Friday, November 17, 2017

Bucket Seat: Toyota Aygo X-Cite

Today's review is going to be a bit different because the car in question, is a bit different. I've driven a fair share of budget hatch backs and this one was probably one of the most impressive ones I've had yet, not because it had a cool trick up it's sleeve either. The Toyota Aygo is the smallest passenger offering by the Japanese motor manufacturer, it was developed in a joint venture with Peugeot and Citroen and assembled in the Czech Republic, each of the other brands had the same car under a different guise and name, Peugeot with the 107 and Citroen with the C1. The cars started out as city cars for the European market, with CO2 emission tax coming into play, developed smaller cars, with less emission was the goal. While the French cars did well in the Northern hemisphere,  they failed to catch the local markets attention as well as the Aygo. Could be because of brand loyalty or probably just the reliable legacy that Toyota has built in South Africa over the years, which is why we see the new Aygo on the roads today but not the C1 or 107. 

Now while the Aygo start off as a budget hatch back, it certainly isn't just that anymore and with this new X-Cite model its bound to get the attraction of much of the younger crowds and it won't brake your bank account to get one. The X-Cite comes with the standard Aygo 1L engine, I'll admit, not the best engine Toyota has made and it really makes you work to maintain speed. I often found myself needing to down change to maintain or pick up speed on a regular occurrence, especially on highway driving which annoyed me because Toyota has a perfect good 1.5L engine in the Etios Sprint, why not chuck that in here? It would make a world of a difference! Then I sat at the robot, opened the roof...yes, that's the trick up the sleeve (but more about that later) and cruised off the line, down to the office and thought, this is what this car is for, city driving!

Forgetting the fundamentals of the car can be very easy, the car is meant for the city, or the burbs, not flying up and down the highway and when doing that, its probably one of the best things out there. Lets start with the looks, it's striking, it has a big X on the front which makes it all that more X-Citing, the overall design is quite funky, and the utilization of space is very clever. The front doors are quite long which made me thinking it was a 3 door at first until I realised there are actually doors at the back. Getting to the back, the seats are pretty decent, not some wooden bench places there just to say it can seat people at the back. In front, the cockpit is pretty cool, although, granted there is a lot of plastic which isn't unexpected for the price tag, I wasn't expecting imbuya. I quite like how everything is designed though, it really does appeal to the young side in you, which you hope that won't die. There's lots of lights and even section on the side of the speedo that tells you when to change up or down a gear. The space in the front is great, I'm a big guy and had no issue driving around in the car. 

Now, for the crowd pleaser, not quite sure what Toyota were thinking when they decided to add a fold-able roof to the Aygo, but I'm glad they did! When I first saw pics of it, I thought someone was taking the mickey out of the car and I even compared it to the likes of the Mayback Landaulet but I tell you what, it is genius! The roof folds up in a matter of seconds, quietly and neatly, it will have everyone in traffic confused as hell, as to whats going on here. Since the roof stacks up, it opens up practically just over 80% of the roof, which is a lot compared to most sunroofs. With the fresh air and added scenery to the drive, it really makes for a fun ride. No need to worry about drag or wind noise since with the roof open, you're cruising and its perfect. The large touch screen display connects to your phone in seconds, with bluetooth audio streaming coming through the decent sound system, it just adds to the experience.

While this car might be aimed at the youth, I found it quite practical as my daily run around. It sips fuel, at 4.4L per 100km, the tank size is 35L! After getting just over 450km on a tank, I was pleasantly surprised that R200 of petrol got me over half a tank! Many might look at the car and think of the safety aspects of it, I mean guys, sure it's small, sure its light but they got 4 out of 5 stars in the last safety rating for the car, so if that doesn't give it the thumbs up, I don't know what will. I got many comments while driving this car, one of them being cute, which I don't really mind, the Aygo  is a cute car and there's no denying that, the X-Cite just takes the cuteness level up a notch with the folding roof. 


