A few weekdays ago I swung by Chalk and Cork for a bite to eat. Chalk and Cork is all but a cute little two-storey wine bar & restaurant located on Kloof Str in Cape Town with a lovely courtyard. They have a great selection of tapas on the menu — which I’m a huge fan of.
There were a couple of things to choose from and I decided to go for the fish. I ordered the salt & pepper squid, with sriracha aioli, chickpea puree and radish (it’s about 62 rand). And I LOVED it!
I have to admit something. I’ve never been much of a fan of squid or calamari or whatever you want to call it, but ever since I went to Chalk and Cork for a light lunch I’ve kind of leaned into liking it a bit more….
I’ve had such a bad experience with squid before. But this was specccctacular. Made me remember something a friend of mine once said, “don’t knock it till you try it TWICE”!!
Every element of the dish complements the other which is partly why I fell in love with the dish in the first place. I can best describe the plate by saying that it’s crispy squid covered in a salt and pepper batter but that wouldn’t do it much justice. The squid was so delicate and delicious that it almost melted in my mouth.
Don’t quote me on this but I think they flash fry their squid. What that means is that they (briefly) fry the fish at a very high temperature which gives it it’s crispy texture.
There is something comforting about the dish. I’m not sure if it’s the great combination of ingredients or whether it’s just the earthiness of the chickpea puree (which I love) but it was simply delicious! And I will be going back for more and definitely to try out the rest of their menu.
Overall I think the winner of my entire experience at Chalk & Cork has to be the homemade beetroot lemonade. Sounds ridiculous right?! But it’s not. It’s actually pretty good. So good that I want to steal their recipe for myself. It has this sweetness about it that I just can’t explain. Just trust me. Go try it for yourself and add a shot of rum in there while your at it!
Where 51 Kloof Street, Gardens. Tel +27 21 422 5822 – See more at: www.chalkandcork.co.za