Asoka’s got a hot new cocktail and food pairing menu and this is me giving you a look at the Stoli vodka one

22 Jul

If you’re a fan of killer cocktails and generalised kiffness, you’re going to want to get to Asoka in Kloof street and try their new special. Every Wednesday, they’re teaming up with a different alcohol brand and use their booze to create two very zexy cocktails and a three course meal, the food also being booze-infused for just R350 a head. (Now I don’t know about you but I work like a demon child so that’s the kind of meal Auntie Leigh appreciates after a long day in her virtual office.)

I was invited to pop in last week Wednesday’s by Asoka’s lovely Mel Hinrichsen to try the Stoli vodka menu along with Ritza from Luxo, Clouds from AndLollipops, fashion designer Rachel and model/actor/Clouds’ new crush Devon Currer.

Cheers guys!

Cheers mense! (And Mel, why didn’t we get a shot of you?!)

I brought Dev along to replace another boytjie who’d dropped out at the last mo and provide male company for Luxo’s Elrico who also ended up not being able to come. Thus, poor Dev ended up trapped in a world of terrifying chica convo involving eyelash extensions, the shagability of James Spader, spider veins and cellulite. To be fair, he actually managed pretty well but mostly ‘cos Asoka’s Mel Heinrichsen kept plying our table with Stoli vodka shooters. But ja… let’s get back to the menu, shall we?

We kicked things off with a starter that consisted of five spoons of vodka and beetroot salmon spoons served with lemon aioli. When it was first put down on the table, I thought we were all getting one spoon each and then realised it was five for everyone. Yayness! And a very, very good thing ‘cos it was utterly delish. If you’re a sushi fan and big into salmon roses like I am, this is going to impress you.

Yum

Yum to the power of five, yo!

This was paired with a Burned orange and rosemary cosmo (made with Stoli vodka, but of course) and honestly folks, it was the nicest bloody drink I’ve had in ages. Mel says it’s probably going to become a permanent part of Asoka’s menu and when that happens you can expect to find me there on Friday’s, possibly blacked out under a table but with a big smile on my face. Just don’t steal my blerrie cell phone while I’m out, okay? I’ll need it to call a taxi when they switch the lights on.

As for the main course, this was a plate of butter soft, impressively large prawns all dressed up in crispy tempura batter and served with a vodka-infused tomato, basil and chili dipping sauce. Very, very nice!

These babies literally melted in your mouth.

These babies literally melted in your mouth.

For dessert, we all got presented with a huge strawberry-topped vanilla panna cotta that was served with a shortbread wedge.

Yumness

Everybody agreed that this was the business and Dev was in second heaven as shortbread is his fave thing in the world next to boxing and bacon.

Cocktail-wise, this was paired with a super sterk Very Vanilla martini. And when I say sterk, I mean it could’ve easily stripped the gelish from my fingertips. Fortunately, Mel managed to tame it with a generous squeeze of lime and then it went down the hatch like a dream. I still preferred cocktail nommer een though. In fact, just writing about it now is making me want one with a passion of a thousand fiery suns which may or may not be a good thing, considering it’s not yet 11am.

Thanks Mel, this was a seriously fun (and delicious) evening out.

For more info on Asoka’s special, visit their Facebook page or give them a ring on (021) 422 0909. Dinner bookings are essential.

Love, love

Leigh

Are you a busy girl like me? You’ll want to know about The Fox Box, a new mobile nail

21 Jul

Last week I was invited to a home pamper party for local media to learn more about The Fox Box. A mobile nail service that comes to your home after hours, using the The Fox Box means you don’t have to stress about getting to and from a nail salon on your lunch break or having to give up a Saturday morning to get your nails done. (Unless of course you want to – and in that case it’ll be done in the comfort of your own spot sans potentially hideous spa pan pipe music.)

Held at a private home in Constantia, guests got treated to bubbly, Teapigs tea and an array of wickedly sweet treats.

Yum

Seriously – how gorgeous are those biccies?

But to get back to the service – a home visit isn’t nearly as expensive as you’d imagine it to be. For example, a magical mani is R350 and involves a soak, exfoliation, hand mask, buff, deep tissue massage, cuticle work and a shape and shine of your nails before a few slicks of either Essie or Morgan Taylor nail polish. Alternatively, you can add a gelish application for an extra R150.