 1L 3 cylinder
 Gear Box
 5 Speed Manual
 Fuel Comsumption
 Fuel Tank Size

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Bucket Scene: Lupa Osteria - Ballito

Ballito, once a small coastal town which predominately was cane fields once upon a time, is now one of the fastest growing towns in KwaZulu Natal. With the growth brings about new opportunities for business and while this town already has some gem of eateries, it's ready to welcome another and we went down to try it out. Lupa Osteria, is no stranger to the Durban restaurant scene, having already established stores in Hillcrest, Westville and Durban North, it was time the Dolphin Coast got a taste of what they're cooking. The name coming from Italian origins with Lupa being the immortal Roman wolf goddess who helped establish the city of Rome and Osteria originally meaning a place that serves wine and simple food, it has now been taken up a notch with a bit more that is catered. The masterminds behind the brand are Chef and Owner Chris Black and Owner/ Entrepreneur Guy Clever, they've built the restaurants name up in a tricky Durban market and has become a popular destination for families and friends to gather around for some good food, as they offer a great variety to suit even the fussiest of eater and have a great range of beverages. 

Lupa Ballito opened its doors to the public last Friday and last night I was invited to come dine at the new venue. Located in Ballito Lifestyle center, one of the original go-to malls up the coast has undergone a drastic revamp and a much needed one. The strip mall is now more lifestyle orientated has a great new food market and restaurant layout, Lupa Osteria is located at the key front side location and features an outdoor deck area as well as an outdoor bar area which is all soon to be open. The interior is decorated superbly, with a rustic Italian feel and the pasta making area concealed in glass at the entrance of the shop. The bar is magnificent with green marble tops, and a wide selection of wines, spirits, beers and craft beers. 

On entering we were warmly greeted by the host and seated promptly, our waiter was soon at our table telling us their range of drinks, I opted for the house brew on tap, called Wolf Lager, appropriately named for the restaurant, it is brewed by Cape Brewing Company exclusively for Lupa Osteria. This golden lager is crisp, refreshing, easy on the palate and fruity notes, perfect for a summers day and perfect for a meal. Having frequented the other Lupa's before, I wanted to try something different for a starter, something that I haven't already tried so I opted for the Italian Nachos. Now while we're all used to getting crispy tortilla chips drenched in cheese, avo and sour cream, these ones were a bit different. On the plate laid crispy fried ravioli, filled with 3 cheeses with a fiery arrabbiata dipping sauce to accompany it. Normally ravioli is a bit dry but these was the total opposite, the filling was moist and flavorful, the panko coating was crisp to perfection and the frying didn't take away the moisture of the pasta. Overall, it was superb and a great starter to have on your own or to share. 

Being an Italian restaurant, I wanted to keep the theme going, deciding whether to go for a pizza or a pasta was my hardest decision but being seated close to the pasta prep area, I couldn't help but want to try out their freshly made pasta. I went for the Fettuccine Con Pollo, which on the menu is described as "Chicken and a mix of mushrooms, light cream, garlic, white wine and toasted pine nuts". I'm a sucker for fries and one of the sides were parmesan fries, even though we were having pasta, I needed to try these! After having a shot of the house made lemoncello, it was the perfect palate cleaner to prepare us for the mains, I was keen to try the house made pasta, I haven't had freshly made pasta before and really was looking forward to it. Lupa say that their pasta is extruded through a die cutter made from bronze creating a rougher texture on the surface, thus allowing the pasta to grip more of the sauce. This was evident from every bit of my main. The pasta was cooked al dente, it was light but captured all the flavours on the plate. The meal was light but filling at the same time, the toasted pine nuts added great texture to the dish, normally I am a fan of added extra chili and garlic to my pasta dishes but for this it was not needed. 

