Brioche – a ‘must try’ in Port Elizabeth

As my loyal readers know, I am all for mom & pop kind of places, I love visiting the non touristy type places.  So every time I go to Port Elizabeth, I look for such places, even my friends know that if we going for lunch, it must be new, different, quirky and not touristy at all!!

Leely hit the spot when she introduced me to Brioche. This gorgeous Coffee Shop / Bakery is situated in the Walmer area, which is an area I frequent consistently when I am in PE, just somehow have always missed this quaint establishment.

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The old historical building is such a beautiful site, the house was built in 1884, with the original deed framed and hanging on the wall.  The menu boasts a few great easy lunch time meals (I didn’t get a look at the breakfast menu).

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Tuna Fishcakes, served with fries and caper mayo

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Homemade beef hamburger, topped with onion rings.  What caught my eye was the homemade bun, you seldom get this luxury at a restaurant, it was refreshing to see this.

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A variety of pizza, this was basil pesto, olives, parmesan, topped with rocket - thin crusted pizza.

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Other menu items, to name a few, included soup of the day served with roosterkoek, pastas, salads and a variety of sandwiches. There are also freshly baked breads (the ciabattas looked phenomenal)  and pastries to choose from.

I was introduced to the Vanilla Meringue Milkshake, and let me say, for someone who doesn’t like milkshakes, I was in love.  This is a signature here at Brioche and, in my opinion, a must try when visiting this little gem.

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Other items on the beverage menu included a great selection of coffees and teas, the classic Chai Lattes, however, I settled for freshly squeezed apple & ginger juice…this was just fantastic and refreshing, and the time it took to get to the table was well worth the wait.

With the lovely sunny winter weather we have been experiencing, we decided to sit outside, which is a great option as the garden is well manicured and hosts a jungle gym to keep the kids entertained and ample space for them to run off some energy.

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The food was fantastic, with the perfect setting, I do have to mention that the service was a little slow, yet very friendly. Food and drinks came out at different times and some of us at the table had to wait longer than other however, I can not really fault this as good food is not fast food. I thoroughly enjoyed this find, and will definitely be visiting again.

Brioche can be found at 181 Main Rd Walmer, Port Elizabeth, Eastern .
Tel: 041 581 2136
Open: Mondays to Fridays 7.30am to 4pm and on Saturdays from 7.30am to 3pm

 

 

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by anyone, I was not asked to review this restaurant, I am merely sharing my experience at this establishment.

Rosemary Marinated Olive, Feta & Sundried Tomatoes Bread

We all have those certain smells or songs that trigger of a great memory or a moment that just triggers of a smile that is unexplainable.  For me, the aromas that fill my house when bread is baking, perfectly exhibits one of those moments.  Fresh bread brings feelings of warmth, comfort, happiness and family…and most importantly simplicity.

I don’t often get the opportunity to bake bread at home, having some time off, I just had to grab the chance with both hands.  I have a few things in my pantry and fridge that I am trying to use in all weird and wonderful ways.  One of these said items are rosemary marinated olives & feta & sundried tomatoes.  Lovely to use for cheese platters or other anti pasti’s, but why not more!

Rosemary Marinated Olive, Feta & Sundried Tomatoes Bread

I have just a basic white bread loaf recipe that I use when baking.  This recipe makes 1 loaf.

500g stone ground white bread flour
1 pk dried yeast
1 tsp fine salt
375ml tepid water
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp Olive oil
2 eggs

Tepid water is basically water that is the heat of bath water.  You don’t want it to hot or it will kill the yeast, but if it’s too cold it wont activate.

Place the yeast and sugar into the tepid water, whisk and set aside for 10 -  15 minutes.  It will create a layer of foam on top.

Mix the flour, salt olive oil in a bowl.

Crake the eggs into the yeast and whisk lightly.  Pour yeast mixture into the flour, incorporate until you have a stiff dough.

