Claire and I took the day off work yesterday to go to the Ideal Home Show at Earl's Court to see if we could find some bargins and some ideas for decorating the flat. Well, it was quite a good turn out, but unfortunately didn't provide much in the way of decorating or inspirational ideas. Some of the stands just seemed intent on selling you stuff you really don't want or need (ala QVC or Verimark) whilst others sold stuff that wasn't even related to one's home, like hair stuff, make-up, spray tan and shoes. Call my cynical, but shouldn't a show called "The Ideal Home Show" have stuff about creating the ideal home? My flat doesn't wear make-up or have hair, so why exhibit at this event? All in all, we had a good time nosing about.

Afterwards, Claire took me out to Putney to go to a "surprise" restuarant for dinner. Claire had found a South African restuarant called "Chakalaka" (named after a popular spicy tomato and onion sauce eaten in SA).

Well, in a word - WOW. What a fantastic restuarant. The décor was good with a bit of an orange zebra striped theme, the service was friendly and polite, a rarity in restuarants these days, the portions were large and the food was awesome.

The menu covers a wide range of South African foods from the basics of boerewors with mielie pap (maize meal porridge with a texture like mash) with chakalaka sauce or bobotie (a fruity Cape Malay curried stew with yellow rice) to the posh and rather more expensive springbok loin steak, kudu carpaccio and Klein Karoo ostrich fillet. One thing that is reassuring, is nothing is served with potato chips - only good healthy vegetables.

Claire started off having the boerewors and pap (it's served as a starter) followed by the ostrich fillet. I had the kudu carpaccio followed by the springbok loin. Hmmmm, it was fantastic, the meat was just so tender and juicy. We finished off with deep fried ice-cream balls for Claire and melktert (milk tart) for me.

It was a fantastic meal and I'm going to have to put this up at the top of my list of favourite restuarants, now if only it were a little closer.