Having devoured the entire mains, little space remained for dessert but having a look at the menu, Lupa has a good few options for those with a sweet tooth, one that sticks our for me is the chocolate and caramel fondant which is served with ice-cream but I settled for a scoop of gelato. With five flavours to choose from, I went with the caramel, served in either a bowl or a cone, the scoop is a rather generous portion but with every spoonful leaving your mouth wanting more, it wasn't an effort to finish. The bowl option comes with a sugar cone slice in it, so you sort of get the best of both worlds if you want a cone purely to eat but don't want to deal with the rest of it. The gelato itself is light and creamy, the flavour not too overpowering and definitely a favourite for all ages. 

Overall, I can only see Lupa Osteria in Ballito being as successful as the other branches, apart from offering a wide variety of cuisine, the laid back atmosphere, attentive staff and great location will make it a popular spot for most locals and holiday makers. I'll definitely be returning to try out more things on that menu soon and to see the rest of the restaurant take shape when the deck and outdoor bar is open and running. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday Choon: Loud Luxury feat. brando - Body

Loud Luxury aren't strangers to this segment on the blog as we have featured them before, most notably for their track taken from Tiesto's AFTR:HRS album. We're really big fans of their work and vibe of house music and this next track just goes to prove they have a lot to offer. It's a bit of a different style that we're used to from them, it's got a great chorus and key line leading to the build up. Definitely a feel good song and a great way to get the week going. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Bucket Seat: Mazda CX-5 DE Akera 2.2L AWD

So a few weeks back I got my first Mazda on test, venturing into the unknown since I have never driven a Mazda in my life and haven't been in the inside of one that was made in the last five years, you could say my knowledge on the brand was pretty low. I know in the past and in some aspects of the current generation, they borrow or share a lot with Ford vehicles, most notably the BT-50 bakkie and the Ranger but in terms of the other models, one really cannot tell. Anyway, I was scheduled the new all new Mazda CX-5 DE Akera 2.2L AWD, immediately I visited the website to find out what exactly I was getting, Medium size SUV, all wheel drive, 2.2L diesel engine and top of the line spec in the range, so I was looking forward to receiving this car, from the pictures and the massive billboard I pass on a daily basis of it, it looks like quite a stunner so I was counting down the days till the day I got it. 


The CX-5's design is a show stopper, the angles and edges to this car is like no other on the road, while form is still practical, the extrusions to this car make it that dramatic. Mazda call this design language, "Kodo" which means "Soul of Motion", the design is unmistakably Japanese, with the narrow but sharp LED headlights, large diamond like grille with flowing edges that run to the back and tie in with the rear lights which also are narrow and sharp like the front. The 19" rim dark rims really added character to the Eternal Blue colour in which I had it in. It's a joy to look at this car, and even while I had it, I did tweet that I envy the people who see me driving it because the car looks that good. Not to say the inside was bland, it too was great. In a weird way, the interior felt very German. With similarities to certain German manufacturer which they have no ties to, it was odd but for me, long as it looked good, was of good quality and worked, it was fine by me. The layout of the interior was good, with everything in its place or within arms reach of the driver. 


Having the diesel option of the engine variants was up my alley as with medium to big SUV's, I prefer having the high torque option. Mazda say that the Skyactive-D 2.2L is clean-running and has the lowest compression ratio in the world at 14.0:1 for such an engine. This translates to less friction and inertia for higher revving and more power. The engine produces 129kW and a torque factor of 420Nm, all this power hitting all four tyres is simply magic, really lives up to their "Zoom-Zoom" motto. Though it was fun to drive and had power on demand, I did find the CX-5 very thirsty. For a 58L tank, the claimed fuel consumption is 6L/100km but I only managed about 500km on 1 tank. Granted I was heavy footed with it most of the times, I still thought it would return much better consumption. Other than that, I can't fault it, handling was excellent, cornering was great, that AWD drive really works well on all surfaces, also the engine is very quiet but has a nice grunt to it when you need that extra power.


