The Stylish Bakers

I have mentioned The Stylish Bakers in a post before and since then I have had the pleasure of meeting the dynamic sister duo. If you’re an instagrammer you should be following @thestylishbakers . Faaiza and Aneesa are two beautiful and talented women that have taken the insta world by storm. Faaiza and Aneesa’s fame sprouted when they began posting their intricate and absolutely breathtaking pastries that they create on the gram. Not only do their pastries and desserts look amazing, it tastes divine too!

The sisters share a passion for all things sweet and beautiful and they have turned this passion into a business. They have since started the stylish bakers pastry school in which they conduct hands-on demonstrations and classes . The purpose of these workshops are to inform, educate and inspire one and all to dabble in the world of patisserie. The sisters are not just your average pastry joes (like me), they are well educated and trained in the field of pastry and are letting you in on their secrets.

I was invited to attend one of their classes when I was in South Africa and I was so excited, I couldn’t sleep the night! Faaiza and Aneesa have sort of become insta-celebs and I was so eager to meet them. I was also a little nervous as my baking skills are absolutely pathetic despite my training, being a blogger what what. I PRAYED that I don’t make a mess of it and ruin my entire life and reputation completely (dramatic much). But I was welcomed with warmth and kindness and it was great to see a few familiar faces at the class too!

the class I attended was a demonstration of the Stylish Bakers’ Angelina. At first, I wanted to run-away. The picture of the pastry was posted on the gram that week, the thought of the process was so daunting and I didn’t even know how to begin! The Sisters have very cleverly structured their classes by breaking down the recipe into individual elements. As the class progresses Faaiza explains each element of the dish with the utmost detail, she then conducts a live demo in which she shows you a  step by step process on how to create that element. Thereafter the students got the opportunity to go back to their stations with their partners and try the recipe for themselves, under the watchful eye of either Faaiza or Aneesa.

Element by Element we worked through the Angelina. Before I knew it we had completed each step and we were ready to assemble! I was astonished by the fact that I could DO what Faaiza did. The idea of creating something so delicate was daunting to me but with their help, I actually created The Angelina along with the other ladies in the class.  Even though I have done a pastry course, it was very basic.I picked up so many tricks and tips from Faaiza in this class it was really informative!

I have been through my fair share of classes and courses, what I loved the most about the workshop was that it was ORGANISED. Everything was perfect, it was like I had my own cooking show, ingredients would just pop up and dirty dishes would just disappear while we were working.

The sisters know their trade. everything you need during your class is ready for you. They are meticulous, there was no one running around looking for a pen or a piece of glad wrap. They can answer your questions swiftly and correct you where needed which I found helpful!

They use the best ingredients and tools. They provide a product and service that is of an extremely high standard. The price of each class varies according to the pastry made on the day. keep in mind the quality and standard of the class when booking your space. Even though this is a business it is first and foremost their passion and therefore they do not skimp on anything, they give you the items that they would use in their kitchens at home.

At the end of the class, you have the opportunity to shop The Stylish Bakers collection and get your hands on everything you have used in the class. The classes have different durations based on what you sign up for. During the

The best part, During the break you have the opportunity to sample some of Faaiza’s creations that she whipped up and you get to take home the yummy treats you made.

 

Overall I had a great time at the workshop and it was great to spend time with the bakers and the other ladies at the event. I DID splurge on some goodies so hopefully, I’ll be making some fanceh pastries for you guys. In the mean-time make sure to check out their page and get your girls together for an outing!

 

 

 

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The Kitchen Collectors Guide

 

Those of you that know me well enough,  will know that I have a serious problem when it comes to household items, especially dishes. I wouldn’t like to call myself a hoarder, I prefer the term collector. I love serving ware, cutlery, quirky handmade dishes and cute little trinkets that I can serve my creations in. A lot of the time I collect things for my home when I travel, I love to bring back bits for my kitchen as a reminder of my trip. However, when we come home for our holiday to Johannesburg I always make a point to visit Home Stuff. Home Stuff is literally the coolest and most ginormous home store I have ever seen! I always lose myself in the store, I end up with a cart full of cool kitchen gadgets, tons of plastic-ware for my little one and the most amazing dishes that I use to serve up my food.

It’s is a one stop shop for household items, they have a wide range of kitchen items as well as home décor and toys for the kids. They have a magnificent party section which I was in awe of. If you’re thinking of throwing your little one a party this year they have a huge selection of party items to choose from, including all your kid’s favorite characters. If your kids are as smitten as my little one is with cartoon characters they will be bowled over! We spent most of our time in the kid’s section picking out Dory cups and Elsa plates for her meal times.

