In the last few months my friends and I have (by default) created a kind of eating-out club. There are four of us, sometimes five, and we eat out once a week. Originally, each of us took a turn to choose a venue, but now one of the members has suggested that we do it by GPS coordinates. On the day, the responsible person will SMS us the points of the chosen place.
Last Thursday we ended up (also by default) in Woodstock. As we couldn’t decide where to go, something organically happened – and all of a sudden we were hood hopping.
We started off at Woodstock Lounge, where we ate juicy chilli poppers. Even though I’m really not a popper fan, these did tick all the boxes. The numerous options in Woodstock make it hard to choose; every time I head down Main Road or up Roodebloem a new place pops up.
Next, we managed to get into a very packed Burrata. I can’t wait to see the owners’ new project, which will open sometime soon in Bree Street. (Now that’s a hood that might take an entire week to hop!) We shared a Burrata pizza and a delicious salad of crunchy, fried Brussels sprouts and sweet nectarines.
Luck was on our side, as it was already just after nine, we headed upstairs to The Pot Luck Club. It was packed, but we managed to squeeze in and I immediately ordered my favourite cocktail. I can never remember the name – I always just ask for the pineapple and vanilla one.
It’s hard not to over-order there, but nothing ever goes to waste as the food is magnificent. Small morsels with layers of flavour and texture are just enough to tease you. From our pencilled-in list we ate battered fish with a very hot puréed atchar, and the new ‘mushrooms on toast’, which is on another level: more like a very fine mushroom, truffle and parmesan tart. (It was loaded with umami, which you can read more about here.) I couldn’t resist ordering the fragrant slow-cooked beef rib with cucumber and kimchi butter with a light-as-air Chinese steamed bun… and a few more dishes too.
Ideally, we should have found somewhere to eat pudding, but we opted to have a nightcap instead at a local Kwaito hangout, Cafe Ganesh, in the next neighbourhood down, Observatory. (This area looks like an exciting place to discover. Maybe I need to locate the coordinates for next time.)
I’m going to put together a few more suggestions of where you can do a travelling supper of your own around SA. I’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, happy hopping!