Meet the Food Critic

Published: 2021-09-03 20:50:13
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Category: Restaurant

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Meet the food critic
Wande Siswana (36) Single, Black, Xhosa female from Houtbay, Western Cape. Received her degree from Top Nosh Cooking School in Bergliet Cape Town and spent a month at Stir Crazy Cooking School (Stir crazy Admin, 2018) in Houtbay where she learnt from virtually every single cooking style from Asian to Cambodian to Indian. Wande spent months travelling to Germany, Italy and Russia among many countries to experience and rate food at various companies. After working at The POT Lock Club for 10 years, one of the top rated restaurants in Cape Town (Benatar.N, 8 November 2017) which has been on the tourist radar for decades and on the international fine dining map since 2008. Wande was scouted by Simply Delicious (Simply Delicious Admin, 2018) which won Best food blog and Best new blog award at the South African Blog awards in 2010 (Claassens.C, 16 October 2017) to do a weekly food article, critiquing South Africa’s most popular restaurants in Gauteng and rate the overall experience at these restaurants. When dining out she prefers South African inspired Cuisine rich in spices and culture such as bobotie (traditional Cape Malay dish comprised of spiced minced lamb/ beef topped with a layer of egg and milk and browned in the oven), bunny chow (a hollowed out loaf of white bread filled with curry) and Bredie (slowly cooked comforting stew). (Scarborough.L, Thursday, March 3rd, 2016) When she eats food she wants to experience a harmonious blend of all the spices delicately mixed together to create the meal.
Fast Food Restaurant
Turn ‘n tender began in 1977 by the four Aaron brothers, Mervyn, Steven, Howard and Brian, and was re-launched in 2007 by Brian and and businessman Farrel Osherfrica. ( Famous brands admin. In 2013, Turn n tender joined the famous brands group and now There’s 19 Tender restaurants across South Africa. ( Famous brands admin, 2017)They’ve become known for their love for perfect steak, their amazing taste in wines and their warm and welcoming atmosphere where customers can become friends over good food. (Turn n Admin,2017) Turn ‘n tender is the place for all kinds of celebrations and occasions, because over one meal you can create an entire lifetime of memories with family and friends. The memories you take from turn ‘n tender and the ones leave behind are held at the very heart of the restaurant. This all adds up to one legendary story.Atmosphere/ Ambience
The atmosphere was very warm with the addition of wood fire to heat up the restaurant as well as candles on each table, these all created a very warm ambience as you enter the restaurant. There was a very welcoming atmosphere with all the waiters and waitresses welcoming you in with big smiles as well as the manager welcoming you in as you enter, this also adds to the homely atmosphere as you no longer felt like a stranger but part of the family which is what Turn n Tender is all about, family. There was also a romantic ambience with the candles on the table, dimmed lights and the wood fire, it was perfect for couples. The décor was very simple, few painting on the wall, dimmed lights hanging from the ceiling and on the table you have a small candle lit, two wine glass, cutlery placed neatly on your left hand side on top of a maroon serviette as well as Turn n Tender has a soft instrumental music playing. The atmosphere at Turn n Tender makes you feel comfortable and happy and is definitely a restaurant to come to with loved ones. I would rate the Atmosphere/Ambience at Turn n Tender: 5/5
Cleanliness & Hygiene
As I sat on the table, I could see it was very clean, no dust or dirt. The wine glasses were sparkly clean and I could see that time was taken to ensure all aspects on the table (cutlery, glasses, table, napkins and plates) were spot less for every customer. The new napkins and cutlery for each customer makes sure that a good standard of hygiene is kept for each customer. I would rate the Cleanliness & Hygiene at Turn n Tender: 5/5
Service
My waitress name was Melissa, excellent waitress, Melissa was well informed about the different types of calamari (tube or head) for my meal as well as she knew the different types of glass wines available and was able to recommend an excellent glass of Robertson for my meal. Melissa brought all my food with in good time- my starter was brought within 10 minutes of ordering, main meal brought less than 5 minutes after finishing starter and dessert was brought 10 minutes after completing my main meal. Melissa and the manager frequently came to make sure I was satisfied with quality and taste of my food which made me feel that I was a valued customer. I would rate the service at Turn n Tender: 5/5
Food
Turn n tender has one of the best food I’ve tasted throughout all my travelling and critiquing in South Africa and around the world. The time taken to perfect the perfect blend of spices is evident when you take your first bite and there’s a burst of flavour. For starter, I had chicken livers served in warm butternut sauce with mild spices and served with freshly baked bread. This meal was delicate in spices but was perfect for a cold winter night. The livers weren’t fully cooked and dry, they still had a slightly pink centre which made them juicier and tied the whole meal together. As the meal was placed in front of me, I could see in the large white bowl, approximately 6 chicken livers in a warm orange sauce and there was a beautiful aroma which smelt of the beautiful blend of spices.
For main, I had Beef ribs and calamari meal with baked chips and a glass of Robertson wine. The ribs were slowly cooked as the beef fell off the ribs with ease and the meat was not dry and hard to eat rather it was soft and juicy and had an immense amount of flavour as well as a warm barbeque sauce. The calamari was very small in quantity and I was expecting more but there was a large amount of chips and ribs which compensated for that. The calamari was well cooked, had a light lemon and herb taste but did lack more flavour and sauce, they weren’t at the same high standard as the food I’ve tasted. The potato chip were delicious, not too oily or greasy, tasted fresh and were lightly salted. The meal was presented on a black cast iron plate to keep the meal warm whilst I ate. The glass of Robertson wine was perfectly paired for my meal, I could taste the time taken to make the wine as well as the delicate mix of spice in the wine, and the wine had a beautiful smell and an amazing taste.
For dessert, I had Strawberry sorbet which was served in a cocktail glass with a small leaf of mint placed perfectly on top of the round scope of sorbet. This was the perfect end to my meal, the smooth blend of ice and strawberry was perfect for my pallet after a heavy main meal. The sorbet was not too sweet or icy, it was refreshing and delicious. My overall meal at Turn n Tender was amazing, even with the slight disappointment in the calamari, I still left Turn n tender feeling satisfied and happy. I would rate the food at Turn n Tender: 4.5/5
In my opinion I feel that although Turn n Tender is more expensive salsa, the quality of the food exceeds salsa. The food is more formal salsa and is suitable for dining out. The atmosphere in TNT make you feel welcome, comfortable and part of the family as well as with the exceptional service. There is no doubt that TNT in comparison to Salsa is of a higher standard.

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