A couple of weeks ago we took a drive out to Hartbeespoort Dam for lunch at the Silver Orange Bistro. I had seen a lot of good reviews of this restaurant and I have been wanting to try it out for some time now.
Silver Orange Bistro
One of the things I enjoy most about my job is that I get to travel to some really interesting places. My duties include supporting 24 countries in Central and West Africa and back in April I had the chance spend a week in our office in Dakar, Senegal. While work trips are always quite busy, I try and make sure I take at least a little time to get out and see a bit of the place I am visiting. I had visited Senegal once before back in September 2001, arriving just 2 days after the World Trade Center attacks. It was an interesting time to visit for sure, and I have very fond memories of that trip. Even though this trip would be limited to Dakar, I was really looking forward to visiting again.
Terrou-Bi Hotel, views from breakfast
Update 24 March 2016: Salsa now takes reservations and it is highly recommended to make them at least a week in advance.
Salsa Mexican Grill is the newest addition to the Jozi Northern Suburbs dining scene, just officially opening this past Thursday. They are located in the Pineslopes Shopping Centre at the corner of Witkoppen and The Straight, right next to the Beerhouse. The really great news for me is that this is really close to home and I couldn’t wait to try this place out.
Thursday evening I rang the restaurant to try and make reservations for Friday night and was told they aren’t currently taking any reservations, they are doing walk-ins only for the moment. A bit skeptical about getting in, we rocked up a bit early (for us) for dinner around 7 pm on Friday. We were warmly welcomed and had no trouble getting a table at that time though things were starting to pick up later as we were leaving.
The dining area features attractive wooden tables and chairs and an open plan kitchen. I felt the décor was a bit subdued for a Mexican restaurant and I would love to see just a bit more color added. There is a large outdoor patio area which I am sure will be great fun once it warms up a bit.
Open Plan Kitchen
If you have already been following my blog, it is probably quite apparent that I truly love the amazing wildlife we have here in South Africa. I am also a big supporter of the idea of keeping the wildlife wild. I absolutely do not support the numerous animal interaction activities that are found all over the country such as lion cub petting and walking, elephant back safaris, ostrich riding or cheetah cuddling. Most times these types of places will claim that what they are doing is all for conservation reasons but most true conservationists agree it is anything but conservation. Lion cub petting probably tops my list of the worst of the bunch due to the connection to canned lion hunting. There is a lot of information out there on this topic if you just seek it out but if you need a start you can read here and here.
One of the rescued male lions at Lionsrock
Fortunately there are also many organizations here in South Africa doing true conservation and/or rescue work. We had the opportunity to visit one such place a few weekends ago, Lionsrock Big Cat Sanctuary, located in the Free State about 3 hours south of Joburg near Bethleham. Lionsrock is a sanctuary for big cats rescued from horrific conditions in zoos, circuses and canned hunting situations from all over the globe.