Food Fundi – Chocolate brownie
Juan and Marlise van Hysteen have been at the helm of the well-known and much-loved Mbombela eatery Food Fundi since July 2017, and so far everything is going well. Jason and Melanie Powell may have left big shoes to fill, but this intrepid husband and wife are up to the challenge. “It’s quite ironic,” laughs Marlise. “We went from a franchise business to a stand-alone, while Jason and Melanie went from stand-alone to franchise. And let me tell you, a franchise business is no easy feat. We have learnt a lot from being in that industry, everything is very driven and organised.”
Food Fundi’s chocolate brownie is the stuff dreams are made of. Richly decadent and chocolaty, the secret to this tempting treat is the quality of the chocolate used. “We only use the best,” says Juan, “none of this mass-produced commercial stuff. Our chocolate is 70% pure, and handcrafted by a local supplier. And like everything else we do, this is made with love. Everyone here has a passion for what we do and it shows in our food. The brownies are made in small batches, and in a batch of 24, one kilogram of chocolate is used. So it’s not just any old brownie, it’s a chocolate brownie,” he laughs.
Get in touch
Food Fundi on 013-755-1091
Cicada – Chocolate peanut butter pie
Cicada Craft Bar in Mbombela is an icon, the place to go for trendy cocktails, delicious snacks – think Camembert samosas and biltong cigars – and of course sushi, and the very latest in cutting-edge drinks, from craft beer on tap to infused gin. And if you are in the mood for something a little sweeter, says manager Jacobus du Preez, you can also order a chocolate-and-peanut butter pie, which the menu describes as layers of peanut butter mousse and chocolate ganache on a biscuit base, served with whipped crème. Jacobus smiles broadly as he assures us that this is one of his most popular desserts, and we can certainly see why.
Bheki Dlamini explains exactly what goes into this favourite. “The base comprises crushed tennis biscuits, melted butter and a whole nut slab, all melted and mixed together. The top half consists of cream cheese and peanut butter whipped up into a mousse, then topped with shards of caramelised peanut clusters and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. On the side is your choice of whipped crème or vanilla ice cream, all covered with a delicate sprinkling of icing snow.”
Now if that doesn’t tempt you, we don’t know what will. The delightful childhood flavours of peanut butter whipped up into a light mousse and served on a crushed-biscuit base must surely be the stuff dreams are made of!
Get in touch
Cicada on 013-741-1751
Feast – Rummy Oreo milkshake
Mbombela’s Feast is an old favourite in the Lowveld, and while simple and unpretentious, the menu has something to please everyone and there are certain things that people will keep coming back for. One of these is the Rummy-Oreo Chocolate Shake, and this baby is a wake-up call for the senses. It is an icy-cold, boozy, rich and decadently chocolate delight all at once, and if you are looking for a Don Pedro with pizzazz, then Feast is the place to go.
“This is a real crowd-pleaser,” smiles Michelle Erasmus. “We have had it on the menu for three years, and everyone loves it. People come at all times to have this drink – morning, noon and night – and often it is the go-to after a meal, when they will luxuriously sip on their long cool adult version of a kid’s special treat, instead of having a dessert or aperitif.” The milkshake itself isn’t a towering, pretentious mountain of frothy ice cream and crumbled shards of Oreo cookies, it comes in an old-fashioned, traditional milkshake format, which offers a balm of comfort to the soul and is pleasing to the eye.
Get in touch
Feast on 013-741-4674
Fresh – Chocolate cake
Let us not forget everyone’s darling of choice, the ubiquitous chocolate cake. This comforting crumb has been the go-to for centuries, whether it be to soothe a broken heart, woo a suitor, impress a class full of kids or simply fill a gap. A local favourite is the chocolate cake on offer at Fresh at Mopani Pharmacy in Mbombela. Bianca Kloppers, proprietor of Fresh, says it is indeed a bestseller. “Our cake is divine,” she smiles. “It is popular because it isn’t overly sweet or cloying, and it hits all the right notes.”
This particular creation is an amalgamation of chocolate ganache, and a moist, dense sponge. Only imported Brazilian chocolate is used and each cake has a slight variation in topping. “It’s always a surprise,” says Bianca. “Sometimes you get Whispers, sometimes truffles and sometimes slivers of Lindt, it just depends on the day and the cake.” A large slice of this deliciousness costs R32,50, but there is a pensioner special on Tuesdays, whereby you can purchase your piece of cake and get a beverage such as a short coffee, cappuccino or tea for R39. This special also runs on Saturdays and is available to everyone.
Get in touch
Fresh at Mopani on 013-755-550