Concha Cafe: Review

Portuguese meets South African

Nestled in the heart of Ballito, Concha cafe intertwines two different cultures into one perfectly blended cup of coffee.

I stumbled upon Concha about a month ago, while celebrating a trio of overlapping birthdays. Walking into the cafe for the first time was an experience in itself. The atmosphere was electric, and a symphony of morning happenings filled the air. There wasn’t an empty seat in sight (thank goodness our lovely friend booked a table in advance!), and its easy to see why the place was packed!

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The cool morning air was abuzz with the chatter of early-risers, seeking a delicious pick-me-up from their local cafe.

Along with a moreish patisserie display, the aroma of roasted coffee beans wafted through the cafe. It was like something out of a classic black and white French film – only way better!

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The charming family-run bakery infuses the best of Portuguese and South African culture, in order to create a unique and unforgettable dining experience.

Located just a short walk away from the shimmering Dolphin Coast, Concha allows patrons the choice of in-house dining, or seaside sipping! From Portuguese-style cuisine at the cafe, to lounging on the beach as you sip decadent cappuccinos, customers are truly spoilt for choice!

Brunching with a large group of foodies is exciting, because among the variety of meals ordered, there are always unique and unexpected flavour combinations.

Plus, the beautifully presented food practically demands a spot on our Instagram feeds!

I opted for the classic “Mais Barato”, which consists of a poached egg, creamy mushrooms, rosa tomatoes and bacon rashers.

I’d like to think of myself as a bit of a poached egg connoisseur, but to be honest, my expertise is loosely based on the fact that the aesthetics of a poached egg appeal to my primal millennial senses a.k.a the omnipresent poached egg on avocado toast.

But Concha’s poached eggs were admittedly far tastier than an aesthetically pleasing Instagram photograph. They were perfectly soft, with golden yolk oozing into the crisp ciabatta soldiers. The rosa tomatoes, while succulent and fresh, were just acidic enough to cut through the richness of the yolk.

But the star of the show was none other than the creamy mushroom sauce! Decadent, creamy and far too luxurious for breakfast, this mushroom sauce was the ultimate treat, seamlessly tying the meal together.

Our long wooden table was truly a sight to behold, as plate after plate of delicious food was set before us. I spotted buttery croissants, sweet and savoury breakfast waffles, and of course, an endless stream of perfectly blended coffee.

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With their radical milkshakes, freshly baked artisanal bread, and unique array of pastries, Concha’s extensive menu is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters!

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It’s clear that the staff at Concha are as passionate about food as they are about people. We were greeted by friendly faces and engaging owners who went the extra mile to foster personal connections with customers.

As I mentioned earlier, we were celebrating three very special birthdays, and the staff at Concha went above and beyond to make it as special as possible! We were treated to a round of watermelon-flavoured shooters, which in all honesty, was the ideal way to spend 10 am on a Tuesday morning! Viva Concha cafe, viva!

Concha prides itself on radiating positivity, community engagement and authentic human connections. This message is perfectly encapsulated by the cafe’s catchy hashtag: #ConchaCulture.

I cannot think of a more perfect way to describe our time at Concha. It was not just breakfast. It was an experience. It was sharing delicious food, exploring diverse cultures, and even a enjoying a cheeky watermelon beverage, with like-minded people from all over the world.

From their delicious food, to their ocean-adjacent location, Concha Cafe is a winner in this coffee lover’s book!

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-Pri

Have you experienced the #ConchaCulture before? Leave a comment below, or on my social media pages ( https://www.facebook.com/prieatsworld ) describing your visit to this vibrant cafe! Be sure to like and share this post with fellow coffee-lovers across the world!

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Copyright Priyanka Govender (2019)

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Breakfast on the Beach

Our amazing team recently celebrated 3 of our favourite things: food, the beach, and Candice! Our sunshine soul celebrated her 25th birthday in true Durban fashion by opting for breakfast on the beach!

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With clear blue skies and an abundance of sunshine, we were delighted to spend a Tuesday morning at the beach, celebrating Candice’s special day!

After a brief rendezvous at Concha Cafe, where we successfully secured the goods (a.k.a our perfectly blended coffees), we headed down to the beach for a celebratory breakfast.

Equipped with colourful beach-blankets, breakfast treats, and copious amounts of coffee, we were 100% prepared for hours of fun.

To Candice’s delight, she was surprised with not one, but two identical Harry Potter birthday cakes! Designed according to the exact cake Harry received on his 11th birthday, (courtesy of the supremely talented Ria and Saya), Candice transformed from woman to wizard before our very eyes! The birthday cakes, which consisted of decadent chocolate sponge, made even more indulgent with a buttercream filling, was sinful enough to bring out the Slytherin in everyone.

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Settling into the warm, brown-sugar beach, we indulged in banter and chocolate croissants as the gentle sea breeze drifted ahead.

It was truly the perfect morning! Surely it couldn’t get any better than it already was?

And just like that, a pod of dolphins appeared, swimming happily, just an arm’s length away. These surprise guests truly were the cherry on top of our breakfast sundae.

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As I type this, I can’t help but smile as I think of our party-crashing porpoises. They arrived out of the blue (literally), and stayed just long enough for us to marvel at their friendly interactions with local surfers.

After chatting away for hours, we had soaked up enough sunshiny goodness to get our natural dose of vitamin D.

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Before we bid the coast farewell, we made sure to clear our space of any paper, plastic etc. It took less than a minute, but it made it all the difference to our golden shores.