I am BIG on kitchen gadgets and tools and if you caught my live videos from the store you would have noticed that I made specific reference to a few of my favorite items which are must haves in any kitchen!

  1. A digital scale
  2. A zest /small grater
  3. Wooden lemon squeezer
  4. Garlic press
  5. Plastic spoons that can be used for cooking
  6. Measuring tools
  7. A Great Set of Knives

These are a few tools that I can’t live without in my kitchen and are all available from different brands and price ranges.

I was blown away by the range of brands that they keep in the store. They stock everything from Maxwell and Williams, Bodum, Alessi, Jamie Oliver, Pyrex, Marinex, Joseph and Joseph, Eetrite and many many more. They also have a wide range of CONSOL dishes and a variety of dinnerware and serve ware to choose from.

If you’re looking to fill up a new home, add new items to your collection or searching for the perfect gifts, I can guarantee that you will find something here. I found this cool Granit dish which caught my attention. Firstly, it’s so stunning and I can’t wait to prepare something in it. It can be used in the oven and microwave and can be directly used on a glass ceramic cooker or on a gas and electric stove with the addition of a heat diffuser. I also bought myself a gorgeous rose gold serviette holder, a rose gold utensil holder (which I’m going to use for my make-up brushes), some beautiful vintage tins that I have used for my Eid gifting and some more little kitchen tools.

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They have branches in the following locations

  • U106 Bright Water Commons-Randburg
  • Shop 12 Hillfox Power Centre
  • Flag Ship Store Shop 19 Stoneridge Centre- Greenstone Park

Alternatively, you can shop online or email them with an order and they will courier it to you! But I personally feel that you won’t be satisfied until you visit the store!

You can visit their Instagram @homestuff_jhb or website  www.homestuff.co.za

Thank You to Abdul and His team at Brightwater Commons for helping me find everything I was looking for!

The Artisan

Let’s talk artisan. What does artisan mean? Artisan is something that is handmade often by a person that is skilled in that specific field. About a year ago I started my own artisan range of mixes which I introduced to my Johannesburg clients. I am fortunate enough to have an amazing team as well as friends and family that support my creative venture every step of the way.

Sweet and Sour Jam Nut Mix

The first product we introduced was the artisan Sweet and Sour Nutmix. Which is a jam like preserve that is served over cheese on cheeseboards with an assortment of crackers, with fruit, yogurt and muesli, the possibilities for this one is endless.

I didn’t intend for it to become a business , we first introduced it to La-Maquillage by Rae at her makeup workshops. The response to the product was phenomenal. This recipe was the brain child of a dear family member Zaheda, who was a doctor by profession and still had the time to be a whiz in the kitchen. She insisted that we try the mix,  even though the flavor wasn’t something we were used to in our cooking. There are so many aspects of my life which she has influenced, this was one of those instances, she pushed me towards trying it and I was smitten. I even served it at my wedding! Zaheda will always be an inspiration in my life, she was a magnificent mother, career woman and chef and  I can only aspire to be as phenomenal as she was.

This product contains pecan nuts and walnuts and needs to be kept frozen (for 6 months) or refrigerated (3 months). best served with Philadelphia cream cheese and saltiCrax

 

Braai mix

Braai basically means BBQ, but this marinade can be used for so much more than that. This is a family recipe that has been carefully formulated by my mother and I. it is a spicy blend that can be used on chicken, beef, mutton or even Game meat!

All you need to do is to coat your meat in the marinade, the earlier the better. You can grill it in the oven, cook on the stove top or on the BBQ. After it’s cooked you can serve with a lemon butter sauce which will bring out the flavor of the spicy marinade.

This product does contain dairy, and therefore needs to be kept frozen. I suggest to decanter the bottle into smaller portions and thaw it as you require.

 

Sweet Nut Snack mix (chevro)

a lot of people have been calling this chevro, however is it really? This recipe was passed on to me by a dear family friend Raeesah, who worked for hours with my sister in law Tasneem to put together this mix for my baby shower. After long hours of preparation, it was a HUGE success, our guests went NUTS for it (pun intended)

it’s fully loaded with an assortment of 4 different types of nuts, all baked. then glazed in a honey dressing until crisp. It’s sublime to say the least, people are often put off by the price, but I assure you that we only use the best quality nuts and the finest ingredients for this masterpiece. No shortcuts, no machines (just the oven I suppose).

