Life on lockdown has been challenging. I’ve never had to be a housewife, teacher, chef and full time digital content creator all at once. Strangely enough, you learn to adapt to your new circumstances (note, I didn’t say like).
My love affair with food has been heightened during lockdown. I love everything about food – the challenge of creating new dishes or perfecting old ones. The simple smell of freshly baked bread and the complexities of trying to recreate foreign cuisines, it’s all a rush – and probably the reason why I became a food writer.
In the absence of restaurants to review, I plan on making the best of the worst situation – let the takeout reviews begin. Lockdown lunch loading! I have been a fan of Cheyne’s in Hout Bay since the very first bao bite two years ago. The affordable menu and attention to detail combination is formidable for the small Hout Bay eatery.
Cheyne’s knows how to tie together powerful Asian flavours with Cape Town’s sustainable produce. The restaurant is operational for delivery under Level 4 restrictions. Cheyne’s sister restaurants includes Fire Monkey, Ding Dong, Lucky Bao and Shio.
After 40 days of home-chefing, my family and I were ready to dive into an Asian oddessy of delights. Ordering was an absolute breeze, I sent through my order, address and preference of paying on WhatsApp, received a prompt reply. Within an hour the food was delivered to my home.
Cheyne’s menu offers tapas options – so you can choose four from a variety for only R200.
My order included some of my favourites:
Forbidden Black Rice Risotto
Trust me when I say you have to try this dish! It is a revelation. The sweet and sour dashi cream hugs your soul. The risotto is cooked to par-fection and the flavour profile is so unique, chances are you haven’t tasted anything like this before. It is a vegetarian dish, and is also the perfect accompaniment to my other very meaty choices.
Baby Shrimp Tempura
Fresh and delicious, it is similar to prawn popcorn. Make sure you devour this first, the tempura can lose its crunch if it sits too long.
Grilled Pork Loin Ribs
The tender meat falls off the bone, and is glazed with a teriyaki and 5 spice concoction. It is flavourful, sweet and has cemented its place on my future re-order. As you can imagine, when I opened takeaway box, my kids could barely wait for me to snap a picture before attacking the ribs. They were pleasantly surprised with the asian nuances.
Lamb, Ginger, Teriyaki Gyoza
The ideal gyoza (Japanese pan-fried dumplings) can only be judged on its filling. You can’t go wrong with lamb, ginger and teriyaki, while it may seem too many for such a small dumpling, on the contrary it is just enough to pack one powerful punch.
Oh how I have missed the luxury of a silky bao! This decadent dish is part of the Lucky Bao menu, and one of the reasons why I frequent Chenyne’s. The chicken is moist inside with a crispy, crunchy exterior. The bun is fluffy and delicious – the flavours melt into each other and create a magnificent bite.
The chicken wings were flavoured very similar to the ribs, and finished off with some sesame seeds. In our home, they were polished off in minutes. Talk about a wing and a prayer, there were none.
Cheyne’s do not use Uber eats, their staff with cars and motorbikes deliver the food to you. Areas they deliver to include Tokai, Hout Bay, Sea Point, Camps Bay, Llandudno, Claremont and Constantia.
Pictures: Nidha Narrandes