With the CX-5, you're not going to run out on space, the car is well designed on the inside and gives the passengers maximum space in the cabin. The car can carry 5 grown adults in comfort, with dual climate control air-conditioning from the front passengers, and the option of heated seating with air-con vents at the back for the rear passengers. The CX-5 comes with a glass sunroof, to enjoy the views on your journey be it in the sun or in the bush. The boot space is huge and even comes with a retractable cover should you not want the contents to be in direct sunlight or keep away from prying eyes.  


As I said from the beginning, this was new waters for me, not knowing what Mazda have done or are doing, I had no idea what technology was going to come in this car so I was just expecting the norm, bluetooth telephone and audio at most but from what I saw, really blew me away. It offered most of the bells and whistles any luxury European manufacturer would off and in some cases, they do it better. Since I'm Indian, lets start off with the sound system, it came with a Bose speaker system, not sure how many speakers as I could only count 10 and I'm pretty sure there were more. The quality of the sound is second to none with Bose and the placement of the speakers in the cabin gave everyone, an optimal sound experience. Next up, the heads-up display, while not projecting onto the windscreen but rather a cool pop-up visor on the dash, it gave all relevant info one would need when driving. The active warning senses are damn reactive and gives sufficient warnings, for example of the car in front of you suddenly slams on the brakes. The lane departure feature was one I was very impressed with, like Ford, the steering did vibrate and sort of guide you back into your lane if it picked up that you were straying off, but while the car may not be autonomous, I did try letting go of the wheel (on an empty road) and it kept the car perfectly in lane, it did start shouting me after about 20 seconds for me to hold the wheel again though. 


From having not driven a Mazda to getting behind the wheel of this CX-5, colour me impressed, they seriously have blown me away with this one and I seriously underestimated the brand and I will eat a plate of humble pie for it. They really have a great vehicle in this, while this is in essence the range topping vehicle, for all the normal things it does it right. The ride comfort is great, the car goes like a dream and everything else is just a bonus if you ask me. The price isn't that bad as well, considering what you are getting.  


 2.2L 4 cylinder, Skyactiv D Turbo Diesel
 Gear Box
 6 Speed Automatic
 Fuel Comsumption
 9.5 Seconds

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Bucket Tech: Huawei Mate 10 Pro & Mate 10 Porsche Design - First Impressions

Monday night saw the launch of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and Mate 10 Porsche Design devices in South Africa, much like the wind in Cape Town, it blew many of the crowd away with it's features of which many are a first for a smart phone. For it's flag ship device, Huawei opted for the tranquil and scenic Camps Bay, which was anything but thanks to the weather. Once sheltered from the gale force winds, it was time to view what the Chinese manufacturer had in store in its latest Mate series device. With the smartphone trend, everyone is looking at what each other is inventing but then copying and perfecting these trends, with Huawei, they have set some standards in the industry first which saw their competitors play catch-up. some of these include the dual lens technology in the cameras, the long battery life and super charge, but with the Mate 10, they needed something ground-breaking, something that would make their competitors not only think "why didn't we think of that?" but rather "how did they do that?". 

Step in the world's first AI Processor, the Kirin 970. But you may ask, what is AI? And how will it be beneficial to me? We've seen AI in movies but most of that has been fiction until now, AI is artificial intelligence, which enables the device to think on its own and not only when you tell it to do something. Yes, this is ground breaking and what makes it even more astonishing, is that it is able to do this without having a connection. For example, Huawei has teamed up with Microsoft for a number of things for the Mate 10 Pro, one of them being Microsoft Translate. The Mate 10 pro is able to view foreign text and convert it for you to the desired language, all on its own without an internet connection. "As we enter the age of intellegence, AI is no longer a virtual concept but something that interwines with out daily life. AI can enhance user experience, provide valuable services and improve product performance" says Likun Zhao, GM of Huawei Consumer Business Group. "The Huawei Mate 10 Series introduces the first mobile AI-specific Neural Network Processing Unit (NPU), launching a new era of intelligent smartphones. For the South Afrcan market, we bringing two most premium phones in this exclusive series - namely the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10 - as we believe these are the best phones to meet the mobile needs of South African consumers, especially when it comes to business."

