Strawberry Salad with Lemongrass Vinaigrette

We’re still in the throes of summer. Alright, who I am kidding. I’m loving the excessive heat, pool parties and the endlessness of summer days. And then there’s those summer nights …

*cues Grease song-and-dance interlude*


*and SCENE*

Strawberries are on my list of favourite summer fruits so when I had this Strawberry Salad with Lemongrass Vinaigrette by Chef Reuben Riffel, I was ready and willing to be raptured. It has one “exotic” ingredient, Yuzu powder. Yuzu powder comes from a Japanese citrus fruit,
commonly likened to a wild mandarin orange crossed with a lemon. The yuzu powder has perfumed, lime blossom aromas, with a bitter pithiness from the skin. You can substitute with citrus zest, still as divine.

This recipe is too good not to share, so here you go. Thank me later.

Strawberry Salad with Lemongrass Vinaigrette

Serves 2


•2 cups quartered strawberries
•2 teaspoons fresh fennel leaves
•6 rose petals
•¼ cup edible flower petals
•½ teaspoon yuzu powder

Lemongrass Vinaigrette

•½ lemongrass stalk, cut into 2cm pieces
•¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
•Juice of ½ lemon
•½ teaspoon caster sugar
•1 teaspoon cream

1. Dress the strawberries and fennel leaves with 2 teaspoons of the vinaigrette. Evenly and decoratively pile the strawberries onto 2 serving plates.

2. Decorate with the rose petals, flower petals and fennel leaves.

3. Drizzle the rest of the dressing around and dust on the yuzu powder.

Lemongrass Vinaigrette

1. Using a pestle and mortar, crush the lemongrass into a paste.

2. Whisk in the oil, lemon juice, caster sugar and cream until it is emulsified and the sugar is dissolved.

3. Drizzle over salad

and Bon Appetit.


Tandoori Roti Sandwiches

South Africa. Gosh, I love this country. Can any other country claim as much ethnic diversity; a national anthem in four different languages, eleven official languages and a myriad of cultural backgrounds.

In and amongst all this diversity, South Africa has the greatest population of Indians outside of India. And it goes without saying that Indian cuisine has influenced our kitchens – masala, curry, Chai tea – adding a little spice to our uniquely South African recipes.

The best wine to pair with rich, creamy and spicy Indian food Indian food, is a fruity wine like Pinot Noir. The silky-smooth texture of the wine perfectly compliments all types of dishes, whether spicy or tangy, chicken, red meat or seafood.

Now, let’s get on with the food. The Tandoori Roti Sandwiches recipe is quick, simple and very delicious.

Tandoori Roti (Flat Bread) Sandwiches

Tandoori Roti Sandwiches

Total Time: 15 mins

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins


.4 flat bread

.1 boneless skinless chicken breast

.1 teaspoon oyster sauce

.1 cup broccoli

.2 carrots

.10 ounces cheese soup

.1 cucumber


1. Chop raw chicken into bite-size pieces and marinade overnight in oyster sauce.

2. Cook chicken in a nonstick pan in a little water as if stir frying.

3. Steam the broccoli and the carrots until tender.

4. Slice carrots into one inch sticks and chop the broccoli into bite size pieces.

5.  Combine these vegetable and chicken with the condensed fat-free soup. Do not add water.

6. Heat the flat breads between two damp paper towels in the microwave for 30 seconds each.

7. Place equal proportions of the mixture on each roti. Roll up like a burrito. Cover with a damp pamper towel and cook for one to one and one half minutes longer in the microwave.

Serve your Roti sandwiches with sliced cucumbers, a glass of Pinot Noir and enjoy.

The iPad, the New-Age Sommelier’s Key Tool.

If you’re in Argentina, dining at La Bourgogne at the Alvear Palace or in Manchester at Asian-fusion restaurant Australasia or at Per Se in New York at you ask the sommelier to pair your meal with the suitable wine, you will not be brought a traditional “on-paper” wine list. 

Fine dining has now gone hi-tech with restaurants offering wine lists on iPads. Aureole in Las Vegas, can claim trendsetter status here. At Aureole, the contents of their four-storey, stainless-steel-and-glass wine tower can be browsed via an ‘ewinebook.’, Now this simple idea has become international with many more restaurants embracing iPad winelists everyday.

Several of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants have iPad wine lists. London’s Rib Room, and the Vineyard,which has one of the most comprehensive American wine lists in the UK do as well.Italy, Spain, Ireland and even Brazil have adopted the iPad.

Not everyone is enthusiastically zealous. Several high-ranking professionals have expressed their doubts including Andrew Connor, of Luytens restaurant in London, is one. ‘Too many times technology has let me down,’ he says. ‘Air-conditioning broken, reservation systems crashed, lights gone crazy – I prefer a low-tech solution where possible.’

Personally, I think iPad wine lists are a brilliant idea, and bring on the iPad menus too. Soon paper and ink will be extinct, so let’s roll with the times people.



Ms Zanna

Salvation Cafe @ 44 Stanley

I enjoy good food and living in a cosmopolitan city like Johannesburg, finding a restaurant that serves good food is like finding a needle in a needle stack, child’s play. However, finding a restaurant that uses organic produce is no easy feat and convincing my family that organic food tastes just as good if not better than processed food, is nigh impossible. Thankfully, Salvation Cafe at 44 Stanley has made that endeavour a little easier.

44 Stanley, situated in Auckland Park, is a district of renovated industrial buildings and warehouses. It definitely is Joburg’s best kept secret. The 1930’s architecture, aloes and eclectic speciality boutiques of 44 Stanley, is the perfect backdrop for Salvation Cafe’s shabby-chic decor. Picture mismatched tables and chairs, colourful throw pillows and antique candelabra.

The diverse menu is inspired by owner/chef Claudia Giannoccaro’s travels. Claudia sailed the world onboard private yachts cooking for the elite and wealthy, making them feel at home. And at home is how my brother, sister-in-law and I felt curled up on the sofa style bench in the courtyard, munching on our Salvation Burgers. A giant ground beef patty with sweet milk cheese and bacon, served with a side of crunchy wedges and a sweet-savoury tomato salsa. The food at Salvation Cafe is organic wherever possible and they use using organic milk as well as free-range chicken and eggs. All the meat is free of any growth hormones and the wine list also has organic and biodynamic products.

I’m pretty sure that when I mentioned organic to my brother and sister-in-law, they expected bean sprouts and celery sticks. The Tempura Five-Spice Calamari and the Thai style fishcakes with Asian greens and a sweet-chilli dipping sauce made converts of the self-confessed food snobs.

The menu itself hasn’t changed much over the years, but make sure to ask the friendly, knowledgeable waiters about the day’s specials. If we had the whole afternoon, we would have eaten our way through the entire menu, but we decided to exercise a little self-control so that we had an excuse to come back another day. But the promise of mouth-watering food in a cosy, relaxed ambience is excuse enough to have me coming back time and time again.

Salvation Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch daily. Catering and evening venue hire available. For bookings or enquiries call 011 482 7795, but no bookings on weekends.

Ms Zanna