Sunday, July 24, 2016

Monday Choon: Rain Man feat. Oly - Bring Back The Summer (Arpex Remix)



After this weekends weather, I think the whole country can agree with the title of this weeks featured track, Bring back the summer! It's been a freezing cold 48 hours and it's set to be here for most of the week so here's a hot track to warm things up. Rain man, of Chicago teams up with Oly for this one. It was released 4 months ago and part of the remix package was the Arpex Remix, it was one which stood out for me and really gave the song something that it was lacking. It's high tempo and great vibe, one I'm sure you will enjoy too!

                   

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Bucket Scene: The Hussar Grill


When I first heard that The Hussar Grill was opening a branch in Durban I was over the moon, I've heard a lot of this legendary grill from my mates in Cape Town but whenever I find myself in Mountain-land, I never got a chance to experience dinning at one of their many branches. Like most men, I love my meat, and whilst there's many grill houses already in Durban, not many keep that consistancy. One can easily cock-up a steak and it's never a pleasant experience especially if you're paying top dollar for it. 


This is where establishments like The Hussar Grill come in, with over 50 years of experience, they're regarded as one of South Africa's Premier Grill Rooms and with good reason too. They have a loyal following and the reason they keep coming back is for their award-winning speciality steaks and wine selection, along with their superb service an warm ambience. 


This week myself a few mates decided to go give The Hussar Grill a try, with a booking made, it was time to see what all the fuss was about. Upon arrival I was warmly greeted by their gorgeous hostess at the entrance and then escorted to my table. The decor of the place is great, the low lighting sets the tone for a relaxed lounge feel and the restaurants theme sort of an old school library / wine cellar vibe. They're known for their great selection of wines but I'm not a wine person as I prefer my whisky, our waiter for the night was quick to go through their extensive range of single malts and mixed blends with me, I was quite surprised with the selction they have as many restaurants just cater with the popular ones.


Once I had my drink it was time to study the food menu, I'll be honest I already had in mind what I was going to order as I had a good look at the menu from their website prior to arriving. While doing so, our waiter brought some sweet potato crisps and marinated olives to snack on, both of which got snapped up in a matter of minutes. For starters, everything on the menu looks great and you really want to order more than one but when you flip over to have a look at the mains, you want to keep space for that. I eventually settled for calamari as its a personal favourite starter of mine, it was light and tender, crispy on the outside and with the right about of lemon on it. The accompanying tartar sauce was just as exquisite. Even though it is a starter, it was quite a generous portion and could well easily be shared with someone. 


While taking a break with some more good quality whisky, it was time to decide on the mains, the Hussar does have specilas on the day so be sure to check with your waiter when you do visit. Otherwise their menu has enough for to cater for anyones taste buds, whether it be beef, lamb, seafood, poultry or even game, depending on the hunt. Our waiter brought through their meat board to show us the various cuts and explain to us how it is prepared and what is the best way to order it. The menu also offers guidlines to your selection of how you would like your meal grilled. I opted for something off the menu, as the waitor informed me they had lamb steaks, not often you would find this around, lamb is best done medium and it was basted with their rib marinade, served with a side of chips, creamed spinach and a cheese sauce. 


It was quite a decent portion of meat, 250g of lamb with just a sliver of fat, crispened nicely. It was full of flavour and most importantly, tender and melted in my mouth. I also opt for a cheese sauce and I enjoy the taste of it with the lamb. They say you know a meal is good when everyone at the table is quiet and enjoying their meal but its not always the case as with us, each of my mates were raving about their meal, insisting what they ordered was better than the next. There was only one way to settle this, as we all tasted a little bit from each others plates. I honestly couldn't fault any dish I tasted, as everything was prepared perfectly and tasted great. In the end we all agreed that there was no dish better than the other as all were pretty darn good. 


