Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday Choon: Post Malone - Congratulations ft. Quavo (Dzeko Remix)



Austin Richard Post, better known by his stage name as Post Malone recently released single "Congratulations" has received some treatment by Canadian based DJ and producer Dzeko. Not gonna lie, I had to Google who Post Malone was, pretty scruffy looking white rapper, won't be the next Slim but makes good music. The song which originally is a rap song from the popular American Rapper has some much needed up-tempo beat added to it as well as some extras. It's proven to be quite popular as well with a number of high profile DJ's dropping it in sets of recent, most notably Tiesto at EDC Las Vegas. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Bucket Scene: Cattle Baron - Pearls Mall


There was a time in Durban where there were not that many grill houses around and one had to resort to the basic chain restaurants which while are okay, doesn't give you that same satisfaction that one of the more premium ones give when having a meal. Fortunately times have changed and grill houses are abundant with us spoiled for choice to be honest. The recent opening of the Pearls Mall in Umhlanga has seen one of the big names in Steak Houses occupying a prime location on the malls roadside front. Cattle Baron has a great heritage in the Cape and it's nice to see it opening on the East Coast of SA. I've never eaten at one before so my first experience was at the new store in Umhlanga. 


With the Pearls Mall being marketed as a high end lifestyle center, the introduction of this restaurant is quite welcomed, the decor is modern and the store is spacious but still has the warmth to it that you expect from a grill house. It can accommodate large groups of patrons and also has intimate couch seating for couples and small families. Being on the sea facing end of the mall, there is also an out door balcony seating area which I tried when I first visited, unfortunately with Durban's temperamental weather, it began raining soon after we were seated so we had to move indoors. 


So far I've visited the Cattle Baron at Pearls Mall twice so far, once just after it opened and the second visit was a month ago. While there were slight issues on my first visit in terms of service, I did understand the place was fairly new and long as the food was great, that was all that mattered. Apart from the great wine selection as one would expect at a grill house, they also have a good collection of whisky's which I was quite happy to see. Other drinks on the menu do include beers, ciders, cool drinks and hot drinks. 


While I do frequently visit Steak Houses, I do not eat steak due to religiously reasons but the Cattle Baron does have a variety of cuts and options to chose from. On my first visit I opted for a poultry dish, the chicken parmesan which reads of the menu as "deep-fried chicken breasts layered with bacon, smothered in cheese sauce, sprinkled with Parmesan shavings and topped with toasted onions" enough to make ones mouth salivate. The dish was awesome, chicken was succulent, the cheese sauce was not too over pouring, the onions were light and sweet and the salty, crispy bacon brought all the elements on the plate together beautifully. 


On my second visit I went with my stock standard order at a grill house, Lam Loin Chops. For me the make or break to a good lamb chops is its basting sauce and how it's prepared. I asked for it to be done medium to well which they got right to the t. The meat soft and tender which just melts in your mouth and the basting sauce was superb which found me licking my fingers. It's nice to see that apart from the regular starch that's always offered to a meal, the Cattle Baron also provides a complimentary hot veg for the table as I found myself going for a few helpings of the cream spinach. 
Also compared to other steak houses, the Cattle Baron has quite a few vegetarian options which I found great. 


The dessert menu is also quite extensive and features many of SA's favorites including malva pudding and cheese cake. I settled for a creme brullee and coffee. The sugar top was just the right thickness, I find some places over do it with the sugar and you spend more time try to get shards of sugar out of your teeth than enjoying the custard. Overall both dinning experiences at Cattle Baron Umhlanga were great and satisfactory, with the place having a welcoming atmosphere and keen prices, the staff and owner who made a point of coming to greet each patron added a nice touch and even offered a free dessert to one in our group because her mains arrived late.


*all pictures from the website: www.cattlebaron.co.za

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bucket Seat: BMW 6 Series GT


After BMW released images on the up coming 8 Series Concept, all seemed right in the world. The brand had finally shook off the weirdness that a previous designer *cough* Chris Bangle *cough* left with them. The cars they were producing were stunning, elegant and sporty but then late last week something dreadful happened, something that many couldn't fathom why or what could have provoked this but it did happen. At first I thought it was some sort of joke and a really good render from one of the German Automobile magazines, as they do tend to do this sort of thing quite often but on closer inspection, it wasn't a render, it looked like a legit car, and it was the 6 Series GT. 


