Play cancelled due to rain

Being a pop-up restaurant has its disadvantages.

1) Changing venues. While this may seem like fun (bakkies and the like) we have a collected 5 degrees between 2 of us (I personally have an additional 7 First Year credits from various unfinished courses, all of which have enriched my life, greatly) and are basically not designed for manual labour.

2) Weather. Tonight is CANCELLED due to rain! Last night I watched the rain falling from a box - yes that is grammatically correct. The Box was at The Races, and I sipped chardonnay and quietly panicked about the weather forecast for Wednesday eve. At 7h05 am I checked the Weather Forecast and it read: Showers between 5 - 8 pm, and Constant Drizzle between 8 and 11pm. As both our venues are OUTSIDE, I cancelled tonight.

3) Losing your camera cord. When u move around a lot, you lose things. Hence the no pictures thing. Will be rectified soon, with some device called An SD Card Reader. I am sure I will lose that too.

3.1) FUCK! I’ve also lost my camera cord. (Jono)

Supper in Swaziland anyone?

One time, many years ago, Jono and I drove to Durban to eat the crumbed n fried olives at Cafe 1999. It was worth it. This time no one had to drive.

This time -

We went to Swaziland!
On a luxury bus!
For one night!
For supper!
Cooked by Reuben!
In a glass factory!
And drank (a lot of)
Wine chosen by Neil Pendock!

Very happily the wine Mr Pendock chose is the wine we’d already decided to serve at Mess next yr! SECATEURS! We were much impressed with our new found taste-skills and celebrated by drinking much. We drank this wine out of the reason we were there. Wine glasses. Reuben has made a range of glasses with the Ngwenya Glass Factory. We went into the fire pits and watched the process. It was great to watch but also DANGEROUS.


We sweated and turned pink and drank more champagne to replace our lost liquids.

Tell us what happened next.

It gets a bit , er, blurry, here.
We drank red wine out of red wine glasses
White wine from white wine glasses
Ate amazing food by Reuben
off glass plates.
And talked about food. and wine. and life. and laughed. a lot.


Wow, that sounds amazing.

It was ! Somehow - educated guess: the wine? - things got pretty raucous in the glass factory. We convinced the keyboardist (a kind man in a maroon waistcoat) to drop the Elton John and rock out to The Beatles. Everyone (including Mr Edcon, the distributor of the glassware) threw each other around the dance floor, doing that couples dancing thing that there’s no space for at The Attic, we ran around the factory, we smoked everywhere, I accosted Reuben in his kitchen - I hope to redeem myself someday soon. I have no idea what time we left but the bus trip was hilarious - much laughter, thanks to David Frederik Cope who gave us a running commentary on the mic.


At the hotel we kept the bar open - with me repeatedly begging the barmen to set up the Karaoke system - until…. 4am. Emma sampled their finest brandy & coke (a new experience) , Cameron fell asleep with a cigarette in his mouth, Colin was still going strong right til the end, and I took the wrong keys and walked into “my” room wondering why it smelled like “boy socks”. I then got lost on my way back to the bar - u know how confusing hotel carpets are? i decided to try and remember what the carpet near the lift looked like ….

The next morning we bussed it back to Joburg, a trip that was more than a little wobbly.

It was such, such a lovely weekend. In the most genuine and heart-filled way.

Much thanks to the Source SA team (who confirmed my theory that the more important and clever a person/company is, the more humble and great they usually are. This insight excludes Madonna - anyone over the age of 80 who wears a lilac leotard should not be allowed on MTV).

The FoodHall

There are two Jonos in Joburg, and both of them cook. The Jono Hall (not the Jono Mess) had a Breakfast Lunch Supper Experiment recently, where he cooked .. Breakfast Lunch and Supper and ± 20 of us ATE & DRANK for 12 hours. I think I knew less people there than people I did know, but I think people became friends after all that time, all that food, all that togetherness. Kind of like Christmas without the presents or drunk uncle.

The food was incredible - my breakfast fav was an oats and apple and berry crumble pie with yoghurt and honey (and perfect scrambled eggs - a sign that Jono Hall might be a man slut? - a personal theory on boys’ ability to make scrambled eggs being directly related to their ability to have one-night-stands. Discuss in 160 characters or less). For lunch we had rolls with pork belly with a sweet relish and mayo and leafy things, a salad of naartjies and crunchy curry bites where the naartjie juice made the dressing inside your mouth, and roasted-grilled-ed potatoes with mustard seeds, and for supper a sublime prawns feast with saffron, tomato and currants glumph on angel hair pasta. finished off with a bowl of strawbs - :)

Here’s Jono Hall’s v cool blog and recipes. Yums.

And Sam Swaine wrote Lots of nice yums here too.