Knead for about 15 – 20 minutes.  I do this by hand, but if you have a machine, use a dough hook, and you probably looking at about 10 minutes.

Set aside in a warm place, in a bowl that has been wiped with olive oil, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to double in size +- 45 minutes

Knock back down.  At this point you add the olives, feta, sundried tomatoes and rosemary.  Break it up and just place all over, fold the dough and place another layer.  This is all estimated, you can use a lot for a string flavour, or you can keep it subtle.  Roll into a ball and place under the tea towel again and let double in size again.

Knock back down one last time, and shape, you can either place in a baking tin or bread tin, I like to keep it a little more artisan style.  Score the top and set aside to rise, +- 30 minutes

Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Place loaf into the oven and bake for 25 minutes, turn the oven down to 180°C for another 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.

Now 2 tips on bread:

Never place bread in the fridge, it will go stale over night.

Eat bread in moderation.  Bread is not only a carbohydrate, but your body breaks up break into sugars, so for a diabetic, rye bread is your healthiest option.

Walsh Rarebit with a twist – Blushing Hot Walsh Buck Rarebit

I was laying in bed reading this morning, wind howling outside, I just new that the sun is still hiding, not yet ready to come out for the Spring to officially begin.  I wanted something nice, I didn’t know what, so I carried on reading my love story of the 3rd brother finally finding love when it just hit me…Walsh Rarebit.  I had a slight debate with myself…get out of bed or make Walsh Rarebit, tough one, nice, warm and cozy in bed, or being in my kitchen…I jumped out of bed and got ready to fill my need of this classic.

Walsh Rarebit is actually a supper, or a pub grub kind of meal, however I remember I use to have a boss who enjoyed it for breakfast…so why not meet in the middle…brunch!

So what is Walsh Rarebit you ask…well to keep it simple, it’s cheese sauce on toast with a cheese crust…now add bacon or turkey and you have a Hot Brown, add a poached egg and you have a Buck Rarebit. Then we have the Blushing Rarebit which brings tomato soup into the mix.  There are so many different variants of this dish, so why not explore the possibilities.

I call it…Blushing Hot Walsh Buck Rarebit

First off, you need to make a cheese sauce.  I kept it simple

250ml milk
2 cardamom pods
1 clove
black pepper
salt
50g grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp English mustard
a few drops worcestershire sauce
dash of white wine
1 tsp paprika
25g flour
olive oil

In a pot, place milk, cardamom & clove over a medium heat.  Bring to a simmer. Remove cardamom & clove.

Make a paste from the flour and olive oil.  You are looking for a glue like consistency, pour into milk and whisk.  Do not stop whisking until you have thickened the milk.

Add mustard, paprika, wine, worcestershire sauce and cheddar cheese. Set aside.

Now you will need:

2 slices Bacon, fried off
2 large eggs
2 slices of bread (I would suggest baguette or ciabatta –  I used left over from the bread I baked, see recipe here)
Fresh tomatoes, sliced
Grated cheddar cheese

Preheat your oven to grill, you want a nice hot oven that can give you a great cheese crust

Toast your bread, spread a layer of the cheese sauce over the surface
Layer with sliced tomatoes, season with salt & pepper
Layer of bacon, and a nice dollop of your cheese sauce again.  Add grated cheddar over and place in oven until nice and crisp.

Poach your eggs while you wait for your cheese to melt.
Heat some of the cheese sauce to a pouring consistency
Remove your toast from the oven, place your poached eggs on top and drizzle with cheese sauce.

Place a little mixed greens and serve nice and hot.

Enjoy!!

Food Love at Meade Cafe, George, Gardenroute

Meade Cafe has been around for a while in the Garden Route.  I remember being fresh out of high scholl we all flocked there for the signature “Jamie Oliver Sandwich”.  Since then it has changed hands, turned into a more interior decorating spot, and now recently back into a cafe in its original spot and even more impressive!