Now take everything what you know about the 6 Series since it's rebirth in 2004, even with Bangle at the helm of design, the car still looked great. It was a super coupe, if I may call it that, something that exudes luxury but in a sports form. It then progressed into the modern day Sports Coupe but still kept that rich luxury associated with the car and then BMW released the creme da ala creme, the 6 Series Gran Coupe, which for me still remains one of the best cars that they have produced. Now after stopping production of the 6 Series Coupe and Gran Coupe, they gone and slapped a GT badge to this much famed model. 


Look, it saddens me to an extent to see the 6 Series go down this mundane line but I shot myself in the foot before with the 5 Series GT, I recall calling it the Quasimodo of the BMW line up but then I actually got my ass into one and to say I was left red faced is an understatement. That car blew me away from what it had to offer, on the inside it was a limousine, everything crafted to perfection, the seats were like sofas, the carpet was like thick shaggy pile carpet, finishes and fixtures were of high quality. It was as close to a Rolls Royce a BMW has come to, it's almost as if they designed the inside of the car first then sort of just made do with something on the outside. The engine wasn't too shabby either as I had the 3.0 liter 535iGT so it had a lot of grunt, it needed it to log around that big chassis. 


Which brings me to the new BMW 6 Series GT, yes I don't exactly approve of what is basically a 5 Series GT getting re-badged into the 6 Series line but at the same time I know what what to expect from this car and I'm 99% sure it's going to blow me away as well. There's been a tonne of negative press coming out from this model and while the introduction of this piece might seem that way as well , I'm going to try and flip the coin on it and say this could be a game changer in the battle between the German giants. None of the auto-manufacturers have a car like the GT in their stable, yes Audi does have the A7 but it's more of a sports fast back than a GT car. The GT has a raised ride height and a spacious cabin similar to that of an SUV but all the luxuries of the super saloon. While it may not be aesthetically pleasing on the outside, once inside it could have you feeling like Royalty. 























Sunday, June 18, 2017

Monday Choon: Dzeko - Fluxland 2017


Turn the bass up and keep the party jumping! That's the chorus line of Dzeko's latest track that we have for you this week and boy is it a banger. Titled Fluxland 2017 this track which is comes off the Musical Freedom record label has been doing substantially well since its release two weeks ago and we have the official video for you as well. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Jack Daniels Boomtown 2017


For many, Winter signals the time where people would rather be indoors, snuggled up under a blanket and binge watching TV, mainly because of the cold weather, fortunately for us on the East Coast of South Africa, we need not go to such drastic measures as the weather God's have blessed us with a Winter that is far from hibernation standard. Hence making Durban the ideal party destination for everyone, and with this in mind there is no bigger party than the Vodacom Durban July, which is held annually on the first Saturday of July. Africa's biggest horse racing event just grows in statue and prestige every year, with the crowds increasing as the years go by, organisers pull out all the stops to ensure the event is not only a successful one but better than the last.


Ask anyone who attends the Vodacom Durban July which is the best and biggest marquee and they will all give you the same answer, Jack Daniels Boomtown! In its 9th year at the Races, BoomTown together with Jack Daniel's and powered by VUZU AMP promises to be the finest lifestyle marquee at Africa's biggest horse racing event. BoomTown combines the exciting sport of horseracing with an extraordinary music-line up and premium lounges with luxurious design and decor. It also features front line views of the racetrack for as close as possible racing action. The fashion, hospitality and urban lifestyle experienced at BoomTown is unrivaled and it's one of the key reasons why people keep coming back year after year. 


This years Music line-up see's the biggest and best that Mzanzi has to offer to grace the stage at BoomTown, organisers ask that you be prepared to experience the music and whisky at its finest as Mafikizolo, AKA, Cassper Nyovest, Riky Rick, Nasty C, Black Motion, Shekinah, Sketchy Bongo, DJ Fresh, DJ Shimza, Glen Lewis, DJ Capital, Du Boiz, DJ Milkshake, DJ Dimplez and DJ Vigilante and more rock the BoomTown stage!


