Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Sophia's, Rosebank

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Service: * * *
Food: * * * * *
Ambience: * * *
Babe Count: * *
Phone: +27 11 880 7356

I meet Ian Henderson in the Rosebank Mall.

"You keen on oxtail?" I ask him.

"Nah, not particularly," he says. His girlfriend is about to move to Cape Town, so he's got some decisions to make. Some rock star decisions, since that's what he is. "But if someone served it to me at home, I wouldn't reject it," he says.

"Okay. Well, if you don't mind, I've gotta get oxtail tonight. And Sophia's might have some. The dude told me he'd be buying ingredients this morning."

So we're at the reception of Sophia's.

"Before we sit down," I say, "I just need to find out... do you have oxtail yet?"

Somewhere between Sophia's and Cafe Nicole, I was also at Mugg & Bean in Rosebank. So I practised my new Egon Schiele style by rendering an attractive woman in weird and wonderful colours, leaving an image that would probably haunt her boyfriend if he'd seen it.The chef pops his head round a door. "Welcome!" he says. It's the dude I spoke to last night. He gives me two thumbs up. "I've got your oxtail!" he says. I shake his hand.

"I don't know your name," I say. "I'm Roy."

"Andrea," he says, and shows us to a table, the only table free in the non-smoking section.

Ian and I sit, and a waiter arrives to take our order. He says, "Two oxtail stews?"

"Nope, Moses," I say. "Only one. For me."

Ian orders the fettucine Vitello, which has strips of veal in a creamy sauce.

We talk. "Basically," says Ian, "I'm gonna spend half my time in Joburg, and half in Cape Town. The real dilemma is whether I should have a Joburg-based band or a Cape Town one."

"I've got a guitarist buddy who's probably ready to join a band," I say. I'm thinking of Marc Pienaar, former leader of the alternative cult band, Elegant Chaos. Like Ian, he also hails from Durban. His most recent band was Acoustic Kitchen with Cliff Armstrong. Both Cliff and Marc are guitarists extraordinaire.

"Can he play funk?" asks Ian.

"Hmmm. I dunno. Best if you guys contact each other." I pause. "Please tell me you're NOT going to start sounding like Jamiroquai. Please please please."

"What's wrong with funk???"

The oxtail stew thankfully arrives. And yes yes yes. It's rock and roll. Nothing feeble like funk. Andrea is a maestro, and he gets my highest recommendation. And Ian enjoys his Vitello too.

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