Being slightly warmer, we decided to sit outside in the garden, which I absolutely love.  Looking around you would never imagine you are sitting in the middle of George’s CBD, you forget the world outside of those walls.  With Spring in the air, the flowers are starting to bloom, the smells of fresh Spring surrounds you, and you are taken into a magical world.


 

Inside if fit with a few tables, a counter full of wonderful pastries, quiche of the day, and the entrance to the kitchen simple says “the best kitchen staff works here” I absolutely love the positivity and friendliness, and most importantly the warm Meade Cafe gives you, inside and out!

The menu is small, nothing over the top, printed on recycled paper, all so simple and absolutely perfect!  They have a few adverts from different businesses in the close vicinity, so while sitting and looking over the menu, you can book a spa treatment or think about booking a photographer…

The fishcakes were highly recommended, so we had to order these!  Along with the fishcakes, we ordered the grilled polenta.  Both dishes blew me away.

The homemade fishcakes served on a baby potato and leaf salad, homemade tartar sauce and salsa

A mixture of hake & snoek, with fresh parsley and lemon zest gave these fishcakes so fresh and light!

Grilled Polenta topped with Ratatouille & olives and a touch of anchovies just had me squirming with delight.  Such a simple dish and my mouth was watering with delight!

This is a perfect example of the type of food I love.  Often you go to a restaurant and you have the restaurant classics, but nothing excites you…I love the excitement of food, of that something that really makes you think, feel and fall in love!

Lunch in Woodstock at Jamaican me Crazy

Our trip to Cape Town was filled with what we love to do best…try new places to eat.  My husband always tells me how he loves going to eat out with me because I always want to try new things, and I stay away from franchises / chain restaurants and of course, just how much I love food, even if it’s something simple.

I love the artisan and very much eccentric side of food.  I do enjoy a fine dining experience now and then, for me, I love quirkiness and restaurants that are unique and different.  While in Cape Town, we got to experience two of these kind of restaurants.

The first one on the list was Jamaican me Crazy in Woodstock

I learnt about this restaurant from my good friend, Blossom.  It’s her son’s place, and of course I just HAD to go!  I am freely going to admit I do not know much about Jamaican cuisine except the classic jerk chicken, so I was super excited to experience something so new with my good friend!

We started off with a few cocktails, I have to say I was very impressed with the selection of cocktails, and of course the fact that if you so wish, you could have any of the cocktails virgin style, and this brings me to my number one YES at any restaurant.  Versatility!

The menu has a little bit of everything so you have such a variety which can sometimes be a good thing and sometimes be a bad thing.

In my true style, I had to have a platter so I could taste many different things!  And wow, was this a large platter, it was for two so my husband had to help me out!  The platter consisted of a spicy mussel soup, Jamaican flatbread, calamari, jerk chicken winglet; coca cola basted ribs, meat pies and jalapeno poppers filled with feta.  To me, what stood out the most were the spicy mussel soup and the calamari.  So often you go to a restaurant and the calamari is bready and oily, this calamari was absolutely delicious!  I must find out the secret to the great calamari at Jamaican me Crazy.

My husband enjoyed a steak with blackened prawns and calamari. At first he was willing to try the goat curry, which I was very surprised about, unfortunately they goat curry was out of stock for the day.  I think it would have been such a huge accomplishment on my part, I have been trying to get Justin to eat more adventurous things…it’s working!

The waiter, Charles was very friendly and attentive; he had the sweetest smile and looked after the table with great ease.  He knew when to approach and when to rather let us be, which is such a rare treat when dinning out.

All round, the experience was wonderful, I loved the upbeat colours of the restaurant, in my mind, exactly how I would picture dinning in a typical Jamaican restaurant.

I learnt sport events are often on show on the large screen projector, you can have private parties or just spend time having a drink, with wi fi available it’s the perfect place to chill out and  enjoy a easy snack and some quiet work time, or meeting with friends after work.  A great vibrant restaurant which I highly recommend!

The second place I have to mention is Bombay Bicycle.  Watch this space for our experience which will follow soon!