Already stuffed, the waiter brought the menu's again to have a look at the dessert menu and as tempting as it was, I just couldn't eat anything else. But one that did catch my eye was the Hussar Grill Ice Cream, it's described so incredibly on the menu that it almost hypnotises you to order it "This extravagant dessert is a beguiling combination of vanilla ice cream, peanut brittle, marshmallow, nougat, honeycomb and sprinkled nuts. Drizzled with our signature dark chocolate sauce. Sometimes more is better." I mean if that isn't worthy to get your drooling I don't know what is. 


Overall my experience at The Hussar Grill was everything I expected it to be, and a perfect location of a boys night out but equally can be a great place to have a quiet dinner with a loved one, family or even a business luncheon or dinner. Another thing to note as I have mentioned their selction of wines before but if you opt to bring in your own bottle, they do not charge you a corkage free! The prices are very keen when you look at the level of service and quality of food you're getting. I highly reccommend you visit the Hussar Grill to see for yourself why they're one of the best. 


Details:

The Hussar Grill Gateway
Shop G003, Gateway Theatre of Shopping
Tel: 031 566 4047
Twitter: @TheHussarGrill
Instagram: thehussargrill

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Bucket Seat: Mini Clubman Cooper S


After attending the launch earlier in the year and having a limited drive in it due to time constraints, so I was really looking forward to getting the Clubman on my test. Alas, something aren't meant to be I guess as during my time with it, I encountered an unfortunate incident which saw me return the car just 3 days after getting it. Some people in this country just enjoy causing damage and trouble to others property but luckily the damage to the car was not too severe and at the same time let me experience first hand what an owner has to go through should something like this had to happen to them. Even though it was just 3 days, I did manage to have a lot of fun with the car and here's how it went down.


Style
The Clubman is probably the longest Mini in the line up, its base is the Mini 5 door with a longer boot. Although some may call it a hearse, I think it looks pretty nifty. It has that Mini charm to it, and while looks compact, it really is quite big and spacious on the inside. In fact, I'd go out on a limb and say its more spacious than the Countryman. It was the Cooper S model so it had all the sporty extras added to it, large 18" blacked rims, lowered bumper and bigger grilles. The business end of the car has to be the rear, although the back is longer, it doesn't seem out of place and the showstopper has to be those rear doors. Normally with a hatch, you would be familiar with the usual tip up door but with the Clubman, the doors open like a panel van with a two split and with the auto boot open function, it proves to be quite a cool party trick as I showed it off to many and they were equally impressed.


Performance
Nothing more needs to be said about Mini's Cooper S engine that hasn't been said already. It's an almighty 2l Twin Turbo power plant that just itches at every opportunity to provide the most thrilling drive every time to you flick the switch to start the car. That coupled with the masculine tone of the twin exhaust, makes you feel like a racer ready to take on the track. Even though the car is larger than the other Mini's, it still has that Go-Kart feel to it, and it easy to maneuver around. I had the automatic gear box which some may say takes away the joy of driving this type of car but I feel it's quite the opposite. With the engine pushing our 141kW, 280Nm of torque and a top speed of 228kph, you don't want to be changing gears all the time.


Comfort
It's not only me that shares this sentiment, as others who sat in the car said so as well, it really is the best Mini in terms of space and comfort. There's tons of leg room in the back for adult passengers as well as plenty of space in the front. The set up is more in line with BMW although everything is distinctively Mini. The Clubman also has some neat tricks to it as well, normally the mood lighting package in the Mini just features the usual LED lights on the door handles, center console and cabin lighting but on the Club, it has an LED feature pattern on the door which really is breathtaking at night. It caught me off guard at first and I was taken a back by it. It really is flippin cool to see!


Storage
If you going into the market to buy this car, it's for the storage capacity no doubt. The boot is massive and the storage space can be increased by dropping the rear seats. It's simple enough to do so, either by flicking the switch from the boot or from the back passenger doors. It's actually quite surprising how much can fit in the boot and with the doors being split, it makes loaded and off loading easy peasy.