Tickets are now on sale and available via Computicket and range from General Access, VIP, VVIP and Platinum Tower (a new brand offering). For Group Bookings, contact Glynnis at the BoomTown Events Office on: 060 00 3768 or e-mail: sales1@boomtownevents.co.za. More information on tickets, click here, prices below. 


GA 
General Access - R690  

VIP
VIP Individual Package - R2190
VIP Private Tables R3500 per person (Tables of 10 or 20)
Private Lounges R3500 per person (Minimum of 10 people) 


VVIP
VVIP Individual Package - R2950
VVIP Private Tables R3990 per person (Tables of 10 or 20)
Private Lounges R3990 per person (Minimum of 10 people)


Platinum - R6750



Monday, June 12, 2017

Monday Choon: Loud Luxury ft. Nikki's Wives - Show Me


I'm a big fan of the duo Loud Luxury, they've hit the scene relatively recently and are doing great things. They signed on to Tiesto's deep house record label AFTR:HRS after featuring quite a bit in the sets created by him. This latest offering features the vocals of Nikki's Wives and has that same chilled beat with deep base which is becoming their signature for songs. The music video also was recently released and features Ron Jeremy, who is a legend in his own right for starring in many many adult movies, but not to worry, there was no exposing in the video which we have for you today. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Bucket Seat: Toyota Corolla D4D


If you look up the botanic meaning of "Corolla" it will come up with a flower, well it's actually the name given to the petals which surround the reproductive parts of the flower, almost as a shield against the elements. Something which personifies the car almost to the T for me and for many locals as well. There's just something about the Toyota Corolla, that holds a dear place in most South African motorists heart. Whether it is due to it being assembled on our doorstep at Toyota's plant in Durban or the fact that it's proven to be over the decades as one of the most reliable and affordable family sedans for us South Africans on the market, whatever it is, every Corolla that rolled off the line at the plant in Prospecton has had major success not only locally but internationally as well. In fact, I myself own a Toyota Corolla, bought it brand new as my first car and it's still going strong almost as the day I took delivery of it, so that's why when I took the keys to test out this all new Corolla, it was almost nostalgic that I was about to drive a newer version of something that became a part of my life all those years ago. 


STYLE

The Corolla was never a car to win any awards for styling, with it mostly being conservative and practical but with this new shape, I have to admit that whilst we're so used to the boring aspects that relate to the car over the years, the designers have made significant effort to not only make this new spec Corolla look good but also confiscated as well. It didn't take much mind you, minor details which radically changed the look of the car for the better from its launch model. For starters the front end has been redesigned with longer sleeker headlights which follows the swooping grille of the car and matches well with the chrome detailing. The front diffuser has taken a more masculine look with vertical lines making the car look broader. Nothing much has changed in the rear end apart from the indicator and reverse lights tying into the chrome boot lid. 


PERFORMANCE

I had the diesel derivative engine in the Prestige package, in previous models the D4D was a 2 liter engine, now with turbo technology, Toyota has developed a 1.4 liter D4D engine which blew me away. While having the 6 speed manual gearbox did help, I found the car really responsive but not torque heavy like most other diesels on the market. The huge touch screen display gave a nice feature look at your performance and economy when driving, which assisted me in easing off the pedal to achieve the best possible fuel economy. Gear changes were smooth and the clutch was super responsive. But overall for a 55L tank averaging about 750km on one tank, I was very impressed. 


COMFORT

As far as comfort goes, you can't really beat a Corolla, the cabin space is big and the seats super comfortable. I'm glad to see the same high quality of leather being used in the Corolla as used in the Fortuner and other models. The cabin it self is a really nice place to be, especially for the driver, as mentioned before the car does come with a huge touch screen multimedia system with DVD and Bluetooth Audio and telephonic capabilities. The steering wheel controls are a bit different to the previous generation models and I feel the older ones were better, there is more functionality for these but they just feel a bit cheap. For the passengers at the back, they can look forward to quite a comfortable journey as well, plenty of room for 2 adults and you can squeeze in a 3rd if need be. I was a bit disappointed with the aircon, with it not being climate control and the usual turn the knob style system. 