 

Roulades

These little roulades really took me by surprise. I love roulades it’s the perfect item to keep on hand for unexpected guests. You just pop them out of the freezer and into the oven and you’re good to go. I introduced them for the first time at the Nspired event 2 years ago. We were sold out in the first hour of the event. Since then my clients have requested them for EID or just to keep on hand for when they needed them

I make each and every roulade by myself, with fresh, locally sourced produce. It’s a chicken roulade with a spicy potato filling. All you have to do is pop them (foil on) into the oven for 25 minutes. Then remove the foil and grill until it gets a beautiful golden brown color. Make a simple sauce and pour it over. Finally, top with fried grated potato chips. It’s great as a starter, or serve as a main with a fresh salad or French fries.

 

So these are the 4 babies of the batch, my products that I work long hours to create! The aim of my business is to make life easy for you. I come from a family and I am married into a family that love to entertain, expected and unexpected guests. So these products make my life super easy as I can just keep them on hand. I’m fully aware that you can make all of these items yourself, but why should you?

 

I am forever grateful to all of the kind hearted people who have supported my business.  it takes a lot for people in the food industry to put themselves out there, but the community has been nothing but amazing towards RSR. this isn’t what I initially set out to do with my life, however it has become my life and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

 

Thank you to everyone that has supported the RSR team at our multiple pop-ups this month. Our success depends on your satisfaction so please feel free to email me any suggestions on info@rsrcreations.co.za

 

Lots of love

RSR

RSR EATS LONDON

In my opinion the best part of a holiday is the food. Wherever I go I make a point of finding the coolest and most popular restaurants in that area. London was no different, it has been on my “to visit” list for ages and I was so excited to make that dream a reality.

As soon as I found out about the trip I began compiling my list of “must eat” places in London. I spent hours on the net and social media making notes of all the amazing food that I came across. I didn’t make it to all 0f them, but these are the ones I did make it to and I was damn impressed.

Some of the places are NOT halaal. So we had to opt for meatless options.

Maroush (halaal)
maroush was one of the first places that we visited.  the menu is primarily Lebanese and reminded us of home. Before we left my mother in law mentioned that this would be our go to spot especially after long days of touring. And she was pretty much spot on. after our big bus tour, we were pretty exhausted and didn’t want to go too far to grab a bite. We were lucky that Maroush wasn’t too far from our hotel and they offer a delivery service as well!

We were a bit confused at first, as there are about four branches of the Maroush franchise on one street. We chose the first one we came across, which was smaller than the others and a bit quieter. That particular branch also offered live entertainment. But we opted to be seated on the ground level instead as we were famished and too exhausted to enjoy the belly dancing.

We ordered the fattoush salad, hummus and falafel as starters. All of which were really good. For our main meal we ordered the chicken shawarma, the servings of the starters were sufficient for two people, however the shawarma was perfect for one. I really enjoyed their food it was flavourful and so fresh! It was so comforting to dig into food that reminds you of home. The service was great and our waiter Dayana was so pleasant.

We visited the restaurant on multiple occasions after that. The location and quick service was definitely one of the main reasons we kept going back.

21 Edgware Rd, London W2 2JE, United Kingdom

Nopi
If you follow me on social media, you will know how excited I was about this particular restaurant. Nopi is a Soho based restaurant that boasts some of chef Yotam Ottolenghis best dishes. There is no doubt that this restaurant is filled with all sorts of sophistication and splendor, all of which you can expect from Ottolenghi. We arrived pretty early for breakfast so we didn’t need make a reservation, but the restaurant started filling up quite quickly after that.

The restaurant itself is absolutely beautiful, from the moment I stepped in I was taken by the modern interiors that are adorned with marble and rose gold finishes. Not to forget the rustic display of sour dough bread that greets you just as you enter.

We opted for a meatless option and ordered the shakshouka. My husband ordered the orange juice and I opted for an English breakfast tea. It didn’t take long for our food to arrive and we couldn’t wait to dig in. The shakshouka had tomato and capsicum, just like any other. However, it had its own distinct Smokey flavour which really gave this humble breakfast dish a new dimension. Every blog that I have read has only had wonderful things to say about this shakshouka, and they were absolutely right. It was a delight to soak up the Smokey sauce with the freshly baked sour dough bread.
This restaurant is on the pricey side as it is a bit more formal.
It’s a must try on my list.
21-22 Warwick Street London

Pizza pilgrims
you know that feeling you get, when theres so much hype surrounding a restaurant, that you absolutely must go there (FOMO). This was one of those. Pizza pilgrims are one of the most popular pizza joints in London and have a following of 19.7 K Instagram followers. They are hip and on trend and no doubt their pizzas are ridiculously good. This was another meatless option for us so we opted for the margarita. I wish we got to order more, but they were closing and just accommodated for one pizza for us. I was a bit ticked off, but the pizza was good enough to make up for that.