Yes, SA won't be getting the standard Mate 10 device as Huawei feels that the consumers would opt for the Pro and the PD devices, also the price difference in the standard and Pro is minimal. Getting back to AI, in essence, this issues a new dawn in the smartphone market, AI will only be enhanced from here on, unlocking potentials that we can only dream off from a phone. Some other cool features of the Mate 10 Pro, includes a new camera. It's a world's first f1.6 Leica Dual LEns camera which identifies, in real-time, different types of scenes and objects, such as food, nightscapes, sunsets and beaches, heck it can even identify if you taking a picture of a dog or a cat! It will then automatically adjust to make sure your picture is captured in the best possible way. While their is a Pro feature on the camera, you would rarely have to use it! The Huawei SuperCharge has also been upgraded, as the phone comes with a 4000 mAh batter with AI powered battery management for optimal usage, so this extends battery life on the device. It also comes with fast charging, allowing the device to get from 0 to 20 percent in 10 minutes. 

The Mate 10 Pro also comes with a dual SIM where both SIM slots are 4G capable. The design see's a change to the 9, with it having a more beveled finish, making the handset quite smooth and sleek. It has quite a large display, Huawei calls this "full view" enabling the user to have brilliant clarity and optimizes the viewing for the user. It also has the best screen to body ratio in its class using a 5.9 inch screen and 16:9 display. The device is IP67 rated as well, which we put to the test in the viewing rooms where we were allowed to dunk the phones into a fish bowl. Quite nerve wrecking but cool to see. 

Pre-Orders for the Mate 10 Pro have already begun, but the recommended retail prices have some folks talking. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro being R18,999 isn't too bad seeing that it has a host of worlds first and an extremely good smart phone, however the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10 comes in at R26,999. That is a big jump in price but with PD, their products are quality and quite expensive. Also this Porsche Design handset will be super exclusive with only 999 units coming to South Africa. 

"We are delighted to bring the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and the Porsche Design Mate 10 to South Africa as we believe these smartphones will cater for the South  African consumers needs as we enter the age of AI" - concludes Zhao. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Monday Choon: Dua Lipa - New Rules (DJ Dark & MD DJ Remix)

While some might say Deep House has had it's time to shine and is slowly fizzling out, their are others who would beg to differ. A couple of those people include the guys who are responsible for the remix of Dua Lipa's recent hit single "New Rules". The remix is executed to perfection, some could say it's a generic deep house beat but the transitioning, tempo and speed of it is done to perfection. There's great elements to this track, awesome build up and the chorus is catch as fuck. Probably one of my favourite deep house tracks at the moment. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Ultra South Africa 2018 - Phase 2 Line up

Celebrating its 5th Anniversary in South Africa, Ultra is pulling out all the stops to ensure that next years event is going to be one to remember. Phase 2 line up was announced last week, and unless you were living under a rock, you should have heard the news by now but if not, no sweat, we got you covered here. In the official announcement video, along with phase 1 announced Dutch heavy weight DJ's Armin van Buuren and Hardwell, Ultra showed the likes of Afrojack, Axwell/\Ingrosso and Dubfire bringing up the international headliners as well as the return of the Resistance stage. Carnage see's a return to the country forming part of the international acts and a first time debut for Malaa. 

At the Resistance stage, fans of the Deep House beats can enjoy the music of South Africa's most successful electronic music export, none other than Black Coffee. Along with him see's Dubfire on the stage as well, taking the audiences on a musical journey with their highly sort after sounds. 

Cape Town's event takes place on Friday the 9th of February 2018 at the Cape Town stadium which was a firm favourite with event goers last year. While Joburg's Nasrec Expo Center hosts the event on Saturday the 10th of February for the 5th time as well. 