Yes, it’s pricier than some salons, but the fact that they come to you and work up until 9pm kind of justifies the price – especially if you’re in a pinch and all the nail bars are closed. There are less expensive services too – a simple file and paint is R180 and an express mani and pedi in which the nails are simply filed, shaped and painted is R400.

I've forgotten who's nails I photographed in that pic. Apologies!

I’ve forgotten who’s mani I photographed. Apologies!

The company also offers pamper parties, caters for corporate functions and even sells their own The Fox Box branded nail products. (Sherbet-scented cuticle oil, anyone? Or maybe a Peach Melba hand mask?)

To learn more about The Fox Box, visit their website or find them on Facebook. Also, company co-founder Tove De Chazal, says to keep an eye out for The Fox Box app launching soon. One of the many functions it’ll serve up is phone call-free booking* so you’ll never have to scream your deets over the hustle and bustle of a busy salon to get an appointment.

Love, love

Leigh

*Girls, you have no idea how much I love any business that phone-free bookings. Half the time, Debonaires is the only pizza delivery service I use only due to the fact that I can order up via their website and not have to spend five minutes shriek-spelling my utterly impossible to dictate name  and addie to people. Anyone else feel the same way?

Label. m hair products have landed in South Africa

18 Jul

Created by the makers of Toni & Guy, label. m is a professional salon line of hair products that hails from the UK. They’re all about ‘fashion’ and are very proud of the fact that they’re the official hair care brand of London Fashion Week. In a way, in regards to how they position themselves and what not, they kind of come off quite similarly to MAC Cosmetics in that they’re all about trends and serve up a host of goodies to create innovative new looks. I mean, their styling and finishing lines alone include over 30 products – everything from serums, powders and pastes to ‘fibres’ and something called ‘Resurrection Style Dust’.

I got to sit down with the importer and the PR at Hard Pressed Cafe at the foreshore (lovely spot!) and play with a bunch of their stuff and was most impressed with the brand’s Honey & Oat shampoo (R240) and conditioner (R260) if only because of its awesome scent. It literally smells exactly like a honey-drizzled spiced rooibos cappuccino and I had to stop myself from adding a squeeze to the regular cappuccino I was drinking at the time.

Forgive the blurry group product shot, I must've had pastry on the lense

Forgive the blurry group shot, I must’ve had something smeared on my lens.

I did, however, get to try the Label. m Men Daily Moisturising shampoo (R310) and Moisturising conditioner (R260).

It's got a fancy pants 'tear drop'-style shape.

This is the shampoo – it’s got a fancy pants ‘teardrop’-style bottle.

When I first started using the shampoo, I didn’t realise it was intended for le boys and was all ‘God, why does this smell so incredibly masculine? It’s a like peppermint-infused NIVEA shower gel…’ and then I looked at the packaging closely and read ‘Label. Men‘ as well as ‘dual action scalp therapy and body wash’. Aha! I then made a mental note to pass it off to my dad but have since decided to keep it as the scent doesn’t linger and it does a very nice job of cleansing my hair well but without making it feel too heavy or simply ‘not clean enough’ as other hydrating shampoos have done in the past.

As for the Moisturising conditioner, this is a very nice.

Can you tell I'm working in bed today? Jislaaik, but it's cold.

Can you tell I’m working in bed today? My zexy heater blanket and I have morphed into one.

Infused with aloe, Echinacea and currant extract to hydrate while wheat and soy protein strengthen, it also includes a little UV ray and heat protection in the mix. Scent-wise, it smells like an aloe body lotion or hand cream.

I like that it leaves my hair easy to detangle and looking smooth after drying, again without any heaviness. Yay for me and my super fine, colour treated hair but I reckon anyone who’s struggling with seriously parched locks might be better off with the Intensive Repair conditioner (R380) or the Intensive mask (R275).

My only gripe is that the packaging is a bit ‘stiff’ and requires two hands to squeeze out a good dollop – so I have to pump it out onto my leg and scoop it onto my hair as opposed to directly into my palm. But hey, maybe that’s just me. Or the universes way of telling me to toss my ‘boy’ shampoo into a kit bag and hit the gym.