I would definitely suggest going out and giving them a try. Just get there a bit early. They have a few branches but we visited the one below.

11 Kingly St London.

Dishoom
I opted for vegetarian options, which were lovely but their menu was so gorgeous , it had me salivating . I haven’t confirmed their halaal status personally , You can enquire if you like.

Back to the food. Dishoom is based on Indian cuisine, so I was in heaven. I ordered the Vada Pau, (pav as I call it) and it was literally the best. I have been craving it ever since. The bun was fresh and soft and the potato patty was packed with spicy goodness. I loved the tamarind and coriander chutney that they served with it. I also ordered the bhel, which was so refreshing and had the perfect bits of sweet, tangy and spicy. There was definitely a noticeable crunch, so this one gets 2 thumbs up from me. I ended my meal with the rose and cardamom lassi, there was nothing more perfect.

22 Kingly St, London

Selfridges
I’m pretty sure that all the avid London tourists are aware of how good the food at the Selfridges Cafeteria is. They have 2 halaal options, Lebanese and Indian. As well as some pretty good fish and chips.

Its so convenient as all the vendors are in one area, so each member of the family can choose what they prefer to eat. I thoroughly enjoyed the fish and chips which was served with mushy peas. I also greedily finished an entire thali by myself ,courtesy of masala zone. I was super impressed by the quality of the food and I wish I spent more time eating here. (I don know if that was even possible).
I could eat at Selfridges everyday .

400 Oxford St, London

Afternoon Tea at Harrods – The Georgian
A trip to London is incomplete without the compulsory afternoon tea. I chose to have mine at Harrods. We were ushered to our table situated in the Georgian restaurant, located on the fourth floor. This is one of the best afternoon teas served in London and is highly commended by the afternoon tea awards.
The dining area is very English and elegant and promises the best dining experience. There are different options to choose from, we chose the Georgian afternoon tea. This included a selection of finger sandwiches, freshly prepared tea pastries, warm scones that were served with clotted cream, rose petal jelly and lemon curd. And a mini Harrods trifle.

We ordered one to share and our waiter was lovely enough to let me choose the sandwiches I liked. I opted for the cucumber, salmon, egg and the artichoke sandwiches . They also have a fully vegetarian selection as well as a gluten free selection. I devoured each and every one by myself. Luckily my husband wasn’t too hungry that day.

One tray was enough for two people; we did however order an extra serving of scones because they were so scrumptious ,i suggest ordering an extra serving of sandwiches as one tray only has one of each option. The rose petal jelly was so delightful; I have never had it before so I made sure to snatch me a bottle from the Harrods pantry on the ground floor.

The trifle was served to us in a dainty little bottle, it was sublime. It had everything that a good trifle should. The best part was the fresh strawberry jam that added a tart element to offset the sweetness of the sponge and the custard.

We chose the Georgian blend tea; it was a beautiful blend. it resembled english breakfast tea, however it was bolder in flavour.  I was so in love with the flavor that I took some home with me. You can purchase this in the tea room on the ground floor. It has become my favorite tea and I indulge in a cup at least once a day now.

The pastries were undoubtedly divine, but it was stuffed by the time I made it to the top of the tray. So there were a few left over.

Tea at Fortnum’s
We chose to splurge on our afternoon tea at Harrods, so for our next tea we decided to visit the famed Fortnum and Mason store. we have had the Fortnum’s high tea in Dubai so we decided to enjoy an afternoon tea break at the parlor instead. The parlor is a quirky café like setting that serves up tea, cake and scones, as well as gorgeous ice creams. It is less formal than the traditional high tea (which requires a reservation). I wasn’t blown away by their scones, but the carrot cake and English breakfast tea were both superb.
You can spend hours shopping in this fascinating store, it has everything from tea to picnic baskets. a picnic basket that I am absolutely smitten by FYI!
Make sure to pick up some of your favorite teas and jams from the store as they are famous for their selection of tea time treats.

Pret a Manger
The best way thet I can describe pret is simply “pret is to UK what Starbucks is to the US”. well Starbucks is available in the UK, but there’s a Pret at every corner. And each and every one of them are busy.

Pret is a coffee/ sandwich shop,  They have a selection of freshly prepared sandwiches, pastries and soups as well as the best coconut water I have ever tasted. I carried a bottle with me everywhere I went ,it was that good. We really enjoyed the tuna-mayo sandwich which was complemented with fresh rocket.  The tomato and cheese croissant  was so delicious, it had a lovely fresh tomato filling which was  fantastic . Pret is the perfect choice for people on the move, so if you spot one, make sure to stop!

