If you don’t know about Off The Wall Pop Up Restaurant you’re definitely missing out. I’ve been following Off The Wall since I saw a Facebook event for a collaboration with a +27 Café Supper Club event on Facebook. It was always lingering in the back of my mind as something I still wanted to attend.
Yulu and Bubbles
I met Yulu Ishii at Sunday Pop-Up Eatery and instantly liked her. Not only is she an incredibly memorable person but she’s void of pretense. This talented lady is a food stylist, chef and recipe extraordinaire. Little did I know she was one-half of Off The Wall. Yulu and her partner DJ Bubbles, an incredibly talented vinyl DJ started Off The Wall Pop Up Restaurant as something they could do together. With Bubbles’ great tunes and Yulu’s tastebuds treats this is one event in Pretoria you’ll be sad to miss out on.
The first course definitely knocked everybody’s socks off. The flavour combinations were perfect and no conversation could stagnate after that first bite. The course kicked off with home-baked flat bread. Now I have to admit as I’m typing this, my mouth just got significantly watery. The smoked salt and rosemary dukkah covering the bread…AMAZING. Of course, we were all piling as much pomegranate, mint and preserved citrus hummus on there as possible. Yulu’s love affair with ingredients was evident in the entire menu and the sound of mmmm’s was proof of that. What followed was an array of flavoursome spicy bean pilau, beef and lamb koftas, deconstructed slow roasted lamb moussaka and then dessert which consisted of traditional fresh fig Umm Ali paired with the most perfect pistachio brittle I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. Oh, and did I mentioned I agreed to be interviewed? Awkward is an understatement. It seems I can’t speak without extreme hand gestures and weird facial expressions! We took some photographs during the evening, I must admit not my best, but it was one of those evenings where you’re having such a great time that you forget you have a camera.
+27 Design Café
I just also have to say my piece about +27 Café… I went to +27 Café for the first time in 2009 to watch our friend’s band Allan John play. At that time +27 had just opened and unless I just didn’t wander far enough from my glass of wine I remember it as relatively small. It had the counter in front and I still remember how I stood in awe of some massive Turkish Delight cupcakes on the front counter. It also had an exhibition space to the side with an array of books about art, design, and architecture. All of this I type hoping that my memory is still serving me well. Ever since that memorable night in 2009 I’m surprised every time after I haven’t been for a while. Over the last seven years, +27 Café has transformed into an exceptional space to be in. +27 has extended into various creative fields, but more on this in another post. I’m curious to see what else the guys have planned. Shout out to +27 Design!
So to conclude I’d just love to share a moment with all of those who haven’t met Yulu which I feel says a lot about her spirit. During an interview, I had with Yulu at Royal Danish a few weeks before. A kid was crying inside the shop, which is an ice-cream shop, for those who don’t know. I just remember Yulu saying (not a direct quote) ‘What’s wrong with him? He’s in an ice-cream shop, what more do you want in life other than to be surrounded by ice-cream?”. That’s how I felt about dining with everybody that evening. How can you not enjoy the evening when you’re accompanied by so many interesting and wonderful people whilst eating food prepared with so much intent?
UPDATE: Have a look at this feature by Afternoon Express on Off the Wall Pop-Up Eatery (Starts at 14:10)
All images copyright of Rita Hello. Please do not reuse without permission and give credit where it is due.