Extras
The cars extras list is might long and impressive to say the least. The car came loaded with them, the light package as mentioned before, Harman Kardon HiFi stereo sound, panoramic glass sunroof with blinds, Scotch pattern seats which is really cool and makes your Mini distinctly different from others. The car also came with Satellite Navigation and Bluetooth Audio streaming. 


Mini Assist
Now on the third night with my car, on way home from dinner, I encounter rocks placed along the road on a blind rise and it was almost impossible for me to avoid, as agile as the Mini is, I managed to avoid the bigger rocks and subsequently hit the smallest one, immediately the cars safety warnings told me something was wrong, the left front tyre was losing pressure and I could feel the car pull to the left. Knowing my house was not more than 200 meters away and the Mini has run flat tyres, I continued to drive at a slow pace, fearing if I had stop to assess the damage I could have been a target for the perpetrators who placed the rocks there. Initially I thought it was the tyre that popped but when I arrived home I realised that the entire rim had cracked. Miraculously nothing else on the car was damaged and the tyre looked like it was fine but due to the rim being cracked, it cut through it. 


Now if this had to happen somewhere else where you're quite far from your destination, it would not be advisable to drive on with a damaged rim. Thats where Mini Assist comes into play, every car sold comes with a Mini Assist plan, and in cases where the rim is damaged, one cannot just pop the boot open and change the tyre since there isn't any due to the cars coming with run flats, so Mini Assist will come to you with the spare rim, change it for you and you can continue to your destination. Of course that rim won't be a replacement, just serves as a standby while you source a new one. It was a learning curve at the same time for myself to see what would happen if an owner had to experience this problem and I must add, the guys were pretty helpful and saw to the issue as soon as they could. 


Verdict
It's the best Mini there is, yes I know I didn't have it that long, yes I want it back, but like the phrase for the Clubman says "Go with your gut!" Seriously, go down to a Mini dealer and test drive one, if your biggest concern over getting a Mini was space for 4 adults and enough boot space, this is the answer to your problems. It is a fantastic car, loads of fun and great to drive. 


Specifications

  • 2 litre, 3 cylinder TwinPower Turbo
  • 6 speed automatic gear box
  • 141kW
  • 280Nm torque
  • Consumption: 6.4ltr/ 100km
  • Top Speed: 228kph
  • 0-100kph: 7.2 seconds 
  • Price: R447 000* (*excluding extras)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Monday Choon: Olly James & LoaX feat. Christina Pasion - Love Again


It's the second week in a row that we've featured a British Producer/ DJ, in our Monday Choon segment, probably a first with the Dutch being so dominant in recent years. This weeks DJ hails from Tyneside in England, thats Newcastle for those not that familiar with the country. Olly James is his name and the first time I heard of him was when I heard his remix of Sash's Ecuador in January, then the day day while listening to a few podcasts, I heard this song featured and instnatly loved it, it has a right balance of fast electronic beats and vocals. It features Swedish DJ LoaX and Christina Pasion on vocals, a brilliant track and a firm current favourite of mine. This won't be the last you hear of Olly as well as he dropped another single last week which is equally hot.

                         

Friday, July 15, 2016

SA on Tap 2016


In what is becoming my favourite beer festival to attend, SA on Tap is back in Durbs at the end of the month and personally I cannot wait! Nothing beats a day out with friends or family, basking in the lovely Durban Winter (although it could warm up of late), enjoying some of the best craft beer that the country offers, listening to the sounds of great local talent and eating some gourmet grub. If last years event is anything to go by then you not going to want to miss this years as it features even more variety, more bands and more food!


It is South Africa's biggest Craft Brew festival and it's all going down at Peoples Park in Durban on the 30th of July 2016. Tickets are on sale from their website and people attending are in for a treat. Over a 180 brews, ciders, craft spirits and wines will be available, so if beer aint your thing, there's always alternatives. When booking online you will get a choice of glass, there are three to choose from, the Trumpet, the Bavarian and the Prime. All unique and collectors items. 