For some reason the tea in London just tastes so much better. I have learnt a few important steps in tea preparation while in London ,which I now incorporate into my morning rituals. This was unquestionably one of the best foodie experiences I’ve had thus far. I love tea and i make sure to collect different varieties wherever i go. Make sure to grab a few to add to your collection as well.

There were so many other places that I wish I had the chance to visit, but time was not on my side. If you get the opportunity make sure to check out “bread ahead” and “cereal killers’ café” .

If you’re visiting London anytime soon, make sure to search my hashtag on Instagram #rsreatslondon to see all the places I’ve mentioned in this article. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and your foodie tales.

Happy eating folks

R.S.R

Craftsomething event.

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Hey guys I’m back!!

A lot has happened in the past few months but I won’t bore you with the details. However I am back and hopefully will resume blogging as usual.

For a while I was considering shutting the blog down, for 2 reasons. 1. The blogging industry suddenly multiplied over night with an influx of food blogs suddenly sprouting. (Don’t get me wrong great job ladies and gents) however I doubted the need for my blog with so many other successful blogs out there. 2. It was becoming too time consuming and I’m trying to get to honours (eventually).

But alas here I am. Why? I have realised something these past few months. Even though I have forgotten about the blog, you guys haven’t forgotten about me. I’ve met so many of you in person and I am grateful for the kind words of appreciation and motivation that you have all shared with me. So I decided to keep things going and I hope to keep up to the standard that you’re used to.

While in South Africa I had a lot of time to kill and spent most of my time trying out new and hip restaurants. One of my favourite places that I had visited was Craft in Parkhurst, Johannesburg. I was attracted to the restaurant because of one magnificent candy floss milkshake which didn’t disappoint. However once there I couldn’t resist sampling their desserts (that caramel cheesecake though) and later came back for lunch. If you follow my insta you would know that I fell INLOVE with their veggie pizza and the mac&cheese. They even have a Banting friendly menu!

On that note… 4elements media in association with Craft restaurant and Jsomething collaborated to do something that was never before done in South Africa. A restaurant take over. For one day only, J something (South African musician) was given the keys to craft to wine and dine the public with a signature menu created by Jay himself.

I was unable to attend the event myself but my amazing blogger friend Ranaa from RMfashionary gladly accepted the invite on my behalf. Jay prepared a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu especially for that day. Everything looked great but I was disappointed by the amount of vegetarian friendly options that they had. However what vegetarian ranaa did have, she thoroughly enjoyed. Her favourite had to have been the three cheese dip with focaccia. The pizzas were gorgeous and all wood fired, no surprise as jay himself has a pizza oven at home! Overall the vibe was great, Jsomething made a great host and even took the time to pose for a few selfies. To top it all off all the proceeds from the #craftsomethingevent went to the foodbank.

Overall I think this was a great accomplishment for any chef. What a great initiative indeed.

P.s craft. Your Muslim clientele is definitely on the rise, it might be time to invest in a few halaal friendly options!

Thank you to Ranaa for covering the event for me and Layla Shaik photography for the great shots!

It feels good to be back

Rizwaana

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Eating My Way Through Turkey- Part 2

Rule number 1 in Turkey- drink apple tea everywhere you go!

While touring Turkey, it was clear to me that each district is governed by different cultural influences. The Sultan Ahmet area is typically more traditional in the sense that it feels ethnically Turkish. The spice bazaar was definitely my favourite expedition. We bought most of our Turkish delight from here from a stall called Hazer Baba. The variety or Turkish delight is amazing but my favourite would have be the rose!

we also found a very interesting coffee kiosk near the exit of the spice market. The store has 1 window from which you can buy freshly ground coffee in different quantities. there was an exceptionally long queue outside the store and I had to find out what all the fuss was about. I later found out that this is an extremely popular Turkish coffee mill called Kurukahveci. our tour guide explained to us the traditional way of making Turkish coffee , and so you can look forward to a post about that soon!

Taksim however was much busier and more modern. Taksim is the most popular retail stop for most tourists after the grand bazaar. Istiklal Street is buzzing with locals and tourists, the food is more take-away and coffee shop style, compared to Sultan Ahmet which is more traditional and sit-down style.

We visited the popular Turkish sandwich franchise, simit sarayi. They have a kiosk located in the clock tower in Makkah and I absolutely love their zataar and zaytoon simits. As well as their cheese and salad rolls. I didn’t see many of these in Sultan Ahmet but in Taksim there are quite a few.

After spending the morning in Taksim, we decided to take a short 12 minute drive (depending on traffic) to Nisantasi. I was taken away by the vast difference in terms of architecture and culture between the earlier two districts and Nisantasi. It’s extremely upmarket and as one of my friends described it “very European”. In this area you will find most of the high end retail brands and I do suggest taking a coffee break at one of the amazing coffee shops in the area.

