Shouting at the rugby from the couch, having a braai even though it’s raining buckets outside and those freaky blue things hanging from the tow-bar of certain rugby team fans are all things common to South Africa. Another is the bad habit of only eating hake when it’s battered and comes with a side of chips. Not that there’s anything wrong with couch-refereeing or supporting your team, but they always say that a change is as good as a holiday. Spice things up and replace the fish and chips with Portuguese styled hake with a cream cheese and lemon sauce served on a bed of savoury fried rice and a glass of white wine at Mint Café for R50.
The fresh and funky vibe of Mint Café is the perfect place to give your palate a metaphorical ‘clean slate’ and try out some new flavours. Situated in the Humerail Centre on the edge of Summerstrand, Mint Café really gives the feeling that you’ve walked into what you’d imagine the smell of mint to look like; zesty and fresh with a clean-feeling atmosphere, and a bonus of stunning views. Better than battered, taking a bite of the Portuguese styled hake could give you flash-backs to that one time you went fishing and ate home-cooked fish for the first time; it’s that fresh. Served in a creamy cream cheese and lemon sauce, it has all the creamy, fresh flavour that it’s vinegar and bread-crumb soaked cousins don’t. Replacing the carbohydrate-feast that usually accompanies fish with savoury rice, Mint Café makes not embarrassing yourself a difficult task to achieve, because you’ll be fighting the desire to lick the plate clean.
Like winter and warm blankets, or sweater-vests and tweed jackets, certain things are just meant to go together. Just like you can’t have nachos without cheese, you can’t enjoy their Portuguese style hake without a crisp glass of house white wine to accompany it.
Hook-baiting Fact: The first taxidermist started business in the early 1800’s. His young son had punctured his beach-ball with a bicycle chain and thrown it into the water. Sometime later, he noticed something was chewing on it. After reeling in the giant fish, he took it to his father and begged to be able to keep it. The father obligingly filled it with saw-dust and covered it in varnish, so his son could keep it, without wasting money on fish food.