Search Result For: upper palatte

Jewish Advantage (or The Upper Palatte ingests: Faff)

The Upper Palatte ingests: Faff For those still not in the know, The Upper Palatte is a group created to get ‘friends’ together, at least once a month, to try out new places to eat thus broadening our palate sensations – whether it may be a trendy bistro at a five star hotel or an  undiscovered earthy ethnic eatery. Members of The Upper Palatte are affectionately referred to as Upper Crusters. An Upper Cruster is a member of The Upper Palatte and consequently a part of The Upper Crust (TUC), which is the title given to the body of individuals who belong to The Upper Palatte.

On Saturday 22nd August 2009, The Upper Palatte (TUP) was finally able to regroup, after a lengthy four month hiatus, courtesy of my broken arm. This marks the third ‘eat’ since the inception of The Upper Palatte. The venue was Faff, which offers modern European cuisine, with a “sexed up neighbourhood fare” and is located just off Norwood’s bustling Grant Avenue in Johannesburg. Unfortunately, or better yet, fortunately, only three Upper Crusters were able to attend The Upper Palatte’s third meet.

Faff certainly offered quite a unique experience…

 

 

Stroking metal ‘cocks’, sucking ‘marrow’ & hitting the floor with ‘Tequila’ (or The Upper Palatte ingests: Mama Tembo’s Cafe)

For those still not in the know, The Upper Palatte is a group created to get ‘friends’ together, at least once a month, to try out new places to eat thus broadening our palate sensations – whether it may be a trendy bistro at a five star hotel or an  undiscovered earthy ethnic eatery. Members of The Upper Palatte are affectionately referred to as Upper Crusters. An Upper Cruster is a member of The Upper Palatte and consequently a part of The Upper Crust (TUC), which is the title given to the body of individuals who belong to The Upper Palatte.

On Friday 20 March 2009, The Upper Palatte (TUP) had its second ‘eat’. The venue was Mama Tembo’s Cafe, an ethnic eatery located in the suburbs of Linden, Johannesburg. A total of twelve Upper Crusters were able to attend The Upper Palatte’s second meet.

Initially, Mama Tembo’s was supposed to have been the venue at which TUP was meant to have its inaugural eat. However, just before the eat was to take place, it was brought to my attention that all current Mama Tembo’s had been disenfranchised (coincidentally, all within the same week of TUP’s inaugural eat) but that a new branch would be opening at a later date. Seriously… what were the odds? I may add that this was extremely annoying and a major inconvenience. As a result, I had my reservations about rescheduling another TUP’s outing at Mama Tembo’s, yet, for some odd reason, I found myself drawn to the mystique of the place. Honestly, I was most curious to find out how ‘ethnic’ the place really was.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At first glance, Mama Tembo’s may be said to resemble a restaurant from the ‘Cool Running’s’ chain of party venues. However, once inside, patrons are transported to a 1960’s flavoured South African ‘shebeen’, with tin roof and all, which is filled with memories from the ‘good old days’. The place is 100% South African and proudly so. I must say, that it would be the perfect place to bring an international visitor. Not only will visitors be able to learn about our history and culture, but, cleverly so, they are also able to purchase any of the exorbitantly priced item which litter the venue’s floor, walls and tables. Furthermore, all cutlery is wrapped within ‘dish cloths’ and served within old coal driven clothing irons. The place is very funky ,with great little touches, and oozes a deep ‘African’ warmth. The experience is not unlike standing in a queue at the airport, surrounded by people who have no concept of personal space, while sipping a strawberry daiquiri.

With regards to the food, I was rather disappointed with the menu. Although Mama Tembo’s toots being an ethnic eatery, the place has no special or unique cuisines. I was expecting meals along the lines of ‘Crispy Chicken Feet’, ‘Goats Brain’, ‘Lamb Knuckles’ or even ‘Tripe’. Our domestic worker would have been immensely dissatisfied. With regards to food, I will try almost anything at least once. Sadly, the most interesting meal on the menu was that of the ‘Marrow Bones’ starter, which I obviously ended up ordering. The meal was great, delicious in fact. The best part was the sauce of the marrow, which had a sweet balsamic spin to it. Dillon and myself ended up polishing it all off and were even tempted to lick the plate clean *lick*.

