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!

 

Ever felt like Alice in Winederland?

Wine is surely one of the most common denominators apart from oxygen when you think about being social and spending time with friends.  Come to think of it, the whole food and beverage industry rapidly erupted in NOT JUST food and wine, but age old institutions that are bringing forward hundreds of years of tradition in their wine and for some, they are experimenting with new techniques and products.  Standing back, you do realise that this is truly something beauteous that is happening.  Even the better part, we are living in a time where we are able to enjoy the pendulum of this, where tradition and innovation meets occasionally and we are the “Alices” in  wine wonderland.

The City of Tshwane was home this weekend to the SPAR at TOPS Winederland Show in collaboration with the Pretoria News, at Menlyn Shopping Centre here in Pretoria and man, did they pull out all the stops.  This was no ‘run of the mill’ wine show, this was most probably one of the best wine shows I experienced this year.  Their processing systems for guests were smooth, the setting was aesthetically pleasing and the vibe was electric.  Arriving at the central square of the new Menlyn Mall, my senses were invaded with energy, sound and light.  Being a VIP guest, I received my wristband and proceeded to get my glass and goodie bag.  This was going to be utterly pristine!

First stop, the Lindt stall.  Yes, the chocolate stall.  They had amazing pairings on offer, all their sultry chocolate from caramel goodness to salty and citrus were paired with premium wines.  My favourite? Their smooth citrus chocolate with the Rust and Vrede Viognier, Shiraz and Grenache.  It was beautiful!  I then proceeded to what the rest of the evening and this Winederland had to offer.  Wine estates were there in full force.  Delheim, KWV, Durbanville Hills, Hermanuspietersfontein, Arniston Bay, Van Loveren, JC Le Roux, lots of other great wineries and off course some French Champagne from the Tops stall to top things off.  A lovely Champagne, Brut from Pierre Mignon was ever so appropriate. Oh and don’t forget Wilderer Gin, love them.

The VIP lounge was to my disposal and I did make use of it.  Was I impressed? It didn’t score points for me as the food was left in the open and obviously their dough offerings were hard and tough to work through, but the whole “VIP LOUNGE” in itself, is a good thing, makes one feel special.  Did I buy wine that evening? Yes.  Did I have an awesome time? Yes.  Did I do a lot of networking? Yes.  Did I learn a few new things about my favourite thing (wine for those who did not know by now)? Absolutely!  Tasting wine is one thing, but being open to learn and experience really gives shows like the TOPS at SPAR Wine Show credibility as an event that truly offer it’s patrons more than just a wine tasting.  It’s a true wine wonderland or #Winederland, that would make even Alice sorry that she missed it.  Thank you Spar and The Pretoria News for an outstanding event.  Cheers!  

PS. The name Alice don’t suit me very well….. 🙂

 

Fijn Wyn: a must for winers and Whiners!

 

One thing is for certain.  Us South Africans loooove our festivals.  Glancing through your social media feeds, you are sure to spot an event, in your vicinity, hosting a get-together, tasting, feast or full blown festival.  The capital city also has it’s fair share of festivals and one of them that is a sure winner, is the Fijn Wyn Food & Wine Festival.

I was one of the lucky foodies to get my hands on a complimentary pair of tickets to the Fijn Wyn Wine & Food Festival and man was I impressed.  Just to be clear, entry is R150-R170pp (depending on which day you choose) but looking at the whole experience, you get to enjoy a lot more than the R170 you would fork out on this amazing and tantalizing experience.

With over 35 Wine Estates who boasts about their vino, you need to be careful otherwise the tipsy cart will show up.  My favourite farms like Jakkalsvlei, Beyerskloof, Wildekrans and then some other not-so-farmiliar ones (well, to me in any case) like Stellekaya and Ridgeback was a great experience.  Fijn Wyn is a wine and food festival and offer you decadent meals, treats and good things to eat.  Pulled pork sandwiches, Oysters, Paella, Nachos, Gourmet burgers, confectionery and so the list grows.

Hosted at the beautiful Shokran Events Center, Fijn Wyn is an event that caters to the hip, yuppie, grannie, mom, dad & the kleinspan and off course the wine connoisseurs.  This is an event that is popular to everyone.  Live entertainment is the glue that makes this experience work and festival-goers were treated to amazing bands and artists like Rembrandt van Rijn, Roan van As and TUIN to mention a few.  Pretoria is host to a number of festivals, but Fijn Wyn is surely one of the best experiences you can have.

Points scored here:  An amazing array of wine farms & estates on show and it’s an educational experience.  Adequate seating, outlay and flow of festival-goers between tables were good.

Points deducted: None!

My advice:  Grab your hat, grab your hand or man bag (yes, your hands are going to be full and have fun!). Follow Fijn Wyn on Facebook and don’t miss the next one! Go! Now!