Anyway, if you’re keen to try label. m yourself, you’ll find it selected salons and Splush stores near you.

Love, love

Leigh

Review: Bourjois Clubbing waterproof eyeliner – new shades

16 Jul

When it comes to eye liner pencils you can’t really go wrong with Bourjois, exclusive to Clicks. They make some of the best I’ve ever used, serve up a nice selection of colours and, at just R99,95 a pop, are super good value for money. In fact, I’ve got a few Bourjois eye liners in my make-up bag that beat more ‘luxurious’, expensive brands hands down. (Side note: If you’re a fair-skinned blue-eyed blonde, you have to try Regard Effet Metallise Brun Inoxydable – it’ll rock your world.)

But ja, let’s focus people. Focus! I want to tell you about the brand’s new limited edition Countour Clubbing waterproof liners. They’re so crazily creamy, you barely have to touch them to your skin to get a nice, rich colour pay off (they’re ‘enriched with vinyl’, apparently) and once they’re on they really do stay put.

I was given these guys to play with – clicking on the piccie will enlarge it.

Boujois clubbing liner

The swatches on my arm from left to right are Dynamint, Ultra Black Glitter, Pink About You and Blue It Together.

Of all of them, I most like Blue It Together. I like to use it to line the top of my eyes and have been teaming it with my beloved MAC eye shadow in ‘Tempting’. The teensy dash of blue makes my blue eyes pop and yep, the colour doesn’t budge, regardless of whether I use a primer or not.

These babies will be in Clicks in about a week from now so next time you’re in store give them, along with Bourjois other awesome eyeliners, a look. The brand also has their own South African Facebook page and they’re always running cool competitions.

Love, love

Leigh

Here’s what went down at the Hayden Quinn South Africa premiere

15 Jul

Last night saw the premier of Hayden Quinn South Africa, a new show about the Aussie foodie in which he cooks, eats and adventures his way across SA while learning more about various sustainability projects and a greener way to live.

I know, I know… this post’s a bit of a departure from mascara reviews and nail polish swatches but I totally had to ‘humble’ brag all about it as I wrote the voice over for the show *hair flick, head toss*. Seriously though, this is something I’m super proud of. While I’ve written TV commercials in the past, this is my very first full length show – even though I only created the voice over – the bits where Hayden chats to the audience off camera.

Hayden Quinn South Africa

Hayden Quinn South Africa – Mondays, 9:30 on SABC 3.

Anyway, to celebrate the flight of episode one, a bunch of us got together at Expresso’s studios to watch it along with Hayden himself. While Thirst provided nutritious fruit and veg cocktails, Hayden himself served up a yummy bobotie – the same one he learns to cook in the Bo-Kaap in episode one – served out of a giant pumpkin. The best bit, however, was the ‘sustainable, SASSI-approved marshmallow fish braai.

Yum

That frozen margarita was made with freshly squeezed orange juice and tasted delish.  As for the bobotie bowls, they were totally edible and tasted a bit like Digestive biscuit.

Peeps-wise, the crowd included a mix of those who’d worked on the show, local personalities and media including these guys:

hghg

Going clockwise you’ve got Hayden and I; Expresso’s Graeme Richards, foodie blogger Dax Villaneuva, local Masterchef winner Kamini Pather and Good Hope FM’s Sean O; Expresso’s Michelle Sansom and Leigh-Anne Williams; Expresso’s Mark Bland and Dax once more and food and travel writer Dawn Jorgensen, one of the nicest chica’s on twitter. 

The radness that is Tayla Goldberg from Nifty 250 was there too, providing guests with Instagram print outs of both the event itself as well as shots taken against a photo wall with cutesy props.

See, mom? I told you I eat my veggies!

Terry Richardson, eat your heart out.

To learn more about the show get clicky clicky over here. You can also enter a series of competitions to stay in the fancy pants guest houses Hayden visits throughout the show as well as the big kahuna – a trip to Sydney where you’ll get to hang out with Hayden himself.

Love, love

Leigh

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