Noble Savage (he said):
Week two of our budget-conscious eatery outings, and we stumbled on The Shadowboxer in Greenside. And we really did stumble on it – there’s been some buzz around it, but we never realised they could fit into our budget rules*.
*The rules for the budget challenge was very recently amended – if the price is over R70, but the difference can be covered by any ZAR coin (just one), it’s acceptable as a budget option.
First off, there’s not much signage going on, so look for the umbrellas with The Shadowboxer logo. The place is right on the street, so it has that continental-type vibe going on. But as it was quite fucking hot outside, we decided to sit inside. And the inside looks like Winston Churchill’s bunker – leather couches, chain chandeliers, and exposed brick work. You can almost hear the Messerschmitts approaching over the channel…
The wine list is quite safe, and should cover most tastes. I do suspect however that they focus more on the cocktails. And, rather refreshingly, their cocktails won’t cost you your first born. I didn’t really have a good look, but the priciest one I saw was about R50, which is really not bad!
On to the food. They offer wood-fired pizza’s, flatbread, burgers, salads, etc. But we were there for the Bao Buns. To those who do not know (like us two days before the visit), I could best describe it as a chinese-bun-taco. Served with potato wedges.
I decided on the honey and soy duck Bao Bun. And, because of that, I immediately amended the R70 rule to include the whole coin-can-cover-the-difference thing – the duck bao bun was R72. But where can you get a decent duck-based meal for under R100?! So I think I’m justified with this one. Because the difference was covered with A SINGLE ZAR COIN!
And boy, was it worth it! The meat was nice and juicy, and the fresh coriander, spring onions, and hint of chilli really brought out the best flavour of the duck. The potato wedges was nice and fresh, and served with an awesome aioli (I’m pretty sure the garlic was roasted, but have been let down by my ex-smoker taste buds before). And I’m not exaggerating with the aioli – I was still dunking wedges waaaaaaaay after I should have stopped eating.
I know I said Lucky Rodrigo set the benchmark, but The Shadowboxer set up a completely different one. And it just goes to show that if you really look around for something specific (in this case, budget), Gauteng has you covered. Your move, Western Cape…
Boozy Foodie (she said):
I heard a very excited rumblings about The Shadowboxer when they opened their doors a few months ago. Mainly because of the connection with the same peeps who where involved in creating The Good Luck Bar. It is a live venue as well (I saw that one of my favourite local bands, Black Cat Bones, launched their most recent live DVD there in December).
The decor grabbed my attention – enough open space to not feel as if you’re sitting on your neighbour’s lap, and the combination of leather and chains just works for me 😉
The cocktails made me sit up straight – and if you look at The Shadowboxers’s instagram and other social media feeds, it is definitely one of their superb selling points. Very affordable (comparing to some spots we visited recently where you can look at about R70+ for a cocktail – yes, ONE cocktail. Blowing your budget on one (ice-filled) drink). The cocktails are simply GORGEOUS! And uniquely contains little bubbles of taste. Like a bubbletea cocktail? Love!
So naturally I had to order myself one of those pretty and interesting Craft Tea Cocktails (using Rooibos tea as base)! I decided to go with the Rooibos and Spanspek Iced Tea. How pretty is this??
Most of the iced teas are available as non-alcholic as well or by the jug! Some cool sangria and other options as well.
Anyway, seeing that we were not really there for the booze, on to the meals! Looking at the menu, there was a lot of options that grabbed my attention – quite a few fitting in with our ‘budget’. I also decided to go with the steamed buns. I actually stayed WITHIN our budged with my choice of the pulled pork option.
It wasn’t spicy at all, and a bit messy to eat (very ‘juicy!). But really scrumptious and tasty! And those wedges, oh man! Trying to eat a little healthier it was really challenging to leave as many on my plate as I did!
I am very keen to go back – especially for breakfast, there are a few breakfast options that sounded absolutely divine. I also have the habit of watching the kitchen doors, to see what people order and what the presentation looks like – and I saw quite a few burgers passing us. Wonder if it will give Dukes (just up the road) a run for their money? By going purely on ‘looks’ – yep! And those cocktails… Oh man!
PS: I struggled to find their menu online, found it hidden on their FB page – check it out! The Shadowboxer Menu (on Facebook)