RED CHAMBER, Hyde Park – Still Awesome After All These Years

Red Chamber Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Red Chamber has almost legendary status as one of the finest Chinese restaurants in Johannesburg. From its early days, when it first opened in Rosebank in 1989, until it moved to Hyde Park Shopping Centre in 1997, and then moved to its current premises (remaining within the centre), Head Chef, Emma Chan has maintained her exceptional standard of quality, which keeps her patrons returning time and time again.

The service is impeccable, the menu vast, ensuring there’s something for every palate. The crispy Peking Duck is sublime! It’s served as a feast, fit for an army: the plate of duck, with separate plates of plum sauce, pancakes and finely cut cucumber and spring onion.

Red Chamber 1

We also had the crispy beef because it had been recommended to us by friends – an excellent recommendation, as it turned out! A tiny glitch in that we ordered a portion of steamed rice and a portion of noodles. A portion of fried rice arrived, which we happily started tucking into, but then the steamed rice also arrived. We reminded our waitress that we had ordered noodles and she returned the rice and brought the noodles. But then both bowls of rice AND the noodles appeared on our bill. However, when we pointed this out, it was rectified immediately with no problem at all.

4 glittery stars for The Red Chamber, if you’re looking for elegant, fine dining, Chinese style! You will be extremely well looked after.

 

PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT

HOP ON THE BUS TO FABULOUS!

PQD DIVA's Credit Lance Peterson

Divas Candida Mosomo, Londiwe Dhlomo & Tembeka Mnguni – Photo Credit: Lance Peterson

From the minute the curtain goes up and the cast of Priscilla Queen of the Desert launches into their enthusiastic, energetic opening number: It’s Raining Men – complete with 3 sparkly, shimmering Diva’s suspended above their heads – you know you’re in for a helluva ride! And that’s exactly what you get when you take your seat for this proudly South African production that takes you on the journey of a lifetime across the Australian outback.

In case you don’t know, this is the touching story of three drag queens who travel across Australia on a rather decrepit bus, which they fondly name Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. On their journey they discover the true meaning of friendship, love and unfortunately also meet up with the animosity that accompanies those who have no understanding of anyone or anything ‘different’. It’s a timeless tale of how strong bonds are formed, how hatred and derision continue to exist despite the advances that we think are being made, and how ultimately we all have the need to be accepted for who we are, regardless of our differences.

Daniel Buys is perfect in the role of Tick (Mitzi); delightfully up-beat, while seamlessly able to shift into a more restrained, reflective mood when his role requires it. And it’s certainly needed as he secretly has more than one reason to be schlepping around the

DAVID DENNIS, DANIEL BUYS and PHILLIP SCHNETLER Priscilla Photo NARDUS ENGELBRECHT 156

David Dennis, Daniel Buys, Phillip Schnetler – Photo Credit: Nardus Engelbrecht

outback in a broken-down bus! He ropes in flighty Adam (Felicia) to join him on his mission, and Felicia has a goal of her very own. Apart from just wanting to have a good time, she’s always wanted to belt out a Kylie number on top of Ayers rock, because who doesn’t love the thought of ‘a cock in a frock on a rock’! Phillip Schnetler camps up the role with spot-on, screaming hilarity (and a touch of Jack from Will & Grace)! The trio is complete with dignified, slightly aging transsexual Bernadette who feels she’s possibly past her prime, but willing to go out with a bang (so to speak!). David Dennis plays the role with gracious grandeur, back-biting as wickedly as any self-respecting old queen would! And I just have to add here, out of these three, I just can’t decide who has the best pair of legs … they’re all to die for!!

Tshepo Ncokoane in Priscilla. Credit NARDUS ENGELBRECHT 16

Tshepo Ncokoane – Photo credit: Nardus Engelbrecht

Mentions must go to the all too fabulous, stupendously over-the-top Miss-Understanding, Tshepo Ncokoane; Candice van Litsenborgh who hams it up as the most hilarious mullet ever, complete with humungous boobs bouncing all over the stage (almost); Chantal Herman as a cheeky mail-order bride who’s sick and tired of being overlooked; and last but most definitely not least, veteran actor, James Borthwick who plays the simple, but simply adorable, big-hearted mechanic, who might just have more to him than meets the eye.

