Food for thought

The Grillhouse Sandton ***
Building #1, 11 Alice Lane, Sandton
Tel: (011) 783-6132

Thuli Madonsela ***** | Excellent **** | Good *** | Poor ** | Jacob Zuma*

Jacob Zuma. Picture: ALON SKUY​
Jacob Zuma. Picture: ALON SKUY​

Zuma blamed trade unions, the media, business, NGOs, the judiciary and the opposition for everything that had gone wrong in the past decade

You should be very grateful, dear reader. The column you are reading was dispatched piping hot from the ANC conference in Nasrec (renamed Nas-wreck by spin master Chris Vick) in Joburg, where all self-respecting journalists have rushed to come and wait, and wait, for the ANC to make its mind up about who should lead it and what policies to adopt.

As you know, I like a big ANC party. The food is always interesting. But it’s the comrades I love. I mean, some of the goings-on at these conferences are just too precious for words.

For example, former ANC youth league deputy president Ronald Lamola surprised the entire country when he told a television interviewer that the Holy Ghost had "intervened" and instructed Mpumalanga delegates to vote for Cyril Ramaphosa. My word! I think the Pope should be informed.

By the way, this was a dry event. No wine on the premises. We were all, like President Jacob Zuma (he does not drink), sipping on juice and water, and hoping for the Holy Ghost to show his benevolent face again.

Nothing happened.

This conference was bitter-sweet for me. I have been following and banging on about Zuma since 2007, when he elbowed former President Thabo Mbeki out of power and took over.

What a horrid time he has brought us. He gave the country away to the Gupta family, destroyed the SA Revenue Service and others, turned our politics into a circus and then nonchalantly told us at the conference that it was everyone else’s fault.

On the first day of conference he announced that university education would be free (a noble goal, but where is the cash?) without even notifying his finance minister, Malusi Gigaba.

Then he gave an interview to the SABC in which he said he could not really recall anything he could say he should have done differently.

Then he gave his farewell speech, essentially suggesting that he had not been in power for 10 years. He blamed trade unions, the media, business, NGOs, the judiciary and the opposition for every single thing that had gone wrong in SA over the past decade.

I wish I had such a skill for finding fault with everyone except myself. I would sleep very soundly at night.

One of my good friends and I visited the new-ish The Grillhouse in Sandton. My friend is a lover of The Grillhouse in Rosebank. I don’t blame him. Possibly the best service in the world.

The Alice Lane Grillhouse has the same red brick, banquette, steakhouse decor and atmosphere. The menu is pretty much the same. The clientele is also similar — men and women in expensive suits pulling huge bags heaving with legal briefs, plus bankers and all sorts of other professionals.

It is huge and has a fantastic view of Joburg.

But this place is new. The starters of livers, carpaccio and snails were good and the steaks for mains were succulent and near perfect.

The service, though, was just not good. Maybe it was because all those Sandton office Christmas parties were on, but we sat there waving at our waiter several times.

At some point he decided he was too good for us and asked a trainee to look after us. Poor boy — he scuttled about with very little knowledge of how anything worked. Not cool.

We paid for our meal and went to The Grillhouse in Rosebank.

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