The most exciting part of the trip however was visiting the sea-side district of Ortakoy. We anticipated this part of the trip so much due to all the hype built up around one very interesting baked potato. This lavish baked potato is called Kumpir, and is a popular dish in this area. It is nothing more than a baked potato topped with everything… and anything you can imagine! They serve them from street-side stalls and in the restaurants. I learnt one very important lesson that day, less is most definitely more. No matter how tempting it may seem to stuff your spud with everything they offer, keep it simple , try and opt for fewer toppings , trust me you’ll enjoy it much more. another popular delicacy in Ortakoy , are the waffles. Which just like the spuds , can be topped with almost anything you want.

If you happen to come across a coffee shop called Mado, I suggest you pop in and order your favourite Turkish desserts. Word has it, that they serve the best Turkish sweets.

After this post I feel like I’ve relived this amazing trip. I hope this helps you along your travels in the future and if you have any enquiries do feel free to email me on info@rsrcreations.co.za

If you’re on Instagram check out my page and search #RSRinIstanbul for updates on my trip.

For those of you that are looking for guided tours I have 2 recommendations. If the odds are in your favour you will come across an old man named Ibrahim standing outside the AyaSofya museum. He was by far the most entertaining and informative tour guides I have met. His rates aren’t bad as well.

If you prefer a more formal route, we used a company called walk turkey tours, they were recommended by the hotel concierge.

To all my Muslim readers, Ramadhaan Kareem.

Rizwaana

Turkish Coffee

Turkish Coffee

Apple Tea in Grand Bazaar

Apple Tea in Grand Bazaar

Kumpir In Ortakoy

Kumpir In Ortakoy

Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight

Olives in Spice Bazaar

Olives in Spice Bazaar

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Fresh Apple Tea

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Eating My Way Through Turkey- Part 1

I recently embarked on a journey to one of the most incredible places on earth, Turkey. With its rich architectural heritage and oriental inspired traditions, I was taken by its magnificence.

I had to compile a food diary for you all, as Turkey has become a popular travel destination and I find it comforting to be familiar with your surroundings when travelling.

As a foodie, I wanted to eat everything. And I probably did. Turkey has multiple cultural influences, there are ottoman influences, Middle Eastern influences and of course Turkish influences. Ottoman cuisine consists of meat and fruit and Turkish cuisine consists of a combination of meat and vegetable. You will also come across a variety of mezze style dishes, and there will be bread wherever you go!

Street food is a popular culture in Turkey , with carts of roasted corn and chestnuts at every corner and the famous Turkish style bagel “simit”. Which can be  filled with Nutella, cheese or cinnamon  (I prefer it plain or nutella filled, with a cup of tea or coffee). I also came across a sweet Goolab Jamun type dessert in the spice souk. It’s called lokma, these crisp fried pastries are drenched in syrup and is a must try.

We stayed in the Sultan Ahmet area, which is in close vicinity to the Blue mosque and the Topkapi palace. I loved that we chose to stay in this area, as I was told by the hotel concierge that due to the proximity of the Mosque, the restaurants in the area all serve halaal meat. However if you have any doubts they will gladly present a halaal certificate for you.

Some of the best restaurants that we dined at were located specifically on one street, just a kilometre away from the blue mosque. I loved the vibe of the area as well as the quality of the food served. It is located centrally near the Sura Hotel.

We dined at NAR – steak and doner, 3 out of 5 nights that we were there. They have multiple awards for service and excellence which they did not fail to serve to us. We especially loved their version of a special Turkish meal, Testi Kebap Kuzu. Which is your choice of beef, chicken or mutton kebabs cooked in a clay pot with a gravy like sauce and vegetables. I loved it, especially because it’s accompanied by theatrics! On our second dinner the hubby ordered a T bone steak which is served sizzling on a cast iron plate for you to “cook” to your liking, it was an exceptional quality of dry aged beef served with a side of vegetables. I loved their shakshuka and stuffed aubergines which you can order individually off their mezze menu.

Another favourite of mine would be the Mihri café and restaurant located outside the AyaSofya hammam in the centre court of the sultan Ahmet area. We had breakfast and lunch on different occasions and I enjoyed every dish! I ordered the menemen, which is scrambled eggs in a tomato and green pepper sauce, and the pan fried eggs with pepperoni which were both amazing! They serve a variety of pizzas and wraps on their lunch menu and I highly recommend them! Another plus is that they don’t serve alcohol, unlike many of the other restaurants ,and are therefore strictly halal.