All craft beverages are price regulated and are R25.00 for 400ml. Some of the brewers that you can find there are Copperlake, Jack Black, Nottingham Road, Basset, Dragon, Robsons, That Brewing Co, Devils Peak, Standeaven, Devil's Peak. Some of the wine producers are, Anthonij Rupert, The Ground and Brampton. What's drinking without some quality food? you can look forward to some of the best gourmet food stalls at SA on Tap this year, with Sumting Fresh, Vetkoek Cafe, Maddison Bakery, Wicked Waffles, Roti & Chai and many others at the festival this year, 



This is the best that South African brewers have to offer, so whether you are a home brewer keen to learn from experience brewers or just appreciate truly South African brews, this is the place you need to be. There will be plenty of seating and cover all weather, live Super Rugby on screens throughout the festival area and dedicated child minding areas within the festival. Some of the live entertainment includes, Bad Peter, Jaryd Smith, Majozi and Gangs of Ballet. 


Tickets as said before are available online for R125 and you get the option to choose your glass, tickets depending on availability will be sold at the door for R150. Gates open at 10am and the festival ends at 6pm. Tickets include entry to the festival, limited edition unique festival glass, access to the live music, the brew appreciation course tickets are sold seperately. 


Those important bits again:

Date: 30 July 2016
Time: 10:00 till 18:00
Venue: Peoples Park, Durban
Price: R125 for booking online, R150 at the gate
Website: www.saontap.co.za
Twitter: @SAonTAP
Facebook: SAonTAP

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Bucket Tech: Huawei Mate 8 - Review


A few weeks ago I received something rather cool in the post, Huawei sent me, what I feel is their flagship business phone to review, the Mate 8. Following from it's predecessors, the Mate 7 and Mate S, the 8 had a lot to live up to and after attending the launch in Joburg in April I was keen to put to see how the phone compared to my lifestyle. At the launch they spoke of how the phone was "the pinnacle of style" and I have to admit, everything from the box the actual phone comes in to the device itself, really looks on point. Generally with a phone of this nature, you would want to get a protective cover on it almost immediately but the phone looks so damn good you might be doing it an injustice by covering it up!


Quality
Even thought he market has become conducive to consumers changing their phones quite regularly, in most cases people don't even wait for their contracts to expire before they change their device, with the average person keeping their's for just over a year before they want a later model. Hence manufacturers had to keep up with the demand by releasing devices on a yearly basis. That doesn't mean they neglect the quality of their device, the Mate range has probably been the most robust series of phones I've tested. It can withstand most bumps and falls, I didn't deliberately test this but there was more than one occasion where the phone escaped the clutch of my butter fingers and it ended up with hardly a mark to show for it. So you know you're getting a premium product.


Display & Dimensions
The size is rather large compared to your normal phone (157.1 x 80.6 x 7.9mm) due to the display screen size (6.0inch) but it doesn't feel cumbersome in your hand. The new improved finger print scanner works perfectly for this phone allowing you to unlock the device in a matter of milliseconds and it can support more than one finger. The display is something to marvel at, with a 78% body to screen ratio and full HD picture courtesy of its IPS-NEO LCD with 16M colours, it makes anything you look at stunning. I watched a few videos on youtube in 4K and the quality was amazing. The protection comes in the form of Corning Gorilla Glass 4 which is still one of the best out there. 


Camera
While I didn't expect this feature to be the star, it totally shone through and made me go crazy over it, so much so I ended up borrowing a tripod! Why you ask? Well with the Mate 8, Huawei launched their professional camera setting as well as a few others like Super Night shot and added a few favourites from their older models like light trails and slow mo video which is captured by the 16 MP lens with dual LED flash. The professional setting enables the user to manually select and choose the right settings given the conditions and light in the picture you wanting to take. While it may look cool, you also need to know what you're doing but if you have time to fool around with it you can figure out how to take some really awesome pictures which require no filter if you're going to post them to Instagram. 

