Food food food and yes you guessed it, more food. You’d think after our last food safari and feating over the festive season, us at I Love Ballito would be sick of eating! However, we clearly weren’t! We visited twelve places in Ballito and were treated to the most tantalizing dishes yet! It was like an around the world food journey in one week.

TREE NATURAL CONCEPT 

Ok so, I may be biased, but Tree has become my go to place for breakfast. We were lucky enough to visit the newly opened Tree at The Market. We propped ourselves at the food bar and chatted away to the friendly manageress, Khaya. We started off with, what every morning should start off with; a warm and soothing cappuccino. Mmm! Owners, Brett and Dom Roux later arrived and gave us their recommendations. For breakfast we shared two different types of breakfasts, both extremely aesthetically pleasing and oh, so scrumptious! The Rising Breakfast; an open sandwich of Tree Superfood loaf (gluten-free made from superfoods) with kale pesto, perfectly poached eggs, avocado, rosa tomatoes and sprinkled with pumpkin seeds. Then, for those who prefer a sweeter option, the Nutty-Maple Oat Flapjacks, these flapjacks are topped with fresh mascarpone, banana, almond nut butter, cinnamon, toasted almond flakes and drizzled with maple syrup and an added a scoop of frozen yoghurt! To finish, we shared a Berry Brave smoothie, which is just one of their many amazing smoothies I urge you to try! Tree is the perfect place for friends to gather, socialize and enjoy a good wholesome and healthy meals from South African breakfasts with healthy twists, traditional fry up’s using locally sourced Dargle Valley bacon, a smoothie or smoothie bowl and fruit juices.

CONCHA CAFE AND BAKERY 

A quaint and cute café with a strong Portuguese flair. A grande cappuccino and mango smoothie are carefully placed on our table. Concha is decorated beautifully, has indoor and outdoor seating options, oh and did I mention sea views? We were told that people spend hours propped at the bar, sipping on latte’s and dolphin and whale watch. Heaven! For breakfast, we went for two different but incredibly generously sized options. The concha grande breakfast; a full breakfast with a twist; eggs, creamy mushrooms, ciabatta toast, avocado, chorizo, bacon, rosa tomatoes and a hash brown. Their bom dia breakfast is one to really try, poached eggs, avocado, rosa tomatoes, cream cheese and smoked salmon. They have a display window of their freshly baked croissants, pastries and home-made breads which makes it hard to say no. Diogo, the owner is friendly, helpful and attends
to all his customers ensuring that they are always having a good time. I have to mention the staff at Concha, are friendly, serve you with a smile and make you feel at home! Already planning to go back!

LA PIAZZA

Everyone’s favourite family restaurant! La Piazza never disappoints, and their food is pure quality! We chose a table out on the deck and before we knew it, our drinks order was in front of us; the Orangina, a cocktail with orange syrup, soda water, a touch of spritz, vodka and a punchy lemon sorbet and the Gino; a gin cocktail with cucumber syrup, lemon juice and elder flower syrup, the most refreshing drinks to perk up your day! La Piazza is incredibly versatile, it’s a fabulous place for a delicious cappuccino and your morning meeting, a festive family dinner, or a quiet night out with your love. Their real Italian food is nothing short of extraordinary. For lunch we enjoyed the veal stuffed with mozzarella and ham with a Napolitano sauce and aubergines. There aren’t enough adjectives in this world to describe this dish! Along with the veal, we had the faggotino, which is flattened beef fillet, filled with smoked ham, mozzarella, artichokes, rolled and cooked in a garlic and white wine sauce served with chips. Their pasta’s, pastries and breads are all home-made from real Italian ingredients! From steaks, ravioli, seafood, grills, lamb shanks and pizzas, there is something for everyone, even your fussy ‘Italian’ Grandma!

