I was vey kindly invited along to a media event for the newly opened Lola’s Bistro at Quarters Hotel Florida Road. I was not disappointed. I mean how could one be when the first item on the menu is “Smokey Bacon Soup”?? If you’ve met me you will know that there is one food that is superior to all others and while I love me some vegetarian and Vegan food, my stomach also loves the pig. But more on that later…
Upon arriving I met the absolutely delightful Lisa, the owner of Lola’s Bistro. With a heart of passion she “rules” the restaurant and with a hand of kindness and generosity she is building her empire – oh! and btw she’s got Candy Yum Yum on her lips! Lisa showed me to the bar and while she prepped another guests Cappuccino personally the bar-guys got me sorted with my drink, I then sat down and began chatting in the courtyard with the “girls.” Once the whole “crew” had arrived we were seated to our banqueting table under the stars, I’m already imagining how when dressed up with (even more) fairy light this courtyard will be every brides dream venue. Cath welcomed us and handed over to Lisa who told us a little of her history, from entertaining herself as a kid in the backyard by making her parents tea and coffee to owning her own highly successful coffee-shop in an Umhlanga hotel to finally opening up Lola’s Bistro, she has always had a passion for this hospitality business and it shows. Lisa has also chosen an amazing chef who has as much in life experience as he does in kitchen experience working in some of the best kitchens in London (I would normally name drop now but I will refrain).
This brief glimpse into the restaurant had me excited but what was to come had me more excited… Lisa wants Lola’s to be a stalwart in the community, she has already hosted several charity events and wants people from all walks of life to feel at home, and to use the restaurant for their needs, be it hosting a blog meeting, a business meeting, a charity event, or a party, Lola’s is available for fun revelry and to build Durbans community.
On to the food… and remember I’ve already told you that we have a chef that has worked in Michelin starred kitchens at the helm. The smokey bacon soup… That was me done, I could have volunteered to eat everyones at the table, smokey, creamy, moorish with a sprinkle of biltong. This soup is made for the “men” who don’t think soup is a proper meal. Our next taster was tuna steaks, ‘crumbed’ with sesame seeds and featuring a wasabi mash croquette, this was Cath’s favourite and I think if Lisa decided that these would be served in baskets on the bar that Cath would never leave! As one who is not a fan of wasabi, I will say the croquette was absolutely perfectly cooked, crispy on the outside, smooth – slightly green – mash on the inside with a hint of heat from the wasabi these may have converted me to liking wasabi.
Our next course featured bacon again, this time wrapped around a succulent, juicy and tender chicken breast, served with chunks of butternut, crispy-fried zucchini noodles and an almond butter sauce. Well this was so good that I offered to lick Jane’s plate – she would have fought me off though! For the vegetarian and halal eaters amongst us, they had a mushroom risotto with chunks of parmesan cheese – judging from Fay’s murmurs of happiness it was also good. 🙂 At this point – and pretty much anytime the food made an appearance – there was silence around the table except for our murmurs of appreciation for the food. Lisa then let us in on the secret for dessert! A snack buffet of four of their desserts, vanilla panna cotta with berries, chocolate fondant, esspresso creme brule, and peanut butter shortbread with honey comb ice cream.
Basically go… don’t hesitate, book a table have a meal, even just go for a starter and a drink at the bar but don’t let this gem pass you by!