Monday, January 21, 2008

Rick’s Café Americain

First Honey Ho’s meeting of the year – promising lots of juicy holiday goss and a welcome chance to get a bit jujjed and kick back girl-style. The evening started with me executing a brilliant parallel manoeuvre into an insanely small parking space outside Rick’s Café on Park Road, off Kloof. I was chuffed that we’d managed to find parking at all (this being Friday night and all) until I got out of my car and noticed the HUGE off-street parking area on the side. In terms of security, Rick’s is great – good area, busy street, off-street parking and car guards. Lovely!

The décor inside is elegant but not intimidating – there’s a hint of 20’s chic wrapped up in jazz lounge possibility. Downstairs is the (smoke-free) restaurant area, separated by a screen from a lively (smoking) bar area. Upstairs is another (smoking) lounge area and a beautiful outside deck with its own service bar that is available for functions. Oh, and the toilets are really nice as well. Not very exciting but clean, simple, and with wheelchair access.

Right-o, now for the most important part – drinks, and food! I’m a beer drinker most of the way and beer generally slides down well in any setting. But, beer in hand, I had a squizz through the wine list and drinks menu to get a feel for what was on offer. The wine list was impressive, if a bit pricey, and there was a good selection of carafes available; those not in the mood for wine could make a selection from the cocktail, beer and spirit menus – all of which were pretty extensive. Only negatives in the drinks department were not being able to bring our own wine/pay corkage and a limited choice of champagne. (Not that that stopped some of the more intrepid Ho’s.)

Once we’d done a basic catch-up and had some liquid in us, we turned to the food menu. Quick note here: larger tables need to put in their orders as soon as possible, especially on busy nights, or alternatively ask in advance for the set menu, which looked really yummy when we had a look through it. I ended up going with a double order of chilli poppers (small obsession) which were absolutely superb!! I have eaten a few chilli poppers in my time and none of them came close. This was the king of all chilli poppers! I even woke up the next morning wishing I’d taken another order to go… The general consensus about the food was that it was delicious. Off-hand I can only remember some of the other dishes we ordered (Fish & Chips, Chicken Brochettes, a Vegetarian something) which isn’t very helpful, I know, but have a look at their website where the menu is very nicely laid out. Other Ho’s, feel free to fill in the gaps! The service was great. Frank managed our various queries and requests calmly and efficiently. Not so easy when you’re dealing with nine crazy women. So Frank, you totally rocked dude!!

On one of our smoke breaks at the very lively bar, Ali and I met James, the Financial Manager of a cosmetics company, with an unequalled capacity for tequila. After we’d finished eating, he surprised our table with a checkers packet full of sample cosmetics. The next few minutes were spent in an acid moment of make-up absorption, much to the amusement of our neighbouring tables. It was a great evening and we all agreed as we sat at the end of the evening sipping our Johnny Black that Rick’s Café had turned out to be the perfect spot for our first meeting.

Scoring Criteria

Toilets: (4)
Price: (5) Great spot for a Ho on a shoestring budget: meal, drinks and Johnny all for under R150
Food: (5) Scrumdiddlyumptious
Ambience: (5) Alchemical combination of super-coowil venue and FABulous company!
Décor: (5)
Service: (5) Yes Frank, that’s you!
Value Added: (No rating) I saw evidence of snacky things on the tables when I arrived but the early Ho’s had done a good job of dispatching anything that may have been edible.

My Ho rating: all you Ho’s out there looking for a good time – grab a bunch of your mates and hit up Rick’s for an EPIC evening!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Welcome to The Honey Ho's!

Firstly, don't judge us by our name. We were drunk and it seemed funny at the time. And, like those unattractive University nicknames that just seem to stick, The Honey Ho's never went away. So here we are.

We? We are a group a fantastic women who get together regularly to check out new bars, restaurants and venues in Cape Town with three specific points of interest: food, drink & atmosphere. Finding new places to go in Cape Town is easy. Finding places with reasonably priced food, interesting drinks and a great vibe is a bit trickier. While researching places to go on the web, I found I wanted an opinion not a menu. I wanted to chat to someone who had been there, who could say: Wow! What an awesome place! or A little pricey but worth it. or Jesus Christ! Run for the hills!

Being the astute young individual I am, I saw an opportunity for us to have some fun: do what we would do on any other Girl's Night Out, just review the places that we go to and put our findings up on a blog. Call it culinary research or investigative entertainment or something like that. Bottom line is, this blog is about having fun. One of us will "review" the most recent place we have been to, post it on the blog, and if we want, the rest of us will comment. If you care, you can read it and maybe it will help you choose a place to go next time you are looking to have a night out. If it sucks, well, isn't that the beauty of blogging?!

The Honey Ho's will be starting the 2008 adventure with a night out on Friday 18th January. Obviously, we won't tell you where we are going just yet because you'll have to watch this space for details. That's if you care, remember?

Until then, look out for the next post after the 18th as well as the development of this blog with pics and menus and other interesting things.

Here we go, ladies! Drinks on me...