Fun, straightforward and witty are some of the adjectives I’d use to describe Brent Meersman, a renowned Cape Town reviewer and critic.
Expectation: The smell of saffron wafted through the room as I enjoyed a light and delicate amuse-bouche that whetted my appetite. In that moment, I was reminded that I was enjoying southern Indian and Cape Malay inspired dishes. That night, I could eat without counting carbs because the dishes were vegan, low-carb and wheat-free.
Reality: “My ingenious friend, Amit Raz, owner of Masala Dosa, has brought back his chef’s table on Thursday evenings. This time he has managed to produce a five-course service à la russe dinner of southern Indian and Cape Malay inspired dishes which also happen to be vegan, low-carb and wheat-free.”
What I enjoyed about the Masala Dosa review was how to the point he was. Brent Meersman described the food and experience in great length, while educating me on a number of dishes.
In a piece written for This is Africa, Meersman explains Why so many African writes leave . The article is an interview with Chadian poet, novelist and essayist, Nimrod Djangrang Bena. The nice thing about the article was the way in which the questions were asked. You could tell that Meersman had done his research. It also explains why he has written more articles for the publication. Once again, we are drawn to Meersman’s laid-back writing style. The article is close to 1 000 words long (961 to be exact) but you won’t find yourself scrolling to see how much further you have to read.
Once Bitten is a restaurant review blog created by Meersman. Looking back at 150 restaurants reviewed is a retrospective piece. In this piece his personality really shines through, “I was to review restaurants because it seemed to be the only thing we Capetonians cared enough about to grow the M&G’s subscriber base”, and his tongue-in-cheek humour, “I even made up one restaurant – Taboo, for April Fool’s Day 2011 – serving surplus SPCA cats, endangered species and ‘human calamari’from circumcisions”.
Brent Meersman is an author of several books, a columnist for two well-known publications, a novelist and lecturer and a highly-regarded theatre critic and performing arts reviewer (besides being a well-rounded reviewer and critic).