I promised I’d pop in to the two new spots at Eden on the Bay, so today, blustery wind and all, Annie and I took a walk along the Blouberg promenade and ended up at Happy Folks, the new place that opened up where Saints used to be.
To be honest, I was expecting a disaster as the place was full and it was only their third day after opening, but my wife and I were both blown away, and not by the 27-45mph South wind.
The menu will cater to absolutely anybody. They offer the regular pub food – burgers and pizzas, plus sushi, salads, some decent looking mains including steaks and fish, and some absolutely banging starters.
We had some starters, and were going to have their Burrata salad, until we saw the Burrata pizza, so we shared one of those.
The starters – my word! You have to go there to experience for yourself. We had three of them. Tuna bites which come on crispy rice paper with avo, sriracha mayo and a sweet soy – out of this world. Dish of the day, and right up there with the best tapas I’ve had this year. Highly recommended. The tuna is fresh. It’s just yum on another level. Then we had Rice Paper Rolls – kind of like sushi without the rice but wrapped in rice paper instead and filled with prawn, avo, cucumber, carrot and red onion. Delicious! And finally we had crispy chicken tenders which I thought was a fancy way of describing the usual crumbed and deep fried chicken, but I was so wrong. This dish is strips of chicken coated with something very light and fried till crispy, but not heavy like crumbed chicken. Then it’s topped with a peri peri sauce that was reminiscent of a Korean Chicken dish. It comes with a very mild blue cheese dipping sauce and the whole thing together is like nothing I’ve ever had on a pub menu before. Also highly recommend.
We could have stopped there but we’d already ordered the Burrata pizza. Definitely and without a doubt the best pizza I’ve had in Blouberg by a long shot. The Burrata is a soft mozzarella ball that falls apart, and it’s placed on the pizza after it’s cooked so it doesn’t disintegrate. The pizza toppings include Sundried tomato and Basil pesto. I’ll leave you to discover this for yourself. The pizzas are made in a wood-fired oven, and they’re absolutely delicious.
The beer selection is good too (if you’ve seen my battle of the local pubs article, this one rivals Bossa). There’s a decent selection of craft beers which I always enjoy.
We spoke to Johan, the new franchise owner, who told us about this exciting new franchise and some of the things they’re trying to achieve with the concept. There’s a Happy Folks tucked away in Kloof Street, but this one is bigger and more spacious. It aims to bring people together to socialize, and put away their cell phones and have fun with the people around the table (finally! Someone who gets what I’ve been trying to do at my own dinner table for years!!). They’ve opened Darts lanes that you can book for an hour at a time for R100. It’s leading edge digital Darts tech, so it comes with cameras and sensors and flatscreens, like playing 10-pin bowling, but with darts. It’s super classy, and nothing like the old musty darts board stuck away at the back of a smelly bar. These are inviting, modern and clean, and I can see them being a star attraction in Blouberg.
There are other social attractions on the cards that we’ll probably see being added to the offerings of Happy Folks in the near future.
Happy Folks is definitely worth a visit. I think it’s the nicest of the pub-style restaurants at Eden on the Bay, and the franchise concept is fresh and modern. The menu is diverse and even though they’d only been opened for 3 days, their service (well, to our table at least) was flawless.
Expect more reviews from me on this place as we go back again and again to sample the rest of the menu.