By: Natasha Archary
I don’t think telling South Africans to batten down the hatches is the answer. Yes, it’s a tough economic time but does this mean our lifestyle needs to take a complete 360 and we become recluses?
Absolutely not. I’ve made no secret of my love for old school dates and keeping things interesting to give your relationships the nudge in the right direction. I’m always on the lookout for a reasonable night out. Something fun, different and a value-added deal which won’t have you breaking the bank.
You’ll be pleased to know that the MonteCasino night out for two is back and bigger than the first bargain date night special earlier this year. This time the incredible offer includes entertainment for two. Score.
It’s all about the size of the package
Size does matter. And when it comes to a pleasurable date night, it’s all the more reason to go big or stay home. Back by popular demand, the night out for two consists of dinner at a choice of four popular restaurants at MonteCasino, drinks at one of four hotspots, a movie and either laser tag or ten pin bowling.
The entire package is worth R800 but will cost just R450. Yes, you read that correctly. How’s that for stretching those R’s. Take that, budget restrictions.
Also, don’t feel obligated to take your partner on this night out. Healthy space is important for relationships as well and I was in desperate need of a chilled girls’ night out. Good food, drinks, a movie and going all Lara Croft on the bestie at laser tag, is indeed my idea of fun.
Spoilt for choice
The dining options included one of my favourite Mexican restaurants in the city – La Rosa Mexican Grille & Tequileria. I attended the Day of the Dead celebrations earlier this year and have been raving about their delicious Mexican food and the amazing range of agave tequila that they stock ever since.
The flavours of Mexico are my weakness and whichever mains you choose, you will not be disappointed. As for the dessert. The best churros I’ve ever tasted. Deep fried, crispy Mexican pastry, dusted with cinnamon sugar, drenched in salted caramel sauce and served with vanilla ice-cream.
Please try out the Jose Ceurvo especial gold tequila shot with candied popcorn, if you haven’t already. It comes highly recommended by yours truly.
My wine student bestie is a sucker for all things, vintage wine and has a thing for cellars and international labels. So we decided on Verdicchio Italian dining and wine cellar. Housing more than 300 labels, I figured she’d get lost in the vintage décor and the dizzying sight of the empty wine bottles that lined the restaurants’ walls.
We’re as similar as twins and I hate that we both had the same meal. Do I regret it? Not for a second. The steak. Oh, that melt in the mouth, peppered just perfectly, matured aged goodness that was cooked to my exacting medium standards, was the right amount of melt in my mouth and full-on flavour magic.
You can’t go to an Italian restaurant and not have the authentic Italian dessert – cannolis. The delicate, crunchy cigar like pastry with soft cream cheese was heaven on the tongue. The beauty of the Italian countryside in the summer. That’s what it tastes like.
The other dining options this time round includes, Kai Thai Restaurant. Take your tastebuds on an exotic culinary adventure with authentic Thai food that will set your flavour palette on fire.
Saving the best for last, the final option is Portugalo Real Portuguese Cuisine. Spicy, fragrant, vibrant traditional Portuguese food in a modern, sharp setting.
Pick your poison at one of the four hottest bars at MonteCasino – Lima Lounge, Texan Wing Bar, Casino Floor or 3Sixty Liquid Lounge.
I’ve been to Lima Lounge previously and the vibe at the lounge bar upstairs is awesome. This time, however 3Sixty Liquid Lounge had our names all over in fluorescent lights. The long island ice teas were incredible. The stage was on fire with live entertainment and my bestie and I had the most memorable time when “It’s raining men” came on. I have video proof which I will guard for the rest of my days.
We didn’t, unfortunately, get a chance to catch a movie or try out the laser tag. But the vouchers are valid until the 30 November so there will be plenty of time yet. Another tick from me with timing being considered by MonteCasino. Enjoy at your leisure and savour every second of your night out. I know I did.