When visiting a restaurant in turkey, don’t hesitate to ask them to see their menu, but most of the places offer you to look at their menus. When choosing your meals, ask them what their most popular dishes are. If you’re not a fan of a strong meaty flavour in your mutton, I suggest you stick to beef and chicken options. Most of the restaurants do serve pasta just in case you’re not feeling adventurous.

Look out for part 2 of my food diary!

check my instagram page for updates and vlogs of my trip!

roasted corn

roasted corn

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Turkish bread

Turkish bread

roasted chestnuts

roasted chestnuts

pan fried eggs with pepperoni

pan fried eggs with pepperoni

marmara

menemen

lokma

lokma

T-Bone at NAR

T-Bone at NAR

simit

simit

Nspired Pop-Up

 

A few weeks ago my team and I had the pleasure of working with the charming Naseema from Nspired Abayas, at her annual abaya flash sale and pop-up. The concept was exceptional and I was blown away by the number of ladies that travelled from far and wide to attend this event.

Naseema curated a beautiful lifestyle event which showcased local talents and brands and I was fortunate enough to be one of them. Her theme was enchanting and everyone had a great time mingling and shopping!

The RSRcreations team brought to the ladies a few of our favourite fingers foods. We served spicy mini tikka burgers that were extremely popular! Mini bean bunny’s (you can find the recipe here) and beautiful mini roulades. Our best seller of the day was our beautiful treat packs that consisted of our special banana bread and carrot cakes. We also introduced our snack packs which included our amazing balsamic-nut mix served with cream cheese and crackers.

In all the craziness of the event, we were sold out in the first 3 hours of the day! It was truly an exhilarating day to say the least, and we will definitely be doing more of these events in the future.

Due to popular demand our roulades will be made available to order for a limited time  from the 1st to the 4th of July in Johannesburg only! Email us at info@rsrcreations.co.za to place your order!

Thank you to Naseema for hosting a fabulous event and to her beautiful daughter for these pictures! A Special thanks to my team Fatima, Nabeela, Tasmia and Zeenat for all their amazing talents.

we look forward to seeing you all next year!

Rizwaana

 

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RSR Guide To A Gastronomical Journey : Dubai

Ever since I’ve moved to Dubai I’ve accepted that there will always be 3 extra kilos that I will never be able to get rid of. Dubai is a melting pot of tradition and culture, and as a Muslim culinary enthusiast it is the best place to be in! I’ve received countless emails of people asking me where the best places are to eat when visiting. The variety of cuisines available in Dubai are unbelievable, from traditional Arabic food to Japanese cuisine, Dubai has it all.

These are my picks of the best restaurants in Dubai

Zuma. One of Dubai’s most popular restaurants ,which serves Japanese. It’s centrally located near the DIFC and Parking is easily accessible. It is difficult to get a reservation so try and call ahead of time. If you’re a culinary enthusiast you will thoroughly enjoy Zuma. This is what we ordered

Starter: fried soft shell crab served with wasabi mayonnaise and the crispy fried squid with green chilli and lime

Main: spicy beef tenderloin with sesame, red chilli and sweet soy.

Dessert: hot chocolate fondant

This is a pricey affair and  kids aren’t allowed so save it for date night! Be prepared to dine with the finest, when I visited I was seated near Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty and friends!

Café Blanc. This is a more informal setting and is located on the lower level of the Dubai mall. They serve Lebanese food and if you’re lucky you can have your dinner while watching the famous Dubai fountain! There’s no specific courses however these are my favourite dishes

Fatouch salad, Hummus and Falafel. All which will be served with unlimited supply of Lebanese breads. Jweneh bil kouzbara chicken, crispy chicken wings served in a tangy lemon and garlic sauce. Oriental club sandwich a delightful fresh main meal filled with wonderful ingredients.

La petite maison– also located at the DIFC, this French inspired restaurant will leave no stone unturned when it comes to perfection. They are known for their immaculate food and presentation. Reservation is required. As a starter we ordered the Burrata with tomatoes and basil. The Carpaccio of scallops come highly recommended if you’re adventurous. As our main meals we had the Gnocchi with cherry tomatoes and parmesan which was extremely delicious. we also had the succulent Grilled rib eye steak with gratinated baked potatoes which were creamy and cooked to perfection. Dessert was UH-mazing! Passion fruit posset, an almost granita textured dessert which was mind blowing and the smooth vanilla crème brulee which left a sweet ending to our meal.

