We’ve both been hungry, but missed common tables, until two weeks ago when we ate at Grande Provence where there is a new chef, Peter Tempelhoff. This man has a pretty impressive CV including two years at Quo Vadis, Marco Pierre White’s place, but our experience at GP suggests his flame is not yet burning white. Nothing wrong, and GP is a fine outing with its setting, design and art gallery, but not vastly improved from the incumbent chef.
Aside from the Hungry Man’s remonstrations that he is not, in fact, a fish snob, there was little to report on. HM is of course a fish snob, but he has the good fortune of being in with fishermen and women and eats the blighters straight off the boat, often as sashimi. The facsimile that often ends up on the restaurant table is therefore treated with suspicion.
Yesterday we ate at a new place operated by a friend of ours and run by his mom, the wonderful Judy Badenhorst (ex of River Cafe, Constantia). Lucky Store is deeply quirky, set in the building where the general dealer was in a small winelands community. It’s very local, and very South African. Novilon tiles, shiny washable walls (where the menu is written), melamine table tops. The food is plain but tasty, the kind of place that sardines on toast is a regular for breakfast (and we all know that this kind of place only exists at home).
There is some residual unease… the whities pull into a previously disadvantaged community and turn the general dealer into a “shabby chic” eatery, one which the locals never go to. In this case, they apparently do, so I look forward to seeing that.
We had the only starter, a beetroot and goat’s cheese salad. It came after our main course, a venison pie with stewed sweet potato, but all was hastily devoured, followed by a superb carot cake. Beware wine snobs: take your own wine and expect to drink it from tumblers.
Lucky Store. Idas Valley (at the circle). 072 9082155