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Places to eat

Places to eat

A taste sensation at Radisson Blu’s Tabu restaurant in Port Elizabeth

March 11, 2017

I was recently invited to the Radisson Blu’s Tabu restaurant in Port Elizabeth to taste and experience their new menu. It’s been a while since I last wrote about the hotel, and although I have been back to the restaurant since my last post, it was before the renovations. The restaurant is not just open to hotel guests, it’s also open to the public.

Situated on the first floor of the seaside hotel, Tabu restaurant epitomises style and chic, with a touch of elegance and luxury. The restaurant over looks the hotel’s pristine pool and  coastline along Pollok Beach. The media launch was perfectly timed for us to see the last rays of the day, as the sun set across the ocean.

tabu restaurant

The evening soon set itself apart from other events that I’ve attended in the city. The launch was broken up into stages: starters, mains and desserts. Sounds like most restaurant events, but boy it was not like other restaurant events. The theme was taste the world, so each stage had a country as a theme.

Starting with Italy

Starters were served in Tabu restaurant, while guests were entertained with live Italian music. I had the mussels, the tabu salad (pictured above) and the prawn bisque risotto. Each dish was small, so that guests could try multiple dishes without getting stuffed. That way you can try more dishes in the next stages.

Let me tell you about the prawn risotto, I could probably ramble for days about this dish. It’s made with queen prawns, orange and vanilla, bisque sauce, pecorino cheese, spring onion and basil. It’s so smooth, and creamy and it’s flavours just blend so well. When you visit Tabu, you must try this dish. Just trust me.

Pictured below is the Norwegian salmon.

tabu restaurant

Homegrown mains

If it’s not clear to you by now, the Radisson Blu and Tabu restaurant know how to put together a lavish occasion. Once the starters were finished, we were whisked off to the roof of the hotel for the mains. The elevator does not reach the top of the roof, and walking up the last flight of stairs, left me feeling like I was in action film. We weren’t told where we were going, or what was waiting for us. In true Radisson Blu style, they turned Mission Impossible into Mission Possible (sorry for the dad joke, I just couldn’t resist) and transformed the normally off limits roof top with a tent and South African decor. The views were spectacular. Having dinner while listening to the sounds of Umle and looking at the city lights below, was absolutely breath taking.

tabu restaurant

For mains I had the lamb rack and vegetable stack. Many people said that the lamb rack was their favourite dish of the night, but I have to disagree. Although it was delicious, it cannot compare to the prawn bisque risotto. I’d drown myself in that dish. The vegetable stack was also very good. It came with different veggies, toasted hazelnuts and goats cheese.

Desserts fit for a president

When we done with mains, I thought there was no way that they could top this with the desserts. I was wrong. The last stage was French themed last stage, and was based in one of the presidential suites on the 17th floor. The views rivalled that of the roof, and the suite epitomised luxury.

tabu restaurant

I am not ashamed to say, I tried most of the desserts and I regret nothing.  Amongst the sweet offerings was cheesecake sundae, blueberry and almond tart, chocolate log, tiramisu and a rosy pear pudding (pictured above). What stood out for me was the cheesecake sundae and the blueberry and almond tart. The chocolate log was also tasty, and a must for any chocoholic.

What impressed me the most was all of the new ideas that the Radisson Blu staff are bringing to both the restaurant and the city. Beginning March 2017, Tabu restaurant now hosts a high tea on the first Sunday of every month. They will also be hosting a buffet the last Sunday of every month as well.

Hope to see you there!

Places to eat

The Valley Market Port Elizabeth

June 30, 2016
The Valley Market Bouquet

It’s Thursday so this is more of a throwback Thursday post, as these photos have been taken some time ago. It’s from when the Valley Market was still held at Werk. For a long time, I contemplated whether or not I should post these pics, because maybe I’m being overcritical. I decided to go ahead because I can only getter better from here, I hope.

If you’re from the Port Elizabeth area, unless you’ve been living under a rock or too focused on your work to notice anything else, you’d have heard of The Valley Market.

Admittedly I’ve only been to the market twice, the first time being when it opened at Werk in the historic Baakens Valley. It was so full, I could literally not move in certain areas. Despite arriving around 10AM, most of the exhibitors were either sold out or on the verge of selling out. The organisers have since changed the venue and exhibitors have since adapted their supply. My favourite exhibitors were Sjukla (I am a sucker for nearly anything chocolate) and Red Band Cafe (they make a mean chai latte). I will admit that I haven’t attended it since they’ve moved, either I forget or I have something on already.

The Valley Market Entrance

When the market was at Werk, it was partially outdoors.

The Valley Market?

Originally described as Port Elizabeth’s first artisanal food fair, this market focuses on local exhibitors. The exhibitors include various food and beverage stalls and a selection of handmade jewellery, decor and clothes.

R10 gets you in and part of the proceeds goes to charity.

Here are a few snaps (that make the cut).

The Valley Market Protea

The Valley Market Sjukla

 

The Valley Market Flora

There aren’t really that many fresh flower stalls, I was just really attracted to the ones that were there.

When is the next Valley Market?

It takes place the first Saturday of every month, so the next market is 2 July 2016. It is at the Old Tramsway Building on the corner of Lower Valley Road and Union Street.

