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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
Copyright Priyanka Govender (2019)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sipping on Sunsets
When you work with a team of people who are as passionate about work as they are about partying, Fridays are guaranteed to bring the fun!
Yesterday, the team and I celebrated the upcoming nuptials of our lovely Amy Jenkins! After a productive day of work, and far too many giggles (courtesy of that Friday feeling), the team traded schedules for sunsets at the Lucky Shaker in the Zimbali Wedge.
Against the backdrop of Ballito’s rolling hills, we sipped on custom-designed cocktails and marveled at yet another classic South African sunset.
With it’s glowing reputation, it should come as no surprise that the staff at Lucky Shaker are as friendly and innovative as their famous cocktails. Perhaps it was just a coincidence, but the drink of the day was a delightfully refreshing cocktail called “monogamy”. With hints of pineapple and an abundance of gin, this fruity drink was the perfect way to celebrate the beautiful bride-to-be.
The Lucky Shaker has built its brand on fresh ingredients, unique flavour combinations, and of course, serious fun. The tropical-themed bar intertwines contemporary decor with earthy undertones, in order to transport patrons to exotic beaches off the coast of Hawaii.
We sipped on pastel pink cocktails, topped with goji berries and pineapple slices, as the air filled with laughter, great conversation, and well-wishes for the bride-to-be.
The charismatic staff were always near, ensuring that no glass ran empty. As platters of tapas arrived, the beautiful presentation provided a feast for both the eyes and our taste-buds.
At this point, everyone has heard about the Lucky Shaker’s iconic tacos. These delectable soft shell tortillas offer a variety of fillings, from succulent lamb to hake goujons to my personal favourite: the falafel taco! These deceptively tiny tacos are insanely filling, and with a variety of yummy options, the taco platter has something for everyone!
Catering to the needs of vegetarian customers, the Lucky Shaker reigns supreme with their delicious meat-free platters. Perfectly crisp bruschetta topped with tomato and basil, enormous calamata olives, and Vietnamese summer rolls are just a few of the veggie options enjoyed by the team.
As the afternoon sky filled with hues of pink and crimson streaks, I watched our table glow with the smiles of satisfied customers. The Lucky Shaker is more than just a bar, it’s an experience. It’s a chance for friends and family to gather round a table, chatting and giggling as seasonal drinks flow in abundance, and tasty treats are shared with those you love most.
Aside from the selfies, I can honestly say that our evening was a cellphone-free experience. Considering the current climate, where almost everyone is dependent on their smartphones, this speaks volumes about the authentic, genuinely fun atmosphere that Lucky Shaker guarantees.
If I were you, I’d round up the squad and secure a table at Lucky Shaker this Friday! I hope to see you there, sipping on sunsets and celebrating life.
Introducing Snog, London’s finest fro-yo!
Last year, on a birthday trip to London, I stumbled upon the most adorable fro-yo truck in the world!
It stands tall and proud, in the middle of Southbank, drawing large crowds of eager fro-yo fans.
As a South African, who hails from Durban no less, I should be used to sunshiny days! Surely Summer days in London would pale in comparison to the scorching heat of Durban?
Boy was I wrong!
Perhaps it was the sight of Snog’s signature red bus for the first time, but suddenly, London was the hottest place to be.
Wasting no time at all, I dragged my cousin (a local Brit), across the perfectly manicured lawns, to the growing queue in front of Snog.
Surrounded by clear blue-skies and local buskers, I began contemplating the contents of my fro-yo bowl. The option of coconut fro-yo was almost too much for my piña colada-loving heart to handle.
Keeping on theme with London’s surprising sunshine, I decided to go with a tropical fro-yo bowl. I ordered a stunning array of coconut and pineapple frozen yoghurt, topped with fresh raspberries and coconut shavings
After one spoonful of Snog’s frozen yoghurt, I was ready to pack my bags and move to Snog City.
P.S. if you are familiar with British slang, but unfamiliar with the Snog brand, you may be picturing an entirely different scenario when I say “Snog City”. Just know that the Snog City I intended to portray, was one of frozen yoghurt mountains and valleys of tasty toppings. Not a parallel universe filled with a bunch of tongue-wrestlers.
I sat across The River Thames, spooning fruity magic into my mouth and listening to the rhythm of London’s local talent.
There is perhaps nothing sweeter than sunshine, but my fro-yo came pretty close!
If frozen yoghurt is what dreams are made of, then Snog is a Winter Wonderland.