                   

Another feature which I had to try was the Super Night shot, basically a long exposure shot which captures as much light in the dark as possible allowing you to photograph stars and if you're lucky, some of the Milkyway! Yup, it is possible but again, you got to know how to work the settings, from how much light you want to allow to how long you want to lens to capture for. It's not rocket science but it takes some fiddling to get used to and you can capture some stunning shots of the night sky from it. 


Performance
Being a phone that is aimed at your business man, they don't muck about when it came to selecting processors and CPU's for the Mate 8. It comes with the HiSilicon Kirin 950 chipset with a Quad-core 2.3GHz Cortex-A72 + quad-core 1.8GHz Cortex A53. RAM differs from the model you have with the 32GB receiving 3GB RAM and the 64GB getting 4GB RAM. It has the latest version of Android's Marshmallow with the user interface completely customisable for your preference. Other features include acelerometer, gyro, proximity, barometer and compass. 


Battery
Much was said about this phones battery, with a claim of 2 days of use without needing a charge and if you like me are constantly on your phone, I was keen to see how it will stand. It comes with a non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery which can give you up to 528 hours on standby using 3G and up to 98 hours music play. My use is a mixture of using the camera, tons of social media apps such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram all of which are constantly receiving notifications and whats a phone without Whatsapp? oh and I did make a receive the odd phone call. Much to my disappointment the phone didn't last the full two days but I must say I was still left impressed because it lasted more than an entire day with me using it. Normally any other phone won't see 8 hours before I need to plug it in for a charge so this is a massive breakthrough in battery technology. 


Verdict
If you're the type of person that runs their life from their phone, whether you're a suited up businessman or one that's constantly on the road, this is the perfect phone for you. Fast enough to deal with any app or document that it comes across as well as giving you a battery that lasts with you worrying about charging points or carrying battery boosters. The other features are just an added bonus for you to play around with when you have some spare time. The phone is available in four colours, Champagne Gold, Moonlight Silver, Space Gray and Mocha Brown, and the 64GB version will have a dual SIM option. 


*all pictures taken by the Huawei Mate 8 are the original with no filters or editing done.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Monday Choon: Jerome Price - Me Minus You ( CID Remix)

Jerome Price is slowly making a name for himself in the music world, the British based producer is enjoying the attention his debut single "Me Minus You" is recieving internationally and many are calling it the "song of summer". His music style fuses deep house with an upbeat tempo electro sound and it really is catchy. The official music video to the single was shot in LA and featured YouTube dancing starts, Dytto and RainO who rose to fame with thier unique dance style which they call "two finger tutter freestyle" which TV talk show host Ellen stumbled upon and invited them onto her show. Today we feature the CID Remix of the song, which once you listen to will understand what an awesome job they did in remixing this already great track. 

                      

Friday, July 8, 2016

Battle of the Arrows


I love my Formula One, and when people come to me and say it's boring I like to punch them in the face because they clearly don't watch it or understand it. This season is panning out pretty much the same as the past few seasons with Mercedes Benz Silver Arrows being pretty dominant and the other teams playing catch up so to speak but it's been anything but boring. It's had its fair share of drama and it's only escalating as the season goes on.


The battle for the drivers title has really heated up between Mercs two drivers though, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton aren't afraid to square up physically on the circuit to beat one another and while we hope they keep it clean, it depends on the drivers how they handle matters on the track. Mercedes Benz maintain that they will not be giving team orders to either of their drivers and they will be allowed to race each other, which is what the fans want to see. 


Gone of the days where you have a number 1 and number 2 driver in a car that's clearly miles better than the rest. In the era which saw Michael Schumacher dominate the sport with Ferrari, it was made evident that Rubens Barrichello played second fiddle to the German, take nothing away from Michael, he was the best by far but some races the Brazilian had the better of him but the team would issue an instruction via radio for him to move over and let Schumacher claim maximum points. It didn't sit well with many of the spectators and some of the commentators but it worked for the team at the time. 