Ultimately though, producers Hazel Feldman and Tony Feldman of Showtime Management have put together a cracker of a team who have have masterfully overseen all the minutiae of this show, ensuring that they collaborate perfectly to make it the glitter and glitz extravaganza that it is. Director Anton Luitingh keeps things crisp, smart and snappy and technical director Alistair Kilbee oversees the constant ebb and flow of the pizazz that abounds throughout. Resident choreographer, Duane Alexander ensures (I have no clue how) that the 28-strong cast gets every step in synch, in heels nogal!  Brian Schimmel, one of SA’s top music directors leads the 9-piece orchestra through numerous well-loved numbers (I Say a Little Prayer, Don’t Leave Me This Way, True Colours, I Will Survive … and many more) that will have audiences singing at the top of their lungs, not only during the show, but when they leave too!

And as for the costumes … the headdresses, the shoes … they’ll simply take your breath away! There’s so much colour, so much to look at … it’s a feast for the eyes and an extreme celebration of the imagination!

HR I WILL SURVIVE, Priscilla. Credit- Nardus Engelbrecht

Photo credit: Nardus Engelbrecht

Best of all though is the utter enjoyment that shines from the face of each and every cast member. This is a show that begs for an audience, and has audiences begging for more

Priscilla Queen of the Desert is a must-see. It’s fabulous fun, thoroughly entertaining, and if you don’t walk out of that theatre with a huge smile on your face, then you lied and didn’t actually see the show!

It’s on at the Teatro, Montecasino until 18 June, 2017.

BOOKINGS: Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000, or visit www.computicket.com

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

This musical contains some strong language and adult themes, therefore parental guidance is recommended for children under the age of 12

PRIMAFILA – A PRIME EXAMPLE OF HOW NOT TO RUN A RESTAURANT!

Primafila Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

***AVOID*** AVOID *** AVOID *** AVOID *** AVOID ***

Sometimes there needs to be a zero rating, especially reserved for those experiences where even a rating of 1 seems too high!! I don’t think I’ve every written such a negative review, but our experience at this establishment was so awful, that I feel the need to warn fellow restaurant-goers about it! Even if the food is of fairly decent quality, it’s completely overlooked by the atrocious service and shocking handling of the situation by management. One can’t expect staff to be adequately trained when it’s clear that the manager himself has no management skills, and no understanding whatsoever of how to handle his clientele.

We arrived and were seated quickly, received our menu’s and offered drinks, which arrived fairly quickly too. We ordered our meals – my companion ordered gnocchi and asked if some cream could be added to her napolitana sauce (i.e. an aurora sauce). The waitress assured her this wouldn’t be a problem. Gnocchi with napolitana sauce is priced on the menu at R85 as opposed to gnocchi with bolognese or 4-cheese sauce, which is R99. Our meals arrived in due course and we enjoyed them. The waitress removed our plates, and then … we seemed to become invisible. Nobody approached our table for close to 20 minutes! We weren’t offered dessert, coffee … nothing … not even our bill. It’s at times like these that I’m tempted to test the theory of walking out without paying to see if anyone actually notices!

We decided to phone the restaurant and ask for the manager, and our bill. The person who answered the phone claimed that he was the manager, and my companion told him that we’d been ignored for quite some time and please could he bring us the bill. And then we waited some more!! Yes, really!! After some more time, we saw him walking around and we called him over, and my dining partner asked if he was the person who she’d spoken to earlier. I’m not sure he understood, but he said yes. So we asked him why we were still waiting for our bill. He proceeded to then go and chat to the cluster of wait-staff hanging around the restaurant door. We waited a few more minutes and eventually our waitress materialised with our bill and a card machine, and she stood next to our table waiting for payment! Yes, she rudely stood by our table waiting, after ignoring us for so long.

Our bill included an extra charge of R10 for cream. We asked the waitress what the extra charge was for and she informed us it was for the addition of cream into the napolitana sauce. She hadn’t told us there’d be an additional charge. We called the manager who told us that the waitress was supposed to tell us about this additional cost, and she’d told him that we had said it was fine. We told him that she had told us no such thing and insisted he remove the additional charge, which he did. A new bill then arrived without the additional R10, and the gnocchi was now charged at the incorrect price at R99!! We called the manager back. My companion was now, understandably, seething!!! She explained to him that what he’d done was actually illegal as although he’d removed the additional charge, he’d now increased the price of the dish she’d ordered on the bill. He didn’t seem to understand what she was trying to explain to him, and seemed quite flustered as he realised that this whole situation was completely beyond his control. He eventually returned with yet another bill and a R100 note and said that he’d decided to just charge us R100 for the whole meal! Seeing as I’d already paid cash and received change, and my companion had already paid her share on her card, we just wanted to get out of there after this whole prolonged nightmare. So we said that would be ok, and we took the R100 and left. But the manager still seemed rather confused as he still didn’t seem to know quite what had happened.