 

For my main course I ordered the ‘Lamb Stew’. Although I found the meal to be far too salty, I did enjoy the overall taste. My meal was served with traditional ‘pap en sous’, which I laced with Balsamic vinegar, and, as Tammi put it, ‘el dente’ vegetables. I also ordered a side of the rather
unique and unusual ‘pap’ chips. Pap chips are tendrils of mielie meal which have been deep fried. Unfortunately, they do not really taste like anything, perhaps oil, but that is as good as it gets.

Service at Mama Tembo’s leaves a lot to be desired. It is not unlike going to Cool Running’s or News Cafe when it is really busy. Myself, and several other Upper Crusters, had to continuously ask for drinks or meals, again, and again, and again… and again. You know, I understand that being a waiter is hard, I get it, but that really is not my problem. If you are a waiter, it is your job to ensure that the customer is happy and well fed, and not left trying to gain your attention through various charade like hand gestures or even, through sheer desperation, smoke signals (yes, we burnt quite a few things with the candles… who doesn’t? *snicker*).

Despite the gripes with the service, the rest of the evening was a great amount of fun. We literally danced and sang while being offered free tequila shooters. I am not talking about the good kind now, after all we were supposed to be in a ‘shebeen’, but the kind that feels like it has lacerated your oesophagus while it burns a hole into you stomach lining.

The ‘feel good’ effects were immediate which resulted in, among other things, Freddy feeling up tiny metal ‘cocks’, while Simon made ‘vaginal shaped chickens’ out of dish cloths, which left Dillon trying to smoke the papery ends of straws, all with Tammi absentmindedly making ‘sperm’ out of tissue paper and candle wax. Yes, good times!

 

At the close of the evening, The Upper Palatte unanimously adjudged Mama Tembo’s Cafe with a delicious rating of eight out of ten. This ‘ethnic eatery’ is trendy and has a fantastic vibe. Although the service does have its flaws, the food is good and a great time can be had by all. Endorsement: Deliciously Recommended.

Although all of The Upper Crust who were able to attend had a fantastic time, we do hope that the next venue to be visited by The Upper Palatte will be just as much fun or perhaps, even better! Please do have a look at the album from ‘The Upper Palatte Ingests: Mama Tembo’s Cafe.

 

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Two girls, One ‘poef-flé’ (or The Upper Palatte ingests: Bistro 277 on Main)

On 27th November 2008, Robyn, a good friend of mine, and myself came up with an idea. The idea was spurned on by our love of food and socialising. Consequently, the day we thought of the idea was the day in which I had taken Robz out to eat for her 23rd birthday.

In essence, the idea is to get a group of friends together, at least once a month, to try out new places to eat and broaden our palate sensations – whether it may be a trendy bistro at a five star hotel or an  undiscovered earthy ethnic eatery. As a result The Upper Palatte (TUP for short) was born! Members of The Upper Palatte are affectionately referred to as Upper Crusters. An Upper Cruster is a member of The Upper Palatte and consequently a part of The Upper Crust (TUC), which is the title given to the body of individuals who belong to The Upper Palatte.