None of that though, even after the two took each other out in Spain and most recently last weekend in Austria which saw an unbelievable final lap with the two of them coming together and Lewis overtaking Nico who's car suffered the worse after the collision to win the race. Rosberg crawled home in 4th, adding some vital points for his challenged for the title but it could have been much worse for him. There were a lot of different opinions about what happened but in the end the FIA deemed Rosberg the guilty party and subsequently fined. 


This weekend see's Lewis race at "home" in the Silverstone Grand Prix and while the spectators were clearly against him in Austria, he doesn't have to worry about any booing should he visit the podium again on Sunday. I agree with many of the sentiments shared on Sunday about the booing, it's harsh and don't believe their should be a place for it in sport, if you're unhappy with the driver, just don't clap. Show him the bird like what I did from my couch. 


It's the business end of the season with so many races in such a short span of time, so it will be interesting to see what happens. For now it seems like Rosberg and Hamilton are going to be the only two challenging for the drivers title, unless they keep crashing into each other. So while the rest of the season might be slightly predictable, it's still going to be interesting to see how it goes down. 


Also another thing to rejoice on is that everyone's favourite driver, the Iceman, Kimi Raikkonen has renewed his contract with Scuderia Ferrari which will see him in ther drivers seat for the Italian F1 team in 2017. While he may not be the driver he was a good few years ago, he still hasn't lost it, seeing that he was on the podium this past weekend. I think people should just leave him alone because he knows what he's doing...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bucket Seat: Ferrari LaFerrari Spider


Today's post was meant to be about the new Aston Martin and Red Bull collaboration, the AM-RB 001, sounds like a drawing number. The car itself is bonkers, its designed by the top dogs at Red Bull Racing and Aston Martin so you know this car means business and it will be powered by a naturally aspirated V12 engine, which could be taken from the Vulcan but couple that with F1 tech and aerodynamics, you could have a Hypercar worthy of the title. They only plan on building between 99-150 of these and thereafter 25 track only versions and already a host of people have put their names down for it, I mean it looks superb and sounds superb so I don't blame you if you have the cash!

Like I said though, this post was meant to be about the AM-RB 001 as it was unveiled yesterday but then the guys in Maranello shortly lifted the covers of this beauty...

 *cue angels singing*


The Ferrari LaFerarri Spider, well that's what most of the world are calling it but the official name will be made public at the Paris Motorshow in October, which some think may be called 'Aperta' which means 'Open' in Italian. The car, even though is just a LaFerrari with no roof looks superb, I mean picture you're favourite supermodel, and seeing her topless, that's what this car is to many motoring enthusiast. The launch colour in black with the red detailing just makes it that more insatiable. 


The car is still powered by that amazing naturally aspirated V12 engine that provides a mind blowing soundtrack and now it will be amplified with no roof, it also has the hybrid motor which bumps up the power to just under 1000 bhp. Forget wind in your hair, you might end up with a hurricane! Anyway, Ferrari totally came and stole the thunder from Aston Martin yesterday and while they have a superb car in the AM-RB 001, one can't help but turn their head towards this beaut. 


Oh and if you do qualify to buy one and were thinking of it, it's a bit late. All are sold out and all the owners have already received their keys which was delivered to them in a fancy carbon fibre box.


Monday, July 4, 2016

Monday Choon: Florian Paetzold - Easy


The weekend after the Durban July is always a struggle, partying in the nations warmest city during winter is always a blast but I use the term "warm" very loosely as the temps were much higher than the other cities but still bitterly cold! It's time to kick off the new week with a slightly chilled and mellow track from Florian Paetzold, called "Easy". The German DJ from Osterwieck isn't that well known but he has worked with some big names in the business by remixing tracks by Jyau & Albert, 
Micar and PHIL to name a few. Released via Spinnin records, Easy is doing pretty well on the Beatport charts and the official music video just dropped last week.