Jamie Who is a blog about everything. Except current affairs. And politics. Also science, sport, religion, celebrities, movies, media and marketing, technology, business and design. So...basically Jamie Who is a blog about food. All things food.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Loading Bay - Restoring my faith in the gourmet burger



We had a strange night last night. The Princess and I joined Godmother E and Hotspur for the launch of Portofino restaurant in town. (The old Showroom premises). I was expecting to sample a few signature dishes and blog about the experience today. Instead, I had a Peroni and left after an hour. The event - organised by The Little Black Book - was slick and they had definitely invited the right crowd but I was hungry and needed something more substantial. So...in the meantime the Portofino review is on ice.

Luckily for me, I had been invited to (and turned down) Loading Bay's Burger Night which runs every Thursday. You guys do know Loading Bay don't you? No? Don't worry pumpkin, that's why I'm here. Loading Bay is like the punchline of a joke that would start with: an interior decorator, a fashion designer and a food editor walk into a club. It is sexy as hell and filled with beautiful people. During the day half the shop sells boutique designer clothes and the other half runs as a Lebanese-inspired restaurant/coffee bar. The burger night is a new concept and I was keen to see what was on offer.

Let's start with the staff. Funky, well-spoken dudes with just the right amount of attitude. Think Vida e. We were welcomed, even without my booking, and shown to our table. The menu was the definition of simplicity with two options: a 100% veal burger with cheddar and a beetroot and apple salsa or a vegetarian patty made of brussel sprouts, carrots, and onion. The veggie was served with cream cheese. There is also a simple winelist and Brewers & Union Lager if you're keen for artisan beer. Get this, the burger is served with truffle flavoured chips/potato wedges or a side salad. Seriously.

I had trained like a maniac pre-empting the food I was expecting to eat at Portofino so I did not hold back. The waitor asked me if I would like to add avo or bacon to my burger so I went with both. What arrived in front of me was so beautiful I didn't know whether to adopt it or eat it. A thick patty, crispy onion rings, a delicious kitka roll lightly toasted. Perfection. The wine (Simonsig Cab Sav) went down well and the truffle wedges were...interesting. Maybe a touch too much truffle oil but when have you ever experienced TOO MUCH of such an expensive ingredient? I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for at least doing something different.

There were also Lindt milkshakes (are you getting all of this???!!!) but I was honestly too full.

The burgers were R75 but worth every cent. I have it on good authority that the meat changes and can include a short-rib/brisket mixture and even a free-range chicken option. I have no doubt they will be as impressive.

I love it when something so unexpected is so good. I went out expecting a mediterranean feast and got a gourmet burger instead. Fate dealt me in nicely there. Loading Bay's slogan is "Today is a good day." Last night I could not have agreed more.

Give them a call on (021) 425-6320 or visit them at 30 Hudson Street.

Cheers,
Jamie Who
UPDATE: One of the lovely ladies from Little Black Book read the post above and has just sent through the Portofino menu. It seems simple but classic flavours and is well-priced. Check it out...
PORTOFINO

Antipasti

Bruschetta x 3 – fresh tomato and basil, griddled courgettes and mint, chicken livers R55
Antipasti plate (for 2) – chilli salt squid, marinated vegetable rolls, Parma ham, salami, olives R85
Beef carpaccio – watercress, parmesan shavings, olive oil and lemon R 60
Melanzane all parmigiana – layers of griddled aubergine, mozzarella tomato, basil R45
Tuscan minestrone soup R45
Orange, almond, parmesan and goats cheese salad with lemon dressing R 45
Seasonal salad R 40
Pumpkin, goats cheese and pumpkin seeds salad with honey mustard dressing R 45

Pasta

Risotto of the day R75
Warm risone with pancetta, peas, asparagus, porcini mushrooms with truffle infusion R70
Fresh gnocchi of the day R60
Lasagna alla Bolognese R80
Spaghetti Carbonara R65
Broccoli and anchovy pasta R65
Penne Arrabbiata – fresh tomato and chilli R60
Butternut and ricotta ravioli with pine nut butter R55
Tagliatelle with fresh mussels R85

Mains

Veal parcel filled with pesto and buffalo mozzarella and ricotta and butternut stuffed ravioli R 105
Grilled fish of the day R105
Honey and mustard pork fillet – pumpkin and potato mash, green beans R 90
Lamb cutlets with rosemary jus – cannellini bean puree, vegetables R 105
Grilled baby chicken marinated in olive oil, garlic and chilli with baby pesto potatoes R 105

Desserts

Pistachio and almond cake with yoghurt and honey sorbet and mint pannacotta
Homemade lemon tart with lemon ice cream
Ricotta and honey tart
Lindt Nemesis cake with honeycomb ice cream
Portofino Tiramisu
Selection of home made ice creams or sorbets
Vanilla pannacotta
R40

2 comments:

Being Brazen said...

Yummy!!!!

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