Drink Pisco with a dash of Lima

In December 2012 a unique new restaurant opened in Cape Town. Keenwa celebrates all things Peruvian with a menu that highlights some of the country’s most famous dishes like Salchipapas, Empanadas, tequeños and Ceviche, prepared with love by Chef Fabricio Durand from Lima.

Owner German de la Melena was also born in Lima and travelled the world as a model before deciding to settle in Cape Town.

Now German has gone one step further by opening the country’s first and only Pisco Bar above the restaurant. Pisco is the national liquor of Peru, made from grapes and is particularly popular when combined into a sour cocktail.

We chatted to German about bringing a taste of Peru to Cape Town.

X: Can you explain the concept behind a “Pisco Bar”?
G: Pisco is a Peruvian liquor and it is very well known to every tourist that goes to Peru and it is at every party in Peru as well as in every bar and restaurant there. When I opened the restaurant (Keenwa) the venue was perfect for a bar as well so I thought, why not make it as unique as the restaurant and serve Pisco? P.I.S.C.O. Bar comes from a trip we did with 20 friends to Peru to do the Amazon Jungle and the Inca Trail. The guides started calling us the Pisco group because that was what we always drank and we had a joke about the D.I.S.C.O. song from the late 70′s or early 80′s.

X: What makes P.I.S.C.O. Bar unique?
G: The fact that we are the only ones in the whole country that serve Pisco and not only the popular Pisco sour but also a couple more cocktails made with Pisco. Our tapas Peruvian style and also the decoration and venue are very different.

X: Can you tell us a bit about some of the beverages you have on offer?
G: We import the Pisco from Peru and we serve Pisco sour – lime juice, sugar, Pisco and a little bit of egg white. We also make these with passion fruit, chilli, raspberry and chichi – the last is a drink from Peru made of purple corn. A different cocktail that we also make is Chilcano, the trendiest drink in Peru nowadays, with Ginger ale and Pisco and a dash of lime juice. I just go with whatever is trendy at the bars in Lima and Peru in general.

X: How has the local community reacted to the bar?
G: The bar is still new and not well known yet but the people that come around love it! They love the decor, they love the vibe and especially everybody loves the Pisco sours! Continue reading

Daily Collection

Do Dim Sum – Dumplings for Dinner!

Similar to hors d’oeuvres and a bit like Spanish tapas, “Dim Sum” literally means “to touch your heart,” and consists of a variety of dumplings, steamed dishes and other goodies served in Asian restaurants.

Though Dim Sum has been around for centuries in the East, it’s only fairly recently been gaining popularity in the West and South Africa is also jumping on the buffet trolley.

Currently Cape Town leads the way once more with the largest selection of venues and flavours, but there are also a handful of places serving traditional as well as more modern Dim Sum in Joburg and Durban.

Reconnect at Rhino River Lodge

The African bushveld feels like a vast and never-ending space when you’re in the midst of it, but it’s at these times that you feel the most intimate connection to this natural environment and its inhabitants.

At Rhino River Lodge in Zululand, the small team aims to give each guest that uniquely personal nature high.
“We want them to get an intimate look at nature, so that all of our guests leave with a renewed appreciation of the bush, mindful of the importance of conservation and how it can play a role creating a space where people can relax, and hopefully re-awakening that childlike thrill of seeing a special nature moment – be it as simple as examining an intricate leaf or looking up at the stars, or as complex as negotiating a bush walk round an extremely rate and hugely endangered black rhino,” says manager Shona Lawson.

She’s one of a group of just 15 people who total the workforce at this quaint lodge within the 23,000 hectare Zululand Rhino Reserve. The lodge consists of four luxury en-suite rooms plus there are also two rustic family cottages that can accommodate up to four people.
Reserve manager Dale Airton leads the team with Shona, head ranger Isaac Gumede and support rangers Jenine and Jason take on the wildlife and bushveld challenges. In addition there are 3 trackers who also work on the grounds and 7 ladies who run the kitchen and housekeeping services. Continue reading

Be mesmerized by the Mosaiek

For the working folk, Saturday is the best day of the week. One gets to sleep in. See friends; do some shopping; have a long, slow coffee. Feel good about life, the universe and, if not everything, at least most things. An event that certainly left us feeling good was the Metro FM African Masquerade hosted at the Mosaiek Teatro in Fairlands, Johannesburg.

Three of the country’s most soulful artists, Kabomo, Unathi and Zonke graced the stage of the state of the art venue in celebration of Metro FM’s 26th birthday. Themed “African Masquerade”, people from every corner of the country poured into the sophisticated Teatro wearing masks and fashionably dressed.

Adjacent to the Teatro is a smaller sized venue, Viaticus, which was prepared as the VIP lounge for guests to mingle and enjoy an African cuisine before the start to the musical extravaganza. It was already half full when we arrived with couples occupying most of the couches. The bar was lined up with inviting drinks – of course we helped ourselves to one or two.