ROCOMAMA’S 

Looking for a serious hamburger to satisfy those hunger pangs? Look no further. RocoMamas is the place. While they do have a limited menu, it’s all about their specialties. Their passion for food is reflected in every dish they make, their food is “not normal” – it’s phenomenal! Their menu comprises of their signature Smash burgers, promotional burgers (which change every three months), as well as the option to build your own Smash burger. If you’re looking for an electric atmosphere with friendly staff, who are enthusiastic about food and keeping you happy, RocoMamas is just that place. Their target market is so broad that this restaurant is suitable for all, kids, families, couples young and old. We tried their Chilli Cheez Bomb burger which was undeniably tasty and super cheesy. Their smash (what they call their patties) are juicy and packed with flavour. If you love hot food, then this burger should be on your wish list! We also tried out their popular chicken wings, which are extremely tasty with an explosion of flavour! Add their ranch and blue cheese sauce on the side for an extra treat for your taste buds! If that wasn’t enough, we had to taste their pork ribs, which are mouth-watering delicious! Tender and cooked to perfection with a choice of different flavours. For the more health conscious, they have a variety of salads and if you’re the sweet tooth type; they have a selection of waffles and FreakShakes which are insanely decadent!!

SALSA MEXICAN GRILL

Prepare yourself for a seriously good time! Now, I wouldn’t tell you to go to Salsa for a quiet dinner, but if you’re looking for a place that truly comes alive at night, Salsa is the answer. I’m talking fun, very loud, birthday song’s that are sung are joined in by the entire restaurant, flaring sparklers, craft tequila, Mexican sombrero’s and dancing! Salsa is a little piece of Mexico, right here in Ballito! We sat down outside, ordered our drinks and were told to try the nachos! Moments later, our litchi and mint margarita and an infused G&T were served to us, we sat, sipped, socialized and snacked on our pulled pork nachos with deliciously fresh guacamole! We were quite literally transported to Cancun! A platter for two seemed like the best thing to do to get the full Mexican food experience! The platter consisted of the Original Burrito filled beef strips with coriander and lime rice, fajita veg, black beans, pico de gallo, butter lettuce, white cheddar and more guac! Then, we had the Acapulco quesadilla, a tortilla base with chicken, mozzarella, tangy pineapple salsa and caramelized onions. PLUS; jalapeno poppers and Mexican meatballs. #stuffed Make sure you try out their different flavoured tequila’s, they come up with new flavours every month!

LOAF CAFE & GIN BAR

We walked into Loaf Café and were greeted by the friendly Bar Manager, Joe who introduced us to Theresa, who started Loaf three years ago and has recently revamped their stunning café and bar. We scanned the restaurant and chose the corner couch and made ourselves comfortable. Theresa came over to chat to us about their new Gin bar, their menu and suggested the Heart gin which is a strawberry and black pepper infused gin, seriously refreshing! We sipped on our gin’s and opted for the tapas menu to share. We nibbled on the Loaf Meze platter which consisted of a spicy chorizo and chick pea relish, hummus, marinated green and black olives and crunchy crostini on the side. If that wasn’t enough on its own, the griddled halloumi with chilli flakes on a bed of rocket and the garlic butter prawn skewers served with a tangy mayonnaise were the perfect combo to compliment the Meze platter. To add onto our fantastically farm-fresh feast, we demolished a huge bowl of sweet potato truffle fries. Loaf also offers delicious wholesome breakfasts, salads, freshly baked cakes, smoothies, wine and bubbly too! It’s the perfect spot to gather, relax, unwind and to enjoy a refreshing after-work drink, yummy snack or try out their newly launched dinner menu!
Facebook: @cafeloaf

FIAMMA GRILL

This is one of my go-to places for a quiet, romantic dinner with my partner, and true as anything, Fiamma Grill delivers every time. Their low key and upmarket restaurant is tastefully decorated with comfy leather chairs and fairy lights to add to the intimate setting. Diners have two options, to dine inside the restaurant or out on the deck around the pool. To quench our thirst, a fruity strawberry daiquiri and an ice-cold Jack Black craft beer was on the cards. For starters we munched on the avocado ritz with prawns, lettuce and cocktail sauce and the stuffed calamari which were the perfect start to our evening! Fabien, owner of Fiamma Grill, is passionate about people, food and of course, delivering the best quality experience! He recommended the lamb shank on a bed of mushroom risotto and vegetables and the Filletto di manzo – fillet medallions with a pepperdew sauce served with crunchy chips. Both extremely tough meals to beat! To end our perfectly romantic evening, we shared a decadent crème brûlée. Fiamma Grill never disappoints!