When we gaze out into the shimmering Indian Ocean, we are often so mesmerized by it’s sparkling blue surface, that it’s easy to forget about the beautiful and intelligent creatures living below. To us, it is sheer aesthetic. To them, it is simply home.

When we contribute to the destruction of another living being’s home, we are contributing to the destruction of our humanity.

Non-profit organisations, such as the Durban Green Corridor Project aim to spread awareness by educating society on the dangers of plastic pollution. This organisation advocates for safe environmental practices by adopting a strong anti-pollution stance.

Instituting simple daily practices such as cleaning up after a trip to the beach, recycling, donating to NPOs etc. make a huge difference in the long run.

Our team loved the surprise visit from our dolphin friends! Help us help them, by keeping our beaches clean.

Because a life without dolphins, is a life without porpoise (I absolutely could not resist this delicious pun)

Leave a comment below, recommending a few easy anti-pollution habits that you personally practice.

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-Pri

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What really caused the Ethiopian Airlines Crash?

Disclaimer: This article includes news coverage up until 25th March 2019. Further updates in the investigation will render this article subject to change.

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Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 claimed the lives of all 157 passengers after a fatal crash on 10 March 2019. The flight was a mere 6 minutes into its journey before complications arose, leading to its tragic crash near Addis Ababa.

Among the 157 fatalities, 19 United Nations members lost their lives on the morning of 10 March 2019. Thorough investigations were conducted on 12 March 2019 in an effort to recover vital information sources such as the aircraft’s black box. Forensic investigators, together with Ethiopian Airlines’ employees combed through the debris of the crash site, guarding themselves with surgical masks and white forensic suits. The aircraft was reduced to several broken pieces, however, after hours of searching, the black box was ultimately recovered. The recordings that were recovered from the black box revealed pertinent information relating to the crash. This information is currently being analysed for details regarding the flight pattern, distress signals and software malfunctions.

The Kenya-bound plane is the second tragic crash involving the notorious Boeing 737 max 8 airplanes. The previous incident, involving the Indonesian Lion Air flight, occurred no less than five months prior to the Ethiopian Airlines crash. Thorough investigations into both flights revealed an unsettling number of similarities between the nature of the crash. In both instances, the pilots identified complications within the aircraft, requested an emergency landing, and tragically lost contact with ground control. Initial reporting alleged that the aircraft’s automatic control systems, specifically, the  Boeing’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) were to blame for the deadly crash. The MCAS is an anti-stall software system that aims to prevent the aircraft from stalling during the flight. Senior officials close to the case have confirmed their belief that the MCAS was active during both the Ethiopian Airlines crash, as well as the Indonesian Airlines crash. Reports also called into question the capability of the aircraft’s crew, citing a lack of simulation training as a possible reason for their failure to shut down the MCAS software. However, these allegations were refuted in recent reports by a direct statement from the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde GebreMariam. GebreMariam, who has publicly criticised Boeing’s lack of transparency regarding changes in the operation of the MCAS software, expressed his frustrations regarding the questioning of his crew. GebreMariam insists that all Ethiopian Airlines crew are fully prepared and adequately trained to handle crisis situations. GebreMariam also referred to the crew’s intensive simulation training, ultimately holding Boeing responsible for their inability to inform crew of the MCAS’ latest operational changes. GebreMariam’s reference to MCAS’ involvement emphasises the role that Boeing’s anti-stalling software played in the crash. After the Indonesian Airlines crash, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg publicly admitted that the company should have provided full disclosure regarding the operation of the MCAS. Therefore, while English and French investigators continue to analyse the flight data, it is evident that the recent alterations to the MCAS played a definitive role in both Boeing aircraft crashes.

The consecutive crashes involving the Boeing 737 max 8 aircrafts have resulted in the tarnished reputation of a once reputable manufacturer. Data analysis that was collected in the aftermath of the Ethiopian Airlines crash show a startling decrease in the company’s market value. With shares dropping between 5-13,5% since the crash, Boeing has suffered blows to both its reputation as well as its financial state, with reports indicating that the company has lost billions of dollars already.

News of the second fatal crash in five short months caused widespread panic among customers, as well as the airlines carrying Boeing 737 max 8 aircrafts in their fleet. The Ethiopian Airlines crash triggered international outrage, resulting in the grounding of Boeing 737 aircrafts in countries all over the world. The United Kingdom, Australia and China are a few of the countries who have banned the departure and arrival of Boeing 737 aircrafts on their land. The international protest against Boeing’s frequent malfunctions, together with the lack of transparency provided by the company, has resulted in many people refusing to travel aboard the specific aircraft. In the days following the crash, many airlines provided passengers with the option to be refunded, should their plane be identified as a Boeing 737.

Boeing’s CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, made a statement offering condolences to the families of the victims as well as to Ethiopian Airlines. Muilenburg acknowledged Boeing’s failure to fully disclose information, while simultaneously revealing the company’s plan to release an updated software system in the near future. The software system will be updated in accordance with the investigation’s findings. The company has also assured the public that detail and care will be applied during the update process, so as to not create additional complications in the aircraft’s software. Boeing have yet to announce an estimated date regarding the release of the updated software, however, passengers and airlines can rest assured in the knowledge that all Boeing 737 max aircrafts will remain grounded during the construction process.

On behalf of all South Africans, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims. We will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers, while actively lobbying for increased transparency. 

Copyright

Priyanka Govender © 2019.