STORAGE

When it comes to storage in Toyota sedans, there is nothing to be worried about as there is always ample space. The new Corolla is just the same, with a massive boot which has a capacity of 452L and  also has a full size spare wheel below and tools. On the inside it has a large cubby and a storage box between the driver and the passenger as well as below the aircon panel for small stuff such as credit cards and loose change. 


VERDICT

It's hard not to like the Corolla, especially this new one, while it falls short on certain aspects you have to realise what market its targeting and with the pricing, that market is getting a whole lot of stuff for the price they're paying. When I first saw the price of this model I was taken back thinking it was a bit stiff but if you have to compare it to alternatives on the market which match the D4D Corolla, there is really little to chose from. I really like the fact that Toyota have given the car a premium feel with small touches that really enhance the car and can confidently say this will do harm to the legacy that previous Corolla's have already built. 



SPECIFICATIONS

 Engine
 1.4 liter Diesel 4 cylinder
 Gear Box
 6 speed manual
 Power
 66kW
 Torque
 205Nm
 Top Speed
 220km/h
 Fuel Tank
55L
 Price
 R 307,500*



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Gateway's Vodacom Durban July Preview Fashion Show & Concert


Durban is gearing up for one of its most anticipated events of the calendar, its probably the biggest horse racing event on the continent and grows bigger every year. In preparation for this mammoth event of fashion, beauty and horse racing, Gateway, Theatre of Shopping is hosting it's annual Durban July Preview Fashion Show & Concert. Apart from the July, this is one event you want to be at! 

Gateway, which is Durban's one stop mall for everything fashion related hosts a yearly preview fashion show which in the past has proven to be a massive success. The preview fashion show has their tenants displaying the latest trends and designs for people to purchase and look their best for the Vodacom Durban July. This years theme for the Vodacom Durban July is the The Colour of Magic and exhibitors are sure to bring out the best in colour and magic, Gateway has as well with confirmed hosts being local magician Mo Magic and Durban born beauty, Shashi Naidoo! Naidoo is no stranger to Gateway as she participated in last years Celeb Chef Showdown which was hosted at Gateway. 


Apart from the Fashion, the big draw card is definitely the after party, with some of the biggest names in SA music invited to perform. This year see's the likes of Nasty C, Aewon Wolf, Kyle Deutsch, DJ Ready D, Tresor, Timo ODV, Ryki and Sketchy Bongo. Tickets for the concert are available now at webtickets for R80 or R100 at the venue. Make sure you get yours now before they sell out. It's sure to be the party to be at before the Vodacom Durban July. 


Monday, June 5, 2017

Monday Choon: Ummet Ozcan feat Chris Crone - Everything Changes


Turkish DJ Ummet Ozcan is becoming a regular on the EDM scene, with his music being supported from the likes of Sander van Doorn, Calvin Harris and Tiesto to name a few. He's signed onto US Label Spinnin records and has done pretty decently for himself over the years. His latest release see's him team up with Chris Crone who provides the vocals for today's featured track. It has a great sound to it with the drop very much similar to what we were used to with Avicii.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Bucket Seat: Ford Everest 2.2 4WD


When Ford launched their Everest in SA about 2 years ago, it wasn't going to take the market by storm, not because it isn't a good vehicle, but because of its price tag. The launch edition only featured the 3.2 Diesel engine, whilst it is a great engine it did make the SUV damn expensive! So it was with great joy to many when Ford launched the 2.2 variants late last year. While you still get the great vehicle, but with a power train that is smaller but still capable to lug this rather large car around. A few weeks back I spent a week with the Ford Everest 2.2 AWD 4X4 and put it through some tests that I didn't even imagine I would had to! All in all it was great fun as you will soon find out. 


STYLE

The model I had was the XLS 4WD which sits one below the XLT,  it still had the great look of the Everest, and it was just accentuated with the Ocean Blue colour that it came with. You did miss those minor touches from the LTD that make it look the part though, for example, the daytime running LED lights on the front headlamps and the chromed out front grille and the larger rims, this one did  come with 17" wheels but looked rather small on it. Other than that, the car still has a great presence on the road, I mean it is probably one of the biggest SUV's available on the market, size wise and in height. Interior was pretty plain but then with an entry level variant you wouldn't expect it to have everything in it. 