MO NOODLE’S

Offering East and West Thai fusion, flavoursome food! Mo Noodle’s which celebrated 20 years of trading last year, recently opened their doors at the Ballito Lifestyle Centre and boy, did they impress us! Their ambient venue with indoor and outdoor seating makes for a great, easy lunch and dinner spot. Jo-Ann & Shane, owners of Mo Noodle’s, are extremely passionate about their menu and went through their impressive menu with us, explaining what each dish consists of. We sipped on a G&T and admired the drinks menu that offered many wines, SAB beers, craft beers and cold drinks. For starters, we had the chicken skewers with pan fried noodles and calamari tentacles with rice noodles. Both respectively delicious! We then tried the seared calamari with a chilli, lime, lentil and feta salad, which is a generously sized salad that can feed two, this dish has become a firm-favourite and will make you want to come back for more! The Drunken noodles with chicken and prawns is equally tasty and another must-try. What I particularly love about Mo Noodle’s, is that their menu is customisable, small and dynamic. You can taste the Thai flavours and spices in each dish! To finish off the meal, as if we could fit in anything more; we had to try their marshmallow and coconut home-made ice-cream, which was delightful!

MYTHOS 

Mythos is situated in the newly upgraded al fresco dining area at the Ballito Lifestyle Centre. A beautiful open plan, rather large restaurant tastefully decorated which makes you feel like you’re in the streets of Santorini. We loved sitting in the little corner in the back, cozy and comfortable! Charles, co-owner of Mythos, greets us and introduces us to Hugh, our waiter who was looking after us for the evening. Mythos has a unique vibe, relaxed but vibey at the same time. We started off with a Mythos beer, why order the “norm”, when you can enjoy an authentically traditional Greek beer instead. To start, we shared a platter, which was the perfect way to taste a bit of everything; we loved their crispy lamb chops (this will definitely be our mains for next time), grilled halloumi, cheese croquettes, falafels and fried calamari tentacles, they were equally tasty and gave us the perfect taster which made us want more! Charles sent us over a Mastiha to enjoy between meals, a fresh and sweet drink, we’re still trying to figure out whether it should be a shooter or sipped, either way, it was lovely. The menu is extensive, and covers all your needs from fish to traditional Greek, to meat, to chicken and Charlie was quick to point out that they also serve up a very good steak! To finish off our fantastic evening, we tried their traditional Loukoumades (a Greek doughnut), and the Frozen Greek yoghurt and baklava, it was the perfect way to end the evening, sweet, tasty and delicious!

AL PESCATORE

A view to enjoy like no other, absolutely brilliant! One of the oldest restaurants in Ballito celebrates their 30th birthday this year – a true milestone! Trevor, the owner of the establishment, is still extremely passionate about food and flavours and every meal you order, he promises to deliver. We decided to sit outside on the deck, who can resist on an awesome summers afternoon. We started with a refreshing cocktail, the Al’s Vermoed and Pescis Point, both a great way to start off the evening! Their pricing is fantastic. Something that we love, is that when asking for suggestions, we were asked a few great questions like, what is your normal mix of choice, before just giving us the norm! They have a varied and well thought out menu, you’re spoilt for choice! We started with, what I have decided is my new favourite (insert craving here), – snails stuffed inside a litchi with Roquefort cheese, this a serious taste explosion. We also enjoyed the peri-peri calamari with couscous, their peri-peri is hot and extremely tasty, for those who like-it-hot, this is a true winner! For mains we enjoyed sharing the seafood platter; fresh succulent prawns, fish, mussels and a creamy seafood phyllo. Perfect size for two! At Al Pescatore the view alone is worth the visit, add their fantastic food, friendly and knowledgeable staff and you’re in for the perfect dining experience!