Who Well Lives Long Lives

Dear Readers,

Firstly, I apologise profusely for the late post! I know…unforgiveable!!! I am however quite sure that on reading my somewhat long-winded yet totally believable excuse, you may forgive and forget and continue to read about the first of many delisHH adventures to come!

Ok, the excuse…

Let me assure you, this is no ‘yada yada’ story and for those of you who have ever taken the butt to actually start a blog you will recall the endless startup errors and options, faulty formats and relentless icons that just make it all that more difficult and take just that much longer. The REAL reason however that you Dear Reader have been kept awaiting all this time is because on the day that the post was due to be released, on Friday, the fam (short for family) and I plus Aunty Wendy plus Uncle Louis packed ourselves into the Landy (short for Land Rover) and headed out of town for a weekend to the legendary Machadadorp Fishing Farm. Now I think this a good time to tell you that I am not actually in Hamburg at the mo (moment) but currently spending a week with the fam at home in Jo’burg (Johannesburg) and Machadadorp (pronounced Maschadadorrp for the Germans) is a small yet stunning little ‘dorf’ northeast of Jo’burg. ANYway… this is a place we descend upon about four times a year where great log fires, goose down duvets and lazy afternoon fishings are frequented.

After a dinner of  and Feta Quiche partnered by a Herb and Blue Cheese Salad made by yours truly, I dutifully sat down in front of the fire with a glass of The Wolftrap, a beautifully aromatic and slighty spicy red blend of syrah, mourvedre viogniere 2010 by Boekenhoutskloof in Franschhoek when… Marm (my mother) waltzed into the living room, looking very content, cradling a ginormous box from The Patisserie (Jo’burg’s best and most exclusive french patisserie run by the exquisite Glenda Lederly). Visiting The Patisserie on a regular basis bulldozers one right into the centre of haute parisien cuisine and for anyone with a sweet tooth it proves undeniably irresistable pure case of “who well lives long lives.”

The Patisserie

She delicately removed the signature seal and unfolded the beautifully wrapped rose-stained tissue paper to gasps and gapes of shock, horror and dismay. Cries of “What the hell is that?” “No way” and “Gross man!” flew across the room as Marm unveiled the atrocity that was the 4pound white-plaited Carrot Cake laid in front of us. Warm and moist with a slight spicy carroty aroma on the inside and creamy, thick and silky on the outside is what  Glenda has set the barre at. Massive, dry, way too spicy and a margarine sugar icing was the monster that peered back up at us and after a fork full each of the slain beast we all got into our pyjamas, brushed our teeth thoroughly and loafed off to bed disappointed, defeated and in disbelief. It seems that very recently the Patisserie has changed owners and dear darling Glenda will be leaving us for Plettenberg Bay. Her replacement is definitely not up to standard and for a plus/minus R200 (the relative equivalent of about EUR30) a cake, this is a definite no-no.

And so Dear Readers whilst the fishing farm met all expectations of long walks in the mountain forests, hours reeling-in at the trout dam, evenings lounged in front of the log fire and mornings woken by the african sun, we just couldn’t quite digest the blow and blunder that was the carrot cake. And so tainted and disillusioned as I was, this blog was to be set aside until recovery.

SO HERE IT IS. What you’ve been waiting for…

Last Thursday night me and the fam went to eat at Rabbit in the Moon, a new GastroPub that opened up in Illovo, Johannesburg a couple of months ago and is now under new part-ownership of Simon Gaganakis. Booking for 8pm and pitching at 7:25pm, as the Nupen’s do,  we were rather impressed by location, outside tent area and mini garden that welcomed us on our arrival. It seemed however rather empty, but it was early and that had never bothered us before. We took our places at a beautiful big wooden table, well-lit with dated iron chandeliers which also illuminated the scripted writings on the ceiling-a fabulous effect.

Rabbit in the Moon is a Pub concept brought over from New York with flaming reviews and has found its home in the trendy hot-spot of the Illovo Boulevard. One sits in an eclectic and sophisticated yet very cozy dining room (far from the modern white plastic  styles of Todays new eateries) with portraits of Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and the Girl without a Pearl Earing peering down at you from the velvet purple and burgundy painted walls. The style is classic but the atmosphere is young and viby and it touches you as soon as you walk in the door.

After being served a R950 bottle of warm Moet Chandon we were pleasantly surprised to have sumptuous assorted Bruschetta placed before us. Flavours of cheese and honey, aromatic parma ham and sweet tomato were a perfect combination and we all argued over getting another. Instead, main course choices chosen from a limited daily menu were discussed and after being told that the salmon was no longer available we ended up ordering the house Burger which was succulent and impressively displayed on a wooden bread board with ciabatta, grilled jalapeno peppers and french fries-a treat!: Filet Mignon which was very rare (I love it almost blue and still beating but it was ordered medium) with potato wedges and caramelised onions which looked great; a ravioli stuffed with butternut in a butter sauce which was very rich and the pasta dough rather thick-not quite the delicate cuisine one would expect of this dish, but it was rather delisHH; and the spicy chicken salad which was a disappointing take on a greek salad with chicken-not so delisHH. To accompany our meal we decided on a south african red blend which you’ll find in the “wine” page shortly which lasted until desert and married itself well with a piece of dark chocolate fudge cake and chased with a segafredo double espresso.

All in all it was a pleasant evening with a couple of ups and downs. The place has great potential but needs a lot of work and I’ll wait a couple of months before I go back. The food was good apart from the salad and relatively affordable but we were blown away by the price of the champagne.

delisHH Rating out of 7 :    4

Rabbit in the Moon

198 Oxford Road, Illovo, Johannesburg; tel 011 447 6720

delisHH’s suggestion: Give the pub a try …it just might surprise you and anyway its a fab place to meet friends and experiment with an innovative wine list. Great ambience and decor and you can sit in the garden during the day.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Who Well Lives Long Lives”
  1. Cameron Staude says:

    Great post and very accurate rating of “the rabbit in the moon”. There is definitely a lot of potential for “the rabbit in the moon” and I look forward to seeing how it progresses.

    • Jessica Nupen says:

      Thanks Cam, let me know when you visit the Rabbit again. I’ll be keen to hear about your experience. Love delisHH

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