Fried food at the substation

We held Mess at the Substation art gallery at WITS. The theme was fried food. Three courses of delicious greasy food that everyone could just tuck into. That’s the beauty of Mess, you get to abandon your cutlery and tear apart pieces of chicken and pick up zucchini chips, all with your hands. Here, you’re allowed to forget everything your mom taught you about food together with the table manners that came with it. Stretch over everyone to get to the platter, ash in the empty bottles on the table, pass food along with your hands, scrape the last bit of sauce up with your finger and God forbid, lick your fingers clean at the end of it all.

Food and dates



Not the Date-with-Man date - tho, on that subject, pizza + red wine = always seems to work , but the dates of food. It’s been a hobby that Jono and I have enjoyed for many many years. Look at food, date it, laugh at how clever we are.

Last night I ate:

Penne, cream, fillet, cognac, twig of rosemary, black mushrooms. 1978.

Last week I ate:

Avo Ritz: 1963. This depends on how it is served. A lettuce leaf underneath takes it straight to 1986. Am not actually sure when this strange meal was invented or by who or how or why, but it is apparently another South Africanism [see monkeygland below].

Beef Wellington: Exactly! When last did you eat that? Or, for that matter, smear liver paste on ANYTHING? Yum, am going to get some today for my Low GI nutty toast.

Thai Green Curry (Chicken): 2003. Hahahaha. You see.

Eating the wasabi cos you thought it was avo: 1999 - 2003. (I am hoping for you that it wasn’t any later than that).

Homemade pizza: So 2010.

Bread, olive oil, balsamic/ Hummous and pita: 1992

Ceviche: 2012. You don’t even know you love it yet. Our 4 ceviche recipes (see two versions here) come from The Groucho Grill in South Ken where my brother Drew waitered.

Monkeygland sauce: You have just finished performing in the school play and your folks are taking you out for supper/ you are a baby boomer and you’re taking your kids out for supper after they have just finished performing in the school play [another South African “invention” - who else would mix chutney, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce].

Mexican: am talking ye old Tex-Mex vibe, with melted cheddar on everything. Early 90s.

Fusion: Oh, help me. I used to do restaurant reviews but after my 400th menu with the main items being “wasabi-encrusted salmon” vs “black cherries with duck” I quit. Duck should only go with sour/citrus (in my humble opinion) and a black cherry is not sour enough. I’d say Fusion started in 2000, but I only moved to Joburg in 2000 and previous homes (Knysna - French country) , Plett (Fresh fish) and East London (See above for the delightful Tex Mex) so I am probably wrong on this. On the subject of fusion, Tuna + Watercress is still yum, altho it seems we have eaten all the good pieces and the little slabs we do get now are totally tasteless (and at sushi restaurants, often too cold for the flavour to come thru).

PS: If you would like to eat the last of the tuna in the world (I am not judging, I tried to eat the last of the salmon and now i choose trout because farmed salmon doesn’t have enough muscle-blood-oxygen-flavour in it) then don’t watch The Cove. If you ever wanted to be a Marine Biologist, don’t watch The Cove. If you ever want to be happy with your wardrobe don’t watch The Devil Wears Prada, The Divorce or Gossip Girl.

A CONVERSATION about dates:

Follow Lisa’s response and additions on relentlessabundance:

Roasted vegetables. 1992. Especially roast garlic. And chocolate brownies.

Stacks. 1993. (Well – 1983 for some – see below…)

Nut loaf. So 1972. So American. So vegetarian.

Cherry pie. 1990. Kyle Maclachlan, Twin Peaks. Swoon.

Stuffed mushrooms. 1985. Revived in 1997. Garlic, breadcrumbs, blue cheese. Easier than our mothers made out.

Pear and blue cheese salad. 1998.

Sushi. 2000. Nigiri and california rolls and sashimi and home made maki rolls with bits of sushi rice all over the mat.

Sushi. 2001. Inside out rolls and more sashimi.

Sushi post-2002. Rainbow rolls. Rainbow nation rolls. Ponzu sauce and 7-spice.

Sushi post-2009. Japanese salad.

(Sushi is kind of indomitable, and will be til we fish out the oceans entirely.)

I’m so with Kate and Jono on early 90′s Tex-Mex. Though chilli poppers and frozen margaritas were quite 2001 in my book.

2012: They say ceviche. I’m with that. But I’d also predict: Okonomiyaki. And in general, Japanese without the fish. Daikon and pickled ginger and nori in unexpected places. Yes please.


After vacating our last beautiful space, with thanks to our benefactors, we relied on the kindness of CO-OP (DOKTER AND MISSES & WHATIFTHEWORLD in collaboration with OPEN) on Juta to host our street dinner.