The Valley Market Drinks

Places to eat

Radisson Blu Port Elizabeth Super Breakfast

December 10, 2015

Last Saturday I was invited to enjoy the Radisson Blu Port Elizabeth Super Breakfast.  I think we can all agree that buffet breakfasts are the best so of course I said yes after all breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

The Radisson Blu Super Breakfast is a brand standard offered at all Radisson Blu’s across the globe. At the Port Elizabeth hotel, it is offered in the dining area on the first floor. Upon arrival, I was greeted by Manager Carlos Taag, who took me to my table, where I had a short interview with the Executive Chef.
Jonathan Hodder
According to Executive Chef Jonathan Hodder, what sets the the Radisson Blu’s Super Breakfast apart from breakfast buffets is the amount of thought put into planning the meals. The items in the buffet are not randomly selected with whatever is in stock. The needs and wants of the hotel brand’s guests, as well as food trends have been analysed to select the core breakfast items of the buffet. You can go to any Radisson Blu hotel in the world, and find the same breakfast items on offer, with the same quality. In addition, each hotel may have a selection of other items on offer, but the core foods will remain the same. Being a part of one of the world’s largest hotel brands, the Radisson Blu Port Elizabeth, caters for a largely international clientele, so their clients will be able to travel to any of the brand’s hotels in the world and find the breakfast items that they love.

Seeds and nuts

Hodder also mentioned that in 2016 the brand will be changing the items on offer.

Dried peaches

The items currently on offer cater for a variety of different dietary requirements. There is literally something on offer for everyone, from vegans and health conscious to carb lovers and everyone in-between you’ll have a wholesome breakfast that you love.

Mixed breads

You’ll find seeds, nuts, yoghurt, fresh fruit, muffins, a variety of bread, eggs (made how you like them) and bacon, amongst many other items on offer.

Drinking coffee

The Super Breakfast at the Radisson Blu Port Elizabeth

I started my meal with a cappuccino. For me, a good cappuccino or coffee is dependant on whether or not I have to put sweetener in. If I do, then it’s bad. I took this photo after I’ve had a few sips and as you can tell, the milk heart is still in shape, so this cup got two thumbs up from me.

Pastries in basket

Radisson Blu Port Elizabeth Pastries in basket 2

Pastries

I started the meal like any carb lover should, with pastries and cake. These are a decent size, as one won’t fill you. If you enjoy eating like myself, you’ll know this is a good thing because it means that you’ll be able to try more of the different foods in the buffet. Which is why I was able to take three.

Pastries on plate

I then followed this by some salad with smoked salmon (which was divine) and salami. I took a small amount as I intended to finish the meal with some bacon and eggs, but by the time I was done I was full. I think this is due to the fact that I started with pastries. The vegetables were fresh and crunchy.

Salmon and salami on plate

What I really liked was the layout of the eating area. I won’t claim to be a world traveller, but my experience of buffets at other hotels in South Africa is that the entire buffet is would literally be a linear counter along the wall, with parts of it open where you can make requests and of course there’d be a separate area for drinks. What normally happens with a setup like this, is that queue forms and you end up waiting a while for your food, especially in busy periods such as breakfast and honestly, I don’t like queuing for food in a hotel, it makes the experience feel cheap.

Salmon roses

At the Radisson Blu Port Elizabeth, the setup is done in such a way that this is avoided.  You’ll find an island and the counter is not linear but pops out from the wall (I, unfortunately, don’t have a photograph to demonstrate this). Along the wall, you’ll find water, fruit juices and the fruit and yoghurt bar. Connected to this counter in an l-shape is the salad bar where you’ll also get cheese slice and meat cuts such as smoked beef, salami, ham and my favourite, smoked salmon. It was so good I wanted to go for seconds, but I didn’t want to be known as “the blogger who cleared out the buffet”. Adjacent to this counter is the hot breakfast items such as bacon and eggs. I didn’t taste any of the hot food items at the Radisson Blu Port Elizabeth as I was full by the time that I left.

Each area is setup to contain food that goes together, such as the fresh fruit and yoghurt bar, the muffins and pastry baskets are together, etc.so that one doesn’t have to go from area to another. I had two courses at the buffet and didn’t have to queue at any of the sections.

Radisson Blu Port Elizabeth Cheeses
Did I mention that the hotel has both indoor and outdoor dining areas? Many of the seats have views of the pool and some have ocean views. The pool also has a number of deck chairs, which I reckon is a good spot for an after breakfast nap.

Radisson Blu Port Elizabeth Cheese and meat
I only have compliments about the service that I received. Everyone was friendly and helpful.

You don’t have to be a hotel guest to enjoy the buffet, but I’m sure being one has its perks. The general public can also enjoy the Super Breakfast at a cost of R160 per person. It is open from 06:30 AM to 10:30 AM during the week and until 11:00 AM on weekends. On special periods such as Christmas and New Years Day, it is open up until 12:00.

If you don’t want to eat from the buffet, the Radisson Blu Port Elizabeth also has à la carte menu that has been designed by Hodder.

The Radisson Blu Port Elizabeth Super Breakfast was delicious and calming, and if you’re in Port Elizabeth, you should pop in and experience it for yourself.