On Saturday 21 February 2009, The Upper Palatte (TUP) had its inaugural ‘eat’. The venue was Bistro 277 on Main, a quaint little French ‘bistro’ surreptitiously hidden in the rear shadows of the Cramerview Shopping Centre in Bryanston, Johannesburg. A total of eight Upper Crusters were able to attend The Upper Palatte’s inaugural dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For my starter I had a Camembert pastry infused with marmalade preserve. The dish was sublime. For the main course I ordered a seemingly mouth watering Duck Cherry Pie. My hopes were high for the main course, especially after the fantastic starter. Unfortunately, the dish was severely disappointing, insipid in fact, with what tasted like a melancholy orgy of plainly boiled duck mixed with canned cherries. After the unappetising main, I had faith that the house dessert speciality, the ‘Grand Marnier Soufflé’, would breathe new life into my devastated taste buds. Sadly, further dissatisfaction prevailed. The initial presentation of the ‘Grand Marnier Soufflé’ was something to behold. A gorgeous gold encrusted soufflé alight with a turquoise flambé. Fatefully, the taste did not match the presentation. Although not inedible, the soufflé was uninspiring and tasted like scrambled eggs with a hint of cinnamon.

Despite the bland palate sensations provided by Bistro 277 on Main, an exuberant and highly memorable time was had by all Upper Crusters. As a matter of fact, it was because of the characterless meals and erratic service that such an enjoyable time was had. Of most notable significance was the discovery of the now infamous ‘poef-flé’ and the parody driven “Two girls, One poef’flé” incident with Tammi and Mika (derived from ‘Two Girls, One Cup’ notoriety)! For those not in the ‘know’, the poef’flé is a mix of the words soufflé and poefie (a colloquial word used by children to describe faecal matter and dirty inedible objects – also Mika’s most despised word).

At the close of the evening, and after only a moments unanimous deliberation, The Upper Palatte sadly adjudged Bistro 277 on Main with a mediocre rating of five out of ten. This little bistro has a lot of potential and it is a pity to see it suffer so in terms of poor service, ambiguous decor/ambience and bland cuisine. 

Although all of The Upper Crust who were able to attend had a fantastic time, we do sincerely hope that the next venue to be visited by The Upper Palatte will serve more in terms of gastronomy and character. Please do have a look at the album from ‘The Upper Palatte Ingests: Bistro 277 on Main.

The Five Month Hiatus

I am flabbergasted that the last time I updated Hans’ Milieu was just under five months ago. In fact, I am appalled that I have neglected you – my fellow readers and the blog itself, which I regard as the online extension of my living entity – for so long.

So much has happened over the last several months that it would be almost impossible to detail it all in a single post. I will eventually get to updating my milieu, but until then here is a brief account of the major events that have transpired:

  • I am another year older.
  • I have almost finished my Masters – something I am both excited and anxious about.
  • I am a now Mac user – who would have thought?!
  • I have made wonderful new friends.
  • I have grown stronger emotionally, mentally and, most importantly, spiritually.
  • I am still single.
  • The Upper Palatte is making a glorious return – beginning again in August.
  • I have started a website for video games and technology: Vamers – officially launching in October.
  • One of my Tweets went viral.
  • I am committed to going from Flab to Fab by December this year – just in time for Summer.

I will attempt to update as often as possible, at least once a week from this day forward, but my education comes first. So until my Masters is complete I will be unable to update as frequently as I would like. Only a few months to go!

Until the next time Milieunairs!

Across the sea we go…

I do not really know how to start this post. I usually prefer writing about events as they have happened, or at least on the same day as the events occur. However, as I am sure many of you know, that is often not always possible when travelling.  Right, so I shall start from the beginning, the day we left for our holiday…

What an eventful day it was, Sunday 22nd march 2009. Everything was packed, my mom and myself were ready. We both knew from the start, however, that going abroad this time would be quite different. Why, you ask? Simply because this is the first time that my mom and myself have travelled abroad, for an entire holiday, without my dad. Needless to say, it has been strange to not have my dad around to share the experiences with us.

Upon arriving at the airport, my mom realised that she had forgotten Mireille’s 40th Birthday present in the glove compartment of my car. She then proceeded to rant in the rear of the car, half chewing off my ear in the process. Evidently I was at fault, because I was obviously meant to use my latent psychic abilities to miraculously envision that she had placed the present there. After calming my mom down, my dad agreed to drop us off at departures and then go back home to fetch the present. We were early, for a welcome change, so we were not pressed for time.

