Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Marilyn's 60's Diner - Storms River Village

A new little restaurant has arrived in the Tsitsikamma (on South Africa's Garden Route), in the quaint and rustic village of Storms River.  It's an American-styled roadside diner with Elvis and Marilyn pictures and music; and Cadillacs and Chevy's scattered around a retro interior that takes you back to a time of rock 'n' roll and bell-bottoms. 

There's quite a big menu with everything from salads to pastas and steaks to cakes.  The 'All American Burger', according to the owners, is the big hit, with a pure beef patty, cheddar cheese, bacon, mushrooms, onions and a special secret sauce, served with french fries. 

If you happen to be in their part of the world; stopping there is a must.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Spiced Calamari and Fish with a Kiwi and Carrot Salsa

  1. 300g firm fresh fish fillets, skin on
  2. 200g calamari steak
  3. 1 Tbsp chilli paste
  4. 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  5. 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  6. 1/2 tsp curry powder
  7. 1 tsp garam masala
  8. 1 cup fresh coriander
  9. oil
  10. 1/2 tin coconut milk
  11. 2 carrots, julienned
  12. 1 kiwi, chopped into thin, 1/2 moon wedges
  13. a little cucumber, cut into thin wedges
  14. salt and pepper
  15. juice of 1 lemon

Garam Masala Fish:
  • in a pan, heat a little oil, then add garlic, ginger and curry powder
  • fry for 2 mins, then add the coconut milk and reduce
  • add fish and allow to simmer gently, for 10 mins
  • just before serving, add garam masala and chopped coriander
Chilli Calamari Steaks:
  1. score diagonally and marinade the calamari in chilli paste for 1 hour
  2. heat oil in a pan, add the calamari and fry quickly each side, seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice
  • mix kiwi, cucumber, carrots and coriander
Serve together and enjoy!

The Cape Dune Molerat Trail

In the Wilderness National Park, between the towns of Sedgefield and Wilderness on South Africa's Garden Route, this 8km hike takes in the relatively unspoilt landscape of Swartvlei and Rondevlei.  The walk takes around 2 hours depending on what you do along the way and should be done early or late in the day, as it can get really hot.  It's name reflects the fact that there must be a few million of these creatures in the area; if their mounds and burrows are anything to go by.  We only came across one and he was completely harmless; think more cute guinea-pig than dirty rat.  The trail can be tricky, with the ground collapsing unexpectedly every now and then because of the extensive underground rodent excavation.  Hiking boots are therefore a good idea. 


Seeing this little critter reminded me of the Ecuadorian dish of 'Cuy', or spit-roasted guinea-pig.  I had a smallish taste in Banos (Southern Ecuador) but unfortunately the memory of my first pet tainted the whole experience.  I don't think that there's any risk of spit-roasted Cape Dune Molerat making inroads in the international culinary scene.