Thursday, February 18, 2010
A little 'Greek power' in the East
In the swim ... the Goldfinger girl in her snazzy cossie, which she changed later. It all tied in with the swimwear/lingerie show.
Last night saw the launch of the RICH REALGRILLBAR in the Bedford Centre. You don't expect a glam, red-carpetish sort of affair for the opening of an East Rand restaurant which has actually been doing business for three months, but I guess the owners wanted to make a huge splash to impress the people coming out of movies (pity they didn't include the price of the drinks in their obviously generous budget). And as it was a very Greek affair, it must have been the equivalent of pinning gold coins on a bride's dress. Let's just impress the hell out of everyone, shall we!
First thing to greet us was a girl in a Goldfinger 60s style swimsuit splashing around in a huge glass bowl. The water distorted the lines of her body, so that at times she almost looked pregnant but, hey, it was a good gimmick and all the men hoped she would take her clothes off (typical). Later on, when thirst overcame some guests we eyed out the enormous watery glass (sans model), but thought, no, she might have peed in it. Still have no idea how they got her in and out of the water.
OK, that's how .... Goldfinger girl had to hoist herself up to the top of the glass, then be carted out bottom first while a burly fellow held on to the glass itself. Rather undignified!
Also outside was a swankily gleaming Aston Martin convertible signed by Nelson Mandela himself, worth a few mill.
Besides the "Greek power" on the guest list there were lots of folk from across town who never venture out to the East. Now not only do most of Joburg's Greek and Italian population live here but the food is also very lekker. You find the best delis, coffee and restaurants on this side of town. If the food wasn't good we would probably see the Peloponnesian War, the Trojan War, the Greco-Persian Wars and the Greek War of Independence all rolled into one. Plus a few good Italian skirmishes.
Greek caterer Vicky Crease had done out the food stations, which combined savouries with desserts (wonderful mini-doughnuts coated in chocolate, bunches of fresh grapes, meringues, cheese platters with dried figs), and I found a table to enjoy it with in the company of Carlton Hair chief hairdresser David Gilson and his wife Alison. They were loving their food! We started with oysters (bit too icy for my liking), then I tried a souvlaki on a stick (very tender, especially with a squirt of lemon), then David went scouting for some prawns (soft and tasty) and the waiters came round with mashed potato and crushed pink peppercorns topped with lamb chops and sprigs of rosemary, served, wait for it, in martini glasses. Great presentation idea for the next dinner party! Vicky thinks out of the box every time, not only in the dishes she serves but in the way she presents them.
You have to sit down and enjoy when the food is this good but there was a lot of mingling to be done. I tracked down Ashley Hayden and her life partner Charlie in the smoking section. She had just got back from being voted off the South African Survivor series and had some interesting stuff to say (see my column in The Citizen on Saturday!). I don't have M-Net (gasp, horror) but will definitely be supporting her.
Yugoslavian model Danijela was a touch disapproving of the lingerie show as the models in swimwear wear wearing wings and apparently that is reserved only for lingerie models (who knew!).
Friend Jared Orlin looked around and said: "I must be the only Jewish person here". I think he was wrong as I did bump into model agency owner Paul Diamond's engineering brother Anthony . Nothing wrong with discovering your inner Greek though!