After being dropped off, my mom and myself battled our way to the appropriate flight counter, all the while holding close our possessions for fear of being mugged. Seriously one would never think that the world is in a recession with the amount of people which fly abroad. Once reaching the counter for Air Austral, we were incomprehensibly politely informed that our flight had been delayed… by six hours! Thankfully we live less than 10 minutes from the airport. Before I could say anything else my mom, like a ninja in the night, took my mobile phone and dialled my dad – she obviously did not want to wait in the airport anymore than I did. My dad was at the gate of our house by then, but turned around to pick us up. After 10 minutes of further confusion, with the useless airport staff simply ogling at the tourists and offering no intelligible information, it was discovered that passengers had to check in immediately, since the flight would be closed within the hour, and that passengers were required to remain in the airport. I was like “Oh hell no”! I would much rather be raped by a Gorilla then wait in transit when my house is less than 10 kilometres from the airport. Anyway, my mom, once again, called my dad to tell him we needed the present since we were going to remain in the airport. By that time my dad had just entered the airport parking lot. Nevertheless, he paid the unnecessary toll and drove home… again. After several more minutes, the check-in process started. Upon arrival at the counter, I clarified that we did not need to stay at the airport and that we could check-in and go home. I slowly removed the blunt teaspoon from my wrist and dialled my dad, for the umpteenth time. Shame… my dad was at the house, again, but promptly returned to pick us up, without complaint. Kudos to you daddy! While we waited to be picked up, for real this time, my mom and myself watched some idiot’s car get towed. I laughed… a lot. That is what you get for being a moron, parking in a disabled zone and then leaving your car unattended. I was really glad that the Johannesburg Metro were actually doing their job for a change and not just assaulting innocent individuals, which is usually the case.

We all spent the afternoon at home, relaxing before having to go the the airport again.  I was blogging, of course, because you know how I would most likely make love to you all, well not all of you, only the hot ones because I need to keep my virtue, and that is when I wrote: Stroking metal ‘cocks’, sucking ‘marrow’ & hitting the floor with ‘Tequila’ (or The Upper Palatte ingests: Mama Tembo’s Cafe). Later that evening, my mom and myself bid farewell to my dad and made our way through the security checkpoint.

[As I write this, I am being chowed by mosquitoes. Damn… I have counted, and I kid you not, about 12 bites. Argh… I am itching like crazy *swats senselessly at thin air and then runs around the garden muttering like a hobo with half a bottle of whiskey, proceeds to dive in pool, appears to find some relief, then immediately exits pool, squealing like a school girl, upon realising that the specks of ‘dirt’ at the floor of the pool are dead spiders*. They may be dead, but they are spiders none the less and still freak me out. For those who find themselves irresistible to Mosquito’s, like moi, try out these ‘home’ remedies which may be able to cure your newly developed love bites]

As is the stereotypical nature of woman, my mom shopped through the whole of the Duty Free area. Well, until I forcefully removed her from the shops so as not to miss our flight. Upon boarding the aircraft, I was mentally preparing myself for cramped sardine like seating, crying babies and the obligatory deodorant free tree hugger which always, without fail, sits up-aircon from me. However, to our immense shock and surprise, we were placed in business class, row 01 no less. Damn… I knew I should have played the lotto before leaving… ah well. As human nature dictates, we did not report the error and merely accepted our new seats as good fortune, a meant to be scenario. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, I completely lapped up every moment of business class: the champagne, speciality cheeses, chocolate truffles, three course gourmet meals, free condiment bag, and last, but not least, the hot and very sweat French airhostess whose job it was to make sure I was a pleased passenger… in almost every sense of the word *wink*. C
onsequently the flight flew past, perhaps a little too quickly, and we appeared to arrive at the St. Denis airport in no time.