So … be warned!!! There are establishments out there that still manage to operate with a complete lack of quality or care for the customers they serve. How they stay in business is a mystery to me, and it’s not only the unsuspecting customers who suffer but also the foolish owners who leave their restaurants in the hands of useless managers and staff. Primafila is one such restaurant. It should be avoided at all costs!!

FOODIE HEAVEN AT PAUL’S BAKERY @MELROSE ARCH –

Paul Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We waited a bit for all the hype to die down before visiting this much anticipated French Patisserie.

The restaurant is much bigger than I initially thought, and although we thought it was

Paul's 3

Lobster Pot

full when we arrived, we were taken through to the dining area in the interior of the space, which you don’t see when you’re looking in from the outside. It’s a lovely suprise! The decor is all so beautiful and tasteful and you just want to sit and take it all in – I know it’s all got that French feel to it, but to be extremely English, my reaction would be that it’s all extremely ‘genteel’! (For those who have no clue what I’m talking about, it’s a compliment, I promise!)

Paul's 1

Mushroom Ravioli

The menu is quite extensive, and not just limited to pastries. There really is something for every taste, including many vegetarian options, although some might find it slightly on the pricey side. I opted for the mushroom ravioli, and my partner had the lobster pot. The food presentation is perfect and for those who eat with their eyes, you won’t be disappointed.

Chef Tony visited our table to see if all was in order and suggested Nutella crepes for Paul's 2dessert! It was like he already knew us! He did however, recommend that one portion be shared between two of us, as the crepes are quite rich, and he was quite right. They were delicious, but half a portion was quite sufficient for one person.

We’ll definitely be back, and I can’t wait to try out the authentic French onion soup, served in a bread bowl!

A Gloriously Fresh Approach at Sum Ting Fresh Norwood

Sumting Fresh Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A tiny little gem of a place tucked away in plain sight in the hectic main street of Grant Avenue, Norwood. Their menu is limited – they do fried chicken in a variety of ways, and boy, do they do it well! The aioli is something out of this world (yes, I asked for more) – they definitely worked some sort of magic on it!

 

Sum Ting Fresh 2

Gujon Chicken with Aioli

And the chicken is of course, fresh, crunchy and just moreish. The aim here is to provide good quality, wholesome food and to focus on what they do best rather than to provide a wide variety on the menu and focus on quantity, which is when quality often suffers. It’s obvious that the two guys who started this (with food trucks at festivals and markets) realised that they’d found something they did well and decided to stick with it! Good for them!

And don’t forget to try an amazing Jam Jar – the watermelon one was absolutely delicious!

Sum Ting Fresh 1

The staff are friendly and obliging and the service is efficient. You have to go and visit. It’s fun, and probably not what you usually have in mind when you think of ‘eating out’, but you definitely have to try it. And once you do, you’ll be hooked!

GLORY, GLORY, IT’S GOLIATH & GOLIATH!

THE GOLIATH COMEDY EXPERIENCE 2017 GOLIATHX2017 

Goliath Comedy Experience

What’s that you said … we South Africans don’t have much to laugh about? Are you kidding me?!

If you’re feeling a bit down in the mouth then we’ve got some fabulous, funny-bone news for you! South Africa’s best friends of Comedy, Goliath & Goliath, in association with Comedy Central and Savanna, are bringing you The Goliath Comedy Experience 2017.

With last year welcoming over 2000 festival-goers, adoring sold out shows and standing ovations over one weekend, this year #GoliathX2017 will be spreading the funny over a 7 day period with the biggest and newest names in comedy, from 24 to 30 April, at Africa’s premium comedy club, the Goliath Comedy Club in Melrose Arch, Joburg!

You can catch some of comedy’s greats such as Joey Rasdien, Tol A$$ Mo and John Vlismas, legends Joe Parker, Roni Modimola and Mark Banks or next generation funnies like Glen Biderman-Pam and Beach all on the Goliath Comedy Club stage.

And the biggest scoop of all: Donovan, Jason and Nicholas Goliath will be performing their first ever three-man experiential comedy show as a prelude to the launch of their national tour!

Whether you’re a new or somewhat veteran fan of comedy – with these tailor-made comedy offerings, there’s bound to be something for everyone!

Here’s the line-up for the week:

Goliath Comedy Experience 4

MONDAY 24 APRIL 2017 – NEXT GEN Brought to you by Savanna:

Talented open spot comedians are a dime a dozen, so 10 of the most popular up-and-comers were chosen to take to the stage, give of their best, entertain and show you where they are going. There’s no competition here, no battles, just brand new next generation funny.