Serafina – located in Souk al Bahar, opposite The Dubai mall. I love the fact that it’s central yet not as casual and busy as the mall. Primarily serving Italian food, I loved every minute of it. If seated outside you have an amazing panoramic view of the musical fountains and the Burj Khalifa. Our starter was the tomato bruschetta which is perfect for 2 people. As our main meal we ordered The porcini mushroom pizza and Lobster linguine which were both extremely  satisfying. For dessert we opted for the Garden, an edible chocolate pot plant  with the creamiest filling accompanied by a crunchy topping.

Maison bagatelle. Also French inspired cuisine, however I recommend a visit for breakfast, brunch or lunch. We had the French toast with Nutella and we requested berries on the side. The omelette and the eggs benedict  were really well presented and packed with flavour. They are located on Sheikh Rashid Boulevard keeping with the hustle of Dubai city.

Handi– located at the Taj hotel in Deira. This is a firm favourite amongst many tourists that visit Dubai. To be quite honest I’ve probably had everything off the menu but my favourites include Chana masala, masala papad, kasuri malai, masala jhinga and the chicken biryani. They have live entertainment on most nights, call ahead to see if they have any artists lined up on your visit.

Omnia by Silvena– this inspirational kitchen has a strong Arab influence yet her food is health conscious and delightful. Located in the Jumeirah fisherman’s village, the setting is opulent and mesmerising and the food is just as good. Her warm shakshouka and heavenly cheesecake is enough to leave you satisfied. all of the ingredient’s used are organic and locally sourced.

these restaurants are essentially what I feel will provide the culinary enthusiast with the most fulfilling gastronomical journey. there are many restaurants which I  still need to visit and I cant wait to share the reviews with you all. for latest restaurant updates in Dubai follow my instagram page.

happy travelling!

Rizwaana

cafe blanc handi le petite maison bagat omnia serafina zuma

Life Grand- Review

Life Grand Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

life

Life Grand

Recently we celebrated my sister in laws 30th birthday. A mother of 4, including a set of twins, she never fails to surprise me with her zest for life! If there’s one thing that we have in common, it’s the love for food. She’s an extreme foodie to the extent where she has made lists of places to eat while in different parts of the world.

I was assigned the duty of selecting the venue for the event and so I decided on life grand café. Life grand café is a restaurant franchise founded by Maira Koutsoudakis, they have branches in Midrand, Waterkloof and Hyde Park. Maira is the founder of the Life Grand group which includes the restaurant chains as well as a successful interior design company.

We visited the restaurant based in Waterfall corner, Midrand. The setting is simplistic and earthy. You have the option of indoor and outdoor seating which is well transitioned to exaggerate the flow and simplicity of the restaurants theme. The open plan concept allows for you to bask in the freshness of a summer’s day breeze but is also great as you don’t feel congested if you choose to be seated indoors.

The menu is phenomenal with a wide range of dishes to choose from. for the nibblers, traditional tapas or freshly prepared sushi to satisfy your cravings. There’s a salad bar filled with the most tantalizing toppings awaiting your selection.

For those that are looking to indulge there’s a spread of seafood and meat dishes that will awaken your taste buds, as well a pasta bar and earth’s best wood fired pizzas.

We ordered almost everything we could, considering that we were limited to the vegetarian/non-alcoholic options. We ordered an array of pizzas including the Rosa tomato with basil pizza, vegetarian pizza and the garlic and herbed focaccia. The One pizza that really stood out for me would have to be the spicy prawn, tomato and wild rocket pizza that was devoured in seconds upon reaching the table.

The sushi was extremely delicious and fresh! There was great balance between the different components and I would highly recommend you visiting life grand if you’re a sushi lover!

The pastas were made with a very specific attention to flavour. They were bursting with fresh Rosa tomatoes and the best selected vegetables. The pasta itself was cooked perfectly and is a great lunch or dinner dish.

The presentation of the food was a mixture between contemporary and modern country style serving. The environment of the restaurant is so welcoming, its fuss free and is a great venue for family lunches or dinner as well as light meals or drinks. I am a huge fan of their passion fruit and mango granita, it is frozen perfection! Ask for it specifically.

Over all the service was excellent, the staff really went out of their way to accommodate to my specifications and they allowed me to bring balloons, which they set up for me! I loved the vibe and the food was out of this world. Life Grand is definitely a must visit, and I will be making my way back to sample their magnificent pastry and desserts which I sadly missed out on.

Happy Dining and Happy Birthday Tasneem!

Contact them on

Hyde Park

Middle mall .Hyde park corner

William Nicol and Jan smuts drive

+2711 325 4350

 

The Club

113 The club

Dely and Pinnaster rd.

Waterkloof

+27 17 346 1031

Midrand

57 Waterfall Corner

Woodmead and Maxwell drive

+27 10 596 9000

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