The Shop. I’ve driven past it often enough, I’d yet to visit. The last time I was in that establishment was when it was still Buzbey Grill, owned and operated by Jimmy, who was a bit of a steak-making legend around these parts. Gabi and Kyle were in the process of taking over the shop – I’m glad that we were able to enjoy one last steak prepared by Jimmy, it really was the end of an era. I hold a rather loyal attachment to Buzbey Grill. You see, the old Sloppy Sam restaurant, the original location, was situated across the road from Buzbey, in Three Anchor Bay. Chaplins (another steak house of the time) was situated on the corner, across the road from the now Clicks pharmacy on Glengariff Road. Jimmy knew me from the age of four years old. I would often pop across the road to Buzbey with my dad and give Jesse, Jimmy’s border collie, pats and cuddles while the two restaurant owners spoke about restaurant things. I remember sitting on that Buzbey counter many times over the years, watching Jimmy prepare steaks and burgers on his grill. Yes, there was a good dose of nostalgic loyalty towards that premises. But things change and it was time for a new team to make the spot their own.
Nic and I were able to take advantage of a much needed date night this past Saturday – IT WAS DESPERATELY NEEDED. Our kids had been in a three week sickness cycle, enough said really. I was and carry on to be a bit of a Mombie at this stage. Anyway, back to the important stuff, the impending date night. We wanted to stick to a spot within the area. We both blurted out “what about The Shop” at the same time, so, The Shop it was.
We received a warm greeting at the door and bless, Gabi even recognised me as “Sloppy Sam’s” daughter, rather amazingly, considering that the last time she saw me was nearly two years ago. The Shop is currently running their Winter Special which is mighty good value for money. Two courses at R195 and three courses at R275 – choose off the blackboard for this option. Nic opted for two courses: a carrot and fennel soup and the broad bean risotto with brown butter radishes. The risotto as an option was some sort of foodie sign we were supposed to be there that night-Nic was chatting about all things risotto during the car ride over. Food score. I opted for the chicken schnitzel and chips and a side order of onion rings too. I know, I know, very carby but I was craving all three of those elements and so I indulged. Kyle very kindly sent over a taster for both Nic and I of the fish croquettes, served with a tomato and rosemary sauce – THEY WERE ABSOLUTELY EXQUISITE. INCREDIBLE. DELICIOUS. I wanted more, so we ended up ordering a portion to share while waiting for our mains. Please, if there is just one thing you visit The Shop for, do it for the croquettes. Light, delicate in flavour and ultra crispy on the outside. I could have polished off about twenty of them.
Mains were up, Nic’s soup was light and delicate, incredibly creamy and smooth. My schnitzel was succulent, the crumb coating was just enough, the chips – CRISP (the way a chip should be). Why do so many restaurants serve up sub-standard, soggy chips, NO, stop it, please. The mayo that accompanied it was creamy and those onion rings… onion rings of dreams. I’m pretty certain that I remember seeing a burger on the specials board from time to time over on their Instagram feed – order all of the onion rings when that burger special is around. In fact, just order the onion rings with anything on the menu. But. The clear winner of the evening was Nic’s Broad Bean Risotto with burnt butter radishes. Wowzers, hello flavour. Kyle popped round to the table to check on things and explained that only the shoots of the broad beans were used. They certainly pack a flavourful punch.
Due to the additional portion of fish croquettes we couldn’t even contemplate dessert – not this time around anyway. It was strange seeing other faces behind that pass but it was so lovely to know that the spot had been taken over by a pair who were serving up simple, uncomplicated and mega tasty food. The Shop is definitely on our little neighbourhood gem list. Gabi and Kyle, thank you for a lovely meal, warm and friendly service and superb attention to detail (without any fussiness). We’ll be sure to leave room for dessert next time.
Happy Date Night At The Shop x