No need for red cards here

No need for red cards here

Stella Sports Club

Where: 175 Helen Joseph Road, Glenwood

Open: Monday to Saturday 8am to 10pm, Sunday 8am to 3pm

Call: 031 201 4842

Thwack ‒ the ball hit the netting directly in front of us. The indoor soccer is in full swing as we sit on the verandah at Stella Sports Club enjoying a late afternoon GnT. It’s a good thing the netting is there or we’d be in the firing line ‒ and the adjoining bar would have no windows left.

We involuntarily ducked as the chubby youngster tore in for another strike ‒ ka-bing, it hit the post this time.

We’re here because mother recommended the fish and chips ‒ the best she had had, she said.

The menu is extensive and takes in most comforts and good pub grub staples, and not having visited in ages, I’d remembered they were done well. Sort of real food we no longer even bothered with at home type of grub.

Light bites take in the likes of chicken wings, chicken livers, prego rolls and a selection of spring rolls. There is also a selection of plates that are designed to soak up the booze at a bustling table like the one next door to us ‒ with cheers as the chubby dude came tearing in again.

So you might want to share crumbed haloumi, meatballs, biltong, spring rolls and onion rings or BBQ ribs, cheesy sausages, chicken strips, chicken wings and onion rings. Yes, they love onion rings here. We opted to share their messy nachos (R95) with the addition of bacon bits (R20). These were every bit as messy as advertised smothered in a home-made cheese sauce with cheese and crispy bacon bits, sour cream and avo and tomato salsa. Yes, good stuff.

Fish and chips with home-made tartar sauce.

By now the teams had changed and a gangly teen was loping in with a lob-sided header. Thwack ‒ too high.

So besides a good selection of pizzas and pastas for which there was a Tuesday special, mains could include rosemary chicken, steaks ‒ either surf and turf or a good old steak egg and chips ‒ ribs, and seafood. The calamari comes in a creamy garlic sauce, and there are a number of fish, prawn and calamari combos. I had to try the fish and chips with home-made tartar sauce (R98). It was every bit as good as mother said it was ‒ a generous piece of fish in light crispy batter perfectly cooked, excellent chips and even a salad garnish. Full marks.

My friend wanted to try one of their famed burgers, which at 200g are sizeable. All options come with a meat, chicken or veg option. I’d had the Sharks burger with bacon feta and jalapenos that was piled high with onion rings previously ‒ it was quite a meal. But there’s also Philadelphia cheese and chilli jam, or crumbled haloumi, bacon, hashbrown and chilli mayo. The Bok burger takes in biltong, bacon and garlic mayo. He opted for a beef burger topped with pulled pork rib and slaw (R115). It was massive, messy and delicious. I stole some of that pulled pork rib that squished out the side.

Beef burger with pulled pork rib and slaw, with a side of vegetables.

All mains come with a choice of chips, mash, rice, salad or vegetables ‒ or even half-and-half. He opted for veg and I was impressed with the good selection of roasted vegetables alongside properly cooked fresh spinach ‒ none of these thick tasteless sauces here.

He couldn’t finish it all, and we remembered why we never ordered a starter here previously. Instead we bagged it up for Scooby, the staffie cross, who would have a little treat when daddy got home.

Desserts ‒ ice-cream and chocolate sauce, malva pudding or brownies ‒ were out of the question. Instead we enjoyed a well made Irish coffee as, thwack, the Italian live wire thumped another into the net. We blew the whistle on full time.

Food: 4

Service: 3 ½

Ambience: 3 ½

The Bill: R603 including three Irish coffees and some number of gins.

The Independent on Saturday