PERFORMANCE

If anyone has seen or been in an Everest you will know how big this car is and why I keep mentioning it so with the smaller engine, I was a bit optimistic on how it would cope. Credit to the engineers at Ford though, the engine did deliver plenty in-terms of power and torque, the 6 speed manual transmission I had also played a part in this. Also with the 2,2 ltr diesel engine, I did notice a significant economy difference to the 3.2 engine, Ford claims it can do 7.1L per the 100km which I struggled to get near but then again I was to blame for that, it was just so much fun testing the torque on take off all the time! 

COMFORT

The Everest is a full 7 seater SUV, and its capable of carrying 7 adults more than comfortably, yes we put this to the test but bare in mind when using all 7 seats it doesn't leave much boot space. The versatility of the Everest is just great, the seats are so easy to move and drop that even a child could do them. You can have them set up in multiple configurations to suit you. Even if you have to carry an extra large item, just fold down all the seats and be amazed at how much can actually fit inside this behemoth. The cabin air is controlled by climate control and has vents throughout the cabin with the option to switch off the rear cabin AC if there is no one there. 


OFF ROADING

Whats the point in having a 4X4 if you aren't going to take it off roading right? Well that was my point exactly with the Everest, while it did a great job on my daily commute to work and back, scaring taxi's and other idiot drivers off the fast lane on the highway, it was off track where I really wanted to experience it. That weekend, some of the first snow falls were reported in the Southern end of Drakensberg and Lesotho, it was the perfect opportunity to go looking for snow with the Everest. I rang up a few mates, and we were off early Saturday morning, on the road to find the snow. We had a snow tracker, scouring the internet to see where snow sightings were, most of which were deep in Lesotho which was a bit far for our liking but the closest area with reported snow fall was Sani Pass. A route we conquered many a time in the past, so off we went!

As we got closer, we could definitely feel the snow was not too far off with the temperature dropping from 11 degrees to 3 degrees in a matter of kilometers. We didn't have our passports with us so we couldn't actually head up the pass but thought we would drive to the border and see what we could find. The short gravel road to the border is only 13 km or so but it normally is a hard gravel road that isn't as easy as it sounds. Much to our bad luck as we began our trek on this road, it began to bucket down, making the gravel turn into thick mud, almost clay which saw a number of vehicles in front of us get bogged down, eventually forcing us to turn around. We did get close enough to see the snow from a distance though, we flew our drone blindly to capture it but only ended up capturing the grass below it....suffice to say it proved to be a handy lesson in drone flying!


Heading back I decided to take the "short cut" to Nottingham Road, a popular spot in the midlands meander to have a spot of lunch. Little did I know what this shortcut had in store for us. It needed us to navigate our selves though a long gravel route, which much like the Sani Pass Road turned into a rive of mud. Thankfully the Everest off road settings came into play with us making use of majority of the settings, ice and snow mode for the icey parts, rock crawl mode for navigating around tricky escarpments and towards the end of the route, there was a pass with loose sand in which we had to manoeuvre down. Although hair raising for myself and my occupants, the Everest did manage it quite well. There were no "lets do it again" chants though once we eventually got down.                    

VERDICT

Suffice to say I put the Everest through it's paces in all types of terrain and it came out with flying colours but it again, it all boils down to the price and the value you getting with the Everest, there's still a number of things I would like to see in the car that it doesn't have. It still comes with one of those wap ariels, the car is so damn high as it is, this just makes it taller so I found myself get into a panic every time it hit something! Also while I understand it's an entry level variant, we going to need that full touch screen display, the small screen this particular model came with was so small that my cell phone screen was bigger than it. Hopefully now with SYNC 3 out, Ford would consider adopting this in most of their Everest models. Another grip is the key, it's nice but I would expect for a vehicle like the Everest to have the smart keyless system like the Mustang and Fusion come with but that's just me. It is on the whole an extremely good vehicle, while it doesn't have all the bells and whistles I might be looking for, it's more than capable of the job it has to do. It's big, spacious and fun to drive, and very versatile which just ticks all the boxes that people check when buying an SUV.



SPECIFICATIONS

 Engine
 2.2 litre Diesel 4 cylinder
 Gear Box
 6 speed manual
 Power
 115kW
 Torque
 382Nm
Fuel Economy
 7.1L/100km
Fuel Tank
80L
 Price
 R 539,000