Sounds of Unathi and Kabomo’s music flowed through speakers as the lounge gradually filled up and conversations got us in the mood. At 7pm, an upbeat house song invited people into the main theatre were magic would soon ignite. Guests gathered in the spacious foyer, some stood at the front desk to collect their complimentary tickets. Continue reading

Falling in love with the laundry

Guaranteed you’ve probably never actually WANTED to do laundry, and certainly you’ve never raced down to the laundromat with great excitement! But Clayton Howard & Mico Botha have decided to change all that. They’ve made laundry fun.

In April this year the dynamic and creative pair opened the doors of I LOVE MY LAUNDRY in Cape Town, giving life to South Africa’s one and only destination laundry! I LOVE MY LAUNDRY is not just a laundry you see. It’s also a quirky coffee and Dim Sum Bar and entertainment venue.

We chatted to Mico about this unique business.

Xtra: What kind of menu can customers expect at I love my laundry?
Mico: We are a Coffee Bar & Dim Sum Bar specializing in Korean Dim Sum and we offer vegetarian and meat flavours on our ever-changing Dim Sum menu. I LOVE MY LAUNDRY also caters for private functions and events around our 14-seater dining table and on Thursday evenings we host our popular fondue evenings. It’s an off-the-wall and unique venue offering a personal touch and client specific service.

X: What factors do/did you consider regarding your business location?
M: Definitely visibility for the brand.

X: Would you say you have a defined target market?
M: We attract like-minded creatives, people who understand great value and appreciate style.

X: As far as the laundry side goes, what kind of services do you offer?
M: We wash dry and fold your laundry at only R10 per kg. Ironing, alterations and dry-cleaning services is also available but what really defines our service is the fact that we only use organic top quality chemicals on all your fabrics and we package and fold your process parcels in our eye -catching orange wrapping paper. A “gift” to all our loyal clients and a mark of our caring attention to detail when it comes to your laundry needs. Continue reading

Dive into an underwater wonderland

The Two Oceans Aquarium is, I believe, one of the shining jewels in Cape Town’s tourism crown.
But being Monday and all, allow me a small confession: I live in Cape Town. I love Cape Town. But man, oh man, I hate the holiday crowds. This especially includes children.

Yes, I know – they’ll be unleashed on the world once again next week and you’ll be looking for somewhere to take them; the aquarium is perfect for that. It’s pretty and it’s educational. Fun and awe inspiring even. But if you are like me and prefer to take your edification without being surrounded by hoards of screaming waist-high, ice scream-smeared creatures, then do yourself a favour and sneak off for a few self-indulgent and calming hours.

Entrance to the aquarium is not cheap, but if you plan to go regularly, get yourself a Soul Mates annual pass which offers unlimited access for a fraction of the price. They’re sneaky; you’re going to have to delve into their website a bit to find it, but it’s there and represents huge savings. Even buying your normal day ticket online is less expensive, so do your research.

Inside the aquarium a world of underwater wonder awaits you. The “Nemo” tank near the entrance, with its clear cavity into which you can immerse yourself in a cloud of swirling clown fish is a huge attraction for young and old. I suspect there are plenty of adults who wish they could fit in there.

Again, doing this with little ones or doing it as a grown up are two different things. As the latter, you can take your time and appreciate the magical beauty of marine life you’d never otherwise experience. Not all of us are cut out to be scuba divers. Continue reading

Daily Collection

P-Town Taste – Best restaurants in Pretoria

Far from how its’ often portrayed, Pretoria is actually a stylish and cosmopolitan city filled with vibrant culture, bustling business and delicious cuisine.

In this collection, we’ve highlighted some of the city’s best dining spots as recommended to us by various online and personal sources.

There’s plenty of variety too – from Korean, Chinese and Indian to excellent Italian and fabulous French and even a healthy dose of African tastes.

3 Tips to stop producing boring content

In order for your business to gain a cult (or commercial) online following, you’re going to need to provide your fans and followers with something to sink their teeth into, something to while away their online hours. The key is that they should be thinking of your brand while they are consuming this content – be it videos, blog posts, infographics, cartoons, eBooks, charts, Twitter chats or webinars.

It’s not always easy to produce original, engaging content on a regular basis. It takes time that you may not have, but it always pays off! Whatever you do, don’t reproduce other people’s content. Rather spend a little time repurposing other content you find to make it your own.

Here are three tips to keep your online audience enthralled with your content.

1. Appeal to the Emotions

Humans are emotional beings. If you’re feeling stressed at the end of the week and could do with a laugh and a drink, it’s likely your fans do too. The most powerful and viral content online is undoubtably humourous. Funny, cute and emotionally charged images, videos and stories will always win the day.

2. Aim to Inspire

People today are surrounded by a fair amount of negativity – in the news, online, at home, at work. More than anything, sometimes people just want to feel inspired and reassured with a positive message. Use your platform to do that and chances are people will share and ‘like’ a lot more.

3. Be Mysterious

By appealing to human being’s innate sense of curiosity your target market won’t be able to resist getting sucked in to your campaign. Serving up small titbits of information in anticipation of a big reveal is a great strategy, as is giving people only half the story and waiting to supply the rest. You can bet they’ll be checking in regularly to see when the next instalment appears.

Read:

21 Types of content we all crave
22 Ways to Create Compelling Content