The mark of a good restaurant is not necessarily its size but the quality of its food, drinks and generosity of its staff

The location of the News Cafe makes it appear promising; it is a convenient location outside the Gateway Mall in Umhlanga Ridge.

We arrived at their at 10:23 am and approached the waitress who was prepping the outside tables. We asked her if we can have a drink at their bar and she informed us that the bar only opens at 11:00 am. We then requested if we can wait outside on their deck till they open the bar but she insisted we do not as they were not done prepping, so we decided to leave.

We then came back at the News Cafe at 11:41 am and finally this time around the bar was open. We made our way to the friendly hostess and we decided to have a seat at their elegant lounge next to the bar.

Service was quick as the waitress approached our table with drinks and food menus within 2 minutes of us being seated.

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

After looking at their drinks menu I then decided to order “The Ritual” their signature cocktail which costs R95 and my guest had the Virgin Berry, a mocktail that costs R65.

Our drinks then arrived at our table, and I do have to say their cocktail presentation was impressive.

The Ritual cocktail

The Ritual cocktail

The Ritual cocktail was presented on their News Cafe wooden board, with an old fashioned crystal whiskey glass absorbing the smoke of the flamed side of the board.

The ingredients of the cocktail are simple, it contained Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack, Amaro blend and a complex syrup.

The Ritual cocktail is a built cocktail and you get the experience of having the waiter add all ingredients in your presence but this time I decided to create that experience for myself.

After mixing all the ingredients together in the glass I then added the block of ice, gave the glass with ingredients a good swirl just to get my cocktail chilled and diluted.

The Ritual cocktail

I do have to say was a bit disappointed with the smoking process, I wished they had used oak or cherry wooden chips or whiskey barrel wood which would have added a nice smoky aroma to the cocktail.

The complex syrup in the cocktail was a bit too sweet and really overpowered the flavours and notes of the Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack whiskey.

I would really suggest the bartender stirs the whiskey and complex syrup before presenting it, that would give it adequate dilution and really keep the balance and consistency of the taste in the cocktail.

Overall the cocktail was drinkable, but I really liked the creativity and presentation of this cocktail.

Virgin Berry cocktail

Virgin Berry mocktail

Their Virgin Berry cocktail was well presented. Its ingredients included frozen mixed berries, fresh mint leaves, mixed Berry puree, orange and lemonade.

The flavours were really nice and refreshing, but really wished to have tasted some orange juice in the cocktail that would have added some great citrus flavours and notes to it.

The garnish of the cocktail was executed really well and my guest was really pleased with the cocktail. Overall, it was a great tasting cocktail.

The music and ambience was great, but staff needs to be a bit conscious of their customers. My experience was OK, but I really had high expectations from this branch.

Virgin Berry mocktail

*All opinions of the reviewer are theirs and do not necessarily reflect the views of All4Women. This review was not paid for by the venue and was the reviewer’s own choice.