I cannot believe how quickly time has flown. My mom and myself have been in Reunion for an entire week already. It only feels like we have been here for a few days. So what have we been up to? Truth be told, my mom and myself decided to take it easy and relax this time around. After all, this is not our first time to the island, so there is no real need to visit and participate in all of the usual touristy stuff (we did it all the first time around). Regardless, we have already gone to and explored, again, the towns of St. Denis, St. Giles and St. Eau. I am not sure if that last one exists or not… I may be high on Mosquito venom or something… I’m not sure… Whatever [UPDATE: Yes, it does exist but I think it may be spelt as St. Leu]! My point is that we have not just been lazing around, although that is all I did today *smirks satisfactorily*. Consequently, I have managed to buy some pretty cool stuff like rubber vases, a photographic tree, a ‘red’ limited edition Xbox 360 controller, some trendy French music and a pot of delectable Belgian chocolate shower gel (I just want to lick myself all over when I use the stuff… and no… sadly, it does not taste like chocolate, much to the detriment of my taste buds). Speaking of taste, I have been eating and trying a variety if new dishes and edible items on the island.

My mouth. When I am not blabbing incessantly in broken French, this is where a majority of my new experiences this holiday have taken place. The best part of knowing and staying with family who live in a foreign country, is that they allow you to experience the true culture of the locale being visited. Since I am always open to new palate sensations (a la The Upper Palatte

), Mireille and Didier decided to whip up, among other things, a batch of bread fruit chips and some bread fruit mash. Bread fruit, from what I have gathered, is quite versatile and can be made into a variety of edible concoctions. I have been vehemently assured that this is the fruit that Robinson Crusoe would have survived on. I can believe it too since the mash and the chips were great. I ended up eating most of them, to Mathilde’s dismay. After the bread fruit, we had a chance to try the Pitaya fruit, also known as, because of the fruit’s scale like ruby surface, Dragon Fruit. The fruit is appropriately named because its exterior made me think of Thorn, Murtagh’s dragon, from the description given by Christopher Paolini in Eldest, the second book of the Inheritance Cycle. As it so happens, I am currently in the process of reading the third book in the series, Brisingr. Wow… that was quite a geeky mouthful, was it not?

While we are on the topic of palate sensations, I would like to mention that I can now successfully scratch Stingray off my endless list of dishes/delicacies to try, before I die (I love how that rhymes). When I saw Stingray as an option for a meal at the St. Denis harbour, I could not resist placing my order, I just had to try it. So what was it like? It was absolutely divine! The stingray itself had a strange yet rich texture and would simply, and quite literally, melt in my mouth (as clichéd as this sounds, it is the truth). Of further interest, was how the flesh would just slide off of the cartilage-like-bones which, to me, ended up resembling something of a macabre Japanese fan, or maybe a vagina whispering eye… depending how you look it it?!

In my opinion, the best part of the holiday is that I am able to practice my French. I really do want to be fluent in this language. In my opinion, no other language offers the same level of sensuality, eroticism and romanticism, like the French language does. For instance, you could be calling someone an effing putrid moron who likes to let his/her chocolate starfish snack on dildos, and, without a doubt, the recipient of your ‘tasteful’ message will assume you have given him/her a welcome compliment. Such is the nature of the French language. I love it! My goal is to one day take the French translators exam and become a certified translator. I know that it will take time and a lot of effort but I do believe that, in the end, I will benefit greatly from it.

Until the next time Milieu Pals.

[Just a quick note. before finishing this post, my mom and myself were carted off to Tante Monique’s house in St. Leu. At the moment I am absolutely stuffed. As is customary with our family, my aunt cooked enough ‘crunchy duck’, among other dishes, for an army. After which I was loaded with more French cheese and delectable pastries. Then, before I could say anything else, my aunt brought out these chocolate cup cake things… but man are they good. I managed to eat two… by which time my stomach was already aching from the enormous amount of food that just kept coming my way. They were totally worth it though. Furthermore I have managed to create an ad-hoc connection between my laptop and Bernard’s PC, thus I now have access to the internet… Yay!]