Lucky Store

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

One Reply to “Lucky Store”

  1. I attempted to go into the restaurant a couple of months ago, the first time there was a photo shoot and someone waved me out of the shop. Needles to say I did not feel welcome at all… The second time everything looked dead and unwelcoming and was not greeted by anyone. The place looked lifeless and sad. Apparently the new owner grew up in the house right across the place he must have gone there like all of us to buy his sweets from the previous Luck Store owner “Sem”. The first thing we noted was the wheelchair ramp! That’s fantastic! So many older people in the area are going in there now. People are talking about it at work and church. The one I attend are actually having their after meeting meals there now and another group their meetings at the store. My mom and sister had the boboti last week and they say it was delicious. I think he got this thing the right way around: first get community buy in. I will be sure to pop-in there this evening… I heard there will also be a craft market coming up… Good luck to the new owner and thanks for investing in our community!

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