever – BOOK!).

They have a lovely menu that offers you culinary delights with European and African influences.  Be sure to ask them about their special offerings.  My favourite?  I enjoyed their Pork Belly with Balsamic Mash potatoes and roast peppers and aubergine.  It was well prepared and executive chef Leon Nel sure knows how to balance his flavours and marrying your palate to visual presentation.  Please visit Silver Orange Bistro’s website, to see what their standard menu offers.  Take note that they updated their menu, so you might find more items when you open their menu on arrival.

Now for the Almost part…. (yes, you thought I was going to be impolite?)  Almost Orange is just a short walk or rather stroll down the orchards just beyond the Bistro.  You are greeted by a scene I can swear is straight out of Tuscany!  Platters, Tapas and premium drinks your thing?  Then this is the place for you.  Where the Bistro offers you a great setting that suits families and individuals alike, Almost Orange caters more for adult patrons and children under 16 is not allowed.  Once again, book your spot well in advance.

So! If you find yourself looking for an adventure outside the hustle and bustle of the city perimeter, then jump in your wagon and take a drive to Harties and experience a wide selection of Gin, MCC, craft beer, wine, etc while enjoying superb food.  Well done Silver Orange Bistro and Almost Orange, this was an excellent experience.

Ok, so what about my YES, NO & MAYBE? Here goes:

YES – They offer a unique experience, good food and well rounded relaxed dining with a killer (and award-winning wine list).

NO – The service was a bit slow to my liking, but as always, when the food is good, I’ll tolerate some ‘slowness’ to my experience.

MAYBE – It gets quite hot during the summer season, so if you find the heat unbearable, please book your spot inside.  The road to Silver Orange Bistro is not in good condition and maybe you should take it slow driving there, you don’t want to ‘not arrive’ at your reservation and leave a bit earlier.

All an all, I was impressed, they will most certainly see me again.  Well done Silver Orange team! Itsfoodoo likes you a lot, no, we love you!

 

The Boss & the (cookie) Monster @ Brooklyn Brothers

 

Arriving at the Glenfair centre in Lynwood Road Pretoria, you can see that this is a pitstop to almost everyone.  Families that go to the neighbouring restaurants, people quickly pop in to the shop to get the last minute shopping before heading home and then me.  I’m here to review and enjoy one of Lynwood’s most popular food spots.  Brooklyn Brothers Glenfair.  Fortunately fellow foodies shared the evening with me and as I’m tucking the menu closer to see what we’re in for, my eyes stopped.  There it is, the words glistened on the gloss paper and I know that tonight is going to be epic.  I”m referring to the legendary burger called The Boss.

Brooklyn Brothers are renowned for their comfort food offerings and that’s the reason why people frequent this great place so much and so my evening started.  Their range of craft beers were introduced and once again, the beer gods were smiling at us.  From the CBC’s notorious Amber Weiss to the equally great Van Hunks Pumpkin Ale and off course a few different beers in between.  The first course was a delightful platter filled with Honey glazed chicken wings, Jalapeño poppers, sticky Bourbon BBQ ribs, chicken strips with a Tikka sauce and topped off with onion rings with a beautiful ranch dressing.  That was only round 1!  Round 2 and I finally got to meet The Boss of all burgers.  Neatly planked (or shall I say plated?) a bulky medium prepared premium beef patty with crispy bacon & blue cheese sauce and on the side, golden brown deep fried onion rings.  Man I was happy.

They have a “beat-the-heat” challenge for the brave (or shall I say foolish?) and you can have your name engraved on their wall of heroes, that’s if you can stomach the inferno it promises to deliver.  I however, declined the offer.  By the time dessert arrived I questioned my capacity but couldn’t resist their WTF Killer shakes (yes, that’s the name they go by).  I enjoyed their Parkslope chocolate shake and soon realized this was a monster of a different sort, I called it the cookie monster.  Bravo!  Brooklyn Brothers is a sure, good food, good company, good vibes social spot and anyone can leave happy, satisfied and looking forward to the next visit.

Points scored on my list:  Portion size is good, taste and preparation was good, menu variety is tops and service is excellent.  Points deducted:  The lighting on the deck was a bit strong and draws bugs and the onion rings was a bit oily to my taste.  Overall impression: Great! Will most certainly visit again. Well done Brooklyn Brothers.  To the rest of you: Go! Now!

Say hallo to The Publican Bar & Grill!

The Publican Bar & Grill is situated in the Southdowns Shopping centre in Irene, Pretoria and close to the John Vorster offramp.  The Publican greets you with a contemporary mix of leather, stoned walls and an amazing fireplace that hypnotises you the moment you set foot through their doors.

I always say that it’s the small things that count when visiting any restaurant or eatery and here we can check all the boxes.  From the light pink Orchid at reception, the copper light fittings and even the bathrooms are tastefully done.  They surely didn’t skimp on anything when it comes to their decor.

The hostess immediately greets you with a smile and swiftly guide the way to your designated spot.  Flowing through the restaurant you end up on the stoep (veranda) and are immediately taken aback by the view and the gazillion lights.  (I’ve said it before, I’m a sucker for a good setting).

Tables are minimalist and well set and the darker tones on their furniture and black serviettes gives you a very ‘expensive’ or exclusive feel to what you are about to experience.  Their waiting staff works as a team and you are informed on their wines and given drink options.  I enjoyed a delightful deep red called Silver Myn from the Zorgvliet Wine Estate.

Immediately options on starters, mains and desserts were raised and I was impressed with the passion they show when explaining their menu options, from preparation to the moment it arrives on your plate.  It’s infectious.

For starters I just HAD to enjoy the Thick Cut Bacon with fresh parsley salad.  (By the way, the world is better because of Bacon). Delicious!  Mains feature a New York strip steak, Black Angus Beef and was beautifully prepared.  I would’ve like a bit more fries on the side though.  To close the evening off, I enjoyed a delectable Eaton Mess and was engulfed with a sticky viscid meringue, berry coolie and cream.  I was in heaven.

The Publican Bar & Grill gets it right and should be on your list if you are a meat-eater and enjoy lovely flame grilled meals.  They also have good vegetarian options available.  This eatery is a sure catalyst to an amazing evening filled with friends, great food and choice wine……… did I mention the view??  Go! Now!

The Belgian Triple, where Beer isn’t just Beer.

The Belgian Triple is a lovely, hip and vibrant place that grabs your attention from the moment you walk through their doors.  Beer is their thing and their European cuisine to match.  They have a variety of beer, close to 90 imported Beers to be exact.

We were treated to a promising evening and were enticed to 7 tasting courses each paired beautifully with a choice imported beer.  First was Bitterballen & Salt and Pepper Squid, much like Kroketten and the plating was very artistically done.  Followed by Radicchio Salad and a Goats Cheese Salad.  Fresh, tasty, crisp and decadent.  Their Salmon Fillet was perfectly prepared, moist, pink with mashed potatoes and spinach.  The Lucifer (I think it’s flame grilled hence the Lucifer) Beef Brisket was out of this world.  The perfect balance between beef and fat that gives you a good idea that the chef surely knows he’s trade and was mouth-wateringly prepared . Dessert offered Belgian Chocolate Mousse and Fraindise (a syrupy citrus waffle) to end off the evening.

Sometimes (to me) beer is beer.  What made this evening different, was the background given on the origin and evolution of the beer currently on their menu and how well it accompanied their food.  Well done to Geland & Nikolai for hosting us and to you reading this review, make The Belgian Triple a must on your culinary bucket list!  Top marks from me and see you again soon!