Goliath Comedy Experience 2

 

 

 

 

TUESDAY 25 APRIL 2017 – OLDS COOL:

This proved to be one of the biggest hits of the 2016 Goliath Comedy Experience. It features some of SA’s Comedy legends who continue to keep things as funny and as relevant as ever..

 

 

WEDNESDAY 26 APRIL 2017 – 30in5 Brought to you by Savanna:

With no host, 30 comedians will all be doing 5 minutes each … anything could happen! The line-up is a mix of well-established comics and youngsters who’ve been doing this since … last week. There’s no hierarchy, each comic will draw a number out of a hat and depending on the number they choose, that’s where they’ll appear on the line-up. Expect it to be fast paced, witty and hilariously entertaining!

THURSDAY 27 APRIL 2017 – GOLIATH & GOLIATH:

Prepare for side-splitting hilarity as SA’s comic trio, Donovan, Jason and Nicholas Goliath launch their national tour with their first three-man experiential comedy show.

Goliath Comedy Experience 3

 

 

FRIDAY 28 & SATURDAY 29 APRIL 2017 – HEADLINERS:

The most popular show from last year’s launch event, for obvious reasons, a heavy hitting show featuring a mix of South African comedic greats. And there’s no excuse for missing it because there are two shows this year!

 

 

Tickets for the Goliath Comedy Experience are on sale now at www.goliathcomedyclub.com

Make sure you don’t miss out! Follow all the updates on Goliath Comedy Club via social media:

Twitter: @thegoliathcc

IG: @goliathcomedyclub

Facebook: Goliath Comedy Club

SA MUSIC ICON STEVE KEKANA LIVE IN CONCERT IN IPHUPHO THE DREAM

With Special Guests Joe Nina, Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse and Ladysmith Black Mambazo

HOSTED BY IKUSASA (Ikusasa Arts Development Projects)

2 shows only : Saturday 29 April at 19h00 and Sunday 30 April at 13h00 on The Mandela Stage at Joburg Theatre

Steve Kekana 4

This promises to be an unforgettable 2-hour show of pure nostalgia, with Kekana delivering all his hits from the start of his career back in 1978, to date.

Kekana lost his eye sight at the age of five, but has never let this stand in the way of fulfilling his dream. This concert aims to entertain and inspire those living with disabilities or who face challenges which may be regarded as stumbling blocks towards fulfilling their dreams.  This is the reason for show’s title: Iphupho the Dream.

Steve Kekana 3Kekana has over 20 albums to his credit and is one of the few artists who has managed to cross over varying genres, from Mbhaqanga, to Pop, Gospel and Soul. His decision to not confine himself to a single genre was frowned upon at the outset as it was believed that he would not be able to sustain a fan-base. But he proved his critics wrong and dispelled all myths about cross-genres, as to date he is amongst the most loved and respected local musicians of his time.

In the past, Kekana has also collaborated and featured on various songs with some of South Africa’s greatest musicians such as Joe Nina, PJ Powers, Soul Brothers, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the late Nana Coyote. His unique and high range tone have always made him stand out from the crowd.

Born in 1958 in Zebediela, Limpopo, Kekana lost his sight at the tender age of five, and attended a school for the blind in Pietersburg. During his school years, he nurtured his love for singing, and was a member of amateur groups.

In 1979 and 1980, Kekana won what was then known as the “SABC Black Music Award” for Best Male Vocalist. Further awards followed, with the singer taking the “Top Male Vocalist” award on Radio Zulu, and being the runner-up on the Tswana and Sotho Radio Stations.

Since 2001, he frequently collaborated with fellow vocalist Nana Coyote, and his links Steve Kekana 1with a younger generation were solidified through his association with singer / producer Joe Nina, who produced his most recent album “African Lady”. Kekana, Coyote and Nina regularly appeared on stage together, and recorded under the name “The Trio”.

Kekana holds a B Juris and LLB degrees, and has written on Intellectual Property from the perspective of a songwriter.

ABOUT THE PRODUCER
Simphiwe Majozi, an actor on the SABC 1 telenovela Uzalo, will be hosting and producing this first ever tribute concert to Steve Kekana.

Majozi, who plays the role of a ruthless criminal known to many as Sbu on Uzalo is also a director of Ikusasa Arts Development Projects (“Ikusasa”). The organisation focuses on developing and uncovering new talent, whilst celebrating artistic legends and icons in the music industry. He believes that young and old in the entertainment industry can have a mutually beneficial relationship, learning and growing from each other.

Tickets are R150 and can be purchased at www.joburgtheatre.com, via Webtickets or by calling Joburg Theatre’s Box Office on 0861 670 670.

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