Ticket information:

Cape Town

 Tier 1
 Tier 2
 General Access


 Tier 1
 Tier 2
 General Access

*Table booking information to be released soon*

For more information, follow Ultra on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or their website.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Top Beaches in Cape Town & Durban - Guest Post

With the year winding down and summer on the way, everyone is getting into holiday mode and what better place to be than at the seaside? With this in mind, today's blog post will feature a list of some of the best beaches to visit in Cape Town and Durban, it's a list compiled by guest writer for the blog, Zaytoon Hanief, who writes for the Travel Start blog. She shares her insights into the top beaches to visit in SA, so you can plan in advance where to spend your summer days enjoying the seaside. 

Top beaches in Cape Town and Durban

Summer is basically here and in South Africa, that means good times filled with friends, fun activities and lots and lots of Instagram moments!
For a lot of us here in Jozi, that also means heading to South Africa’s coastal cities and enjoying some much-needed time at the beach!

Durban and Cape Town are some top choices as they offer a great variety of options, whether its family fun, surfing or just a girls/boys’ weekend away that you’re after!
Here are some top beaches that you should definitely visit when visiting our coastal cities:

Cape Town
Llandudno Beach

If you’re not looking out for the sign on the road from Camps Bay to Hout Bay, you may just miss the turn-off to one of the city’s most laid-back and beautiful beaches. Llandudno is especially loved by locals because of its location alone, meaning that you’re bound to run into many easy-going Capetonians. Not just a beach for sunbathing, Llandudno is also a great spot for surfers and bodyboarders alike.
Local tip: If you’re driving, make sure to arrive very early during peak season as parking fills up easily. Alternatively, take the MyCiti bus and walk down the winding driveway, but be warned the walk back up is bound to be quite a work out!

Camps Bay Beach

Probably the most famous beach in all of Cape Town, Camps Bay Beach is a top tourist attraction. It has everything that you could hope for, including sparkly (though somewhat icy!) water, glistering white sand, space for all, nearby convenience stores, top-notch restaurants and also public transport.
Local tip: During the summer period, it may be difficult to escape the crowds but there’s always a loophole. Unless you don’t mind the crowds, try to visit during the week days. Summer days in Cape Town are long and hot, and even if you’re only getting to the beach at 4.30pm after work, you’re still guaranteed at least two hours of beach time.

Clifton Beaches

A staple for the rich, famous and all of us in between, the four Clifton beaches have long since been seen as the beaches of Cape Town. Top of the list is Clifton 4th beach, cornered off by million-dollar beach houses, perfectly-placed natural boulders to keep the wind at bay and of course, the most beautiful shimmering waves and white sand. What’s not to admire? Clifton is also home to 1st, 2nd and 3rd beach – each known for their somewhat different crowds but each a masterpiece of its own. Do yourself a favour and walk along the coast from 1st to 4th beach to take in its full grandeur!
Local tip: The beaches of Clifton can get pretty packed as well, but for a slightly thinner crowd head over to 2nd and 1st beach.  

Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach is the perfect beach-meets-picnic spot. The water is warmer (thankfully!) due to its location on the Indian Ocean side of the Cape Peninsula and the large boulders in the water make for a pretty safe and tranquil spot to float on your back and just unwind. Of course, one cannot mention Boulders Beach without talking about the African penguins that you’re bound to see! Picture yourself not just admiring them from a distance, but instead sharing a sandy spot with them just two metres away, or swimming right next to these feathery cuties in the ocean – there’s nothing quite like it for sure!
Local tip: Go early and pack in plenty of food and drinks to last you many, many hours as you’ll find it hard to want to leave this ideal location!

Umhlanga Rocks Beach

The golden sand of this glorious stretch is guaranteed to get you swimming! Unlike the colder waters of the Cape Peninsula beaches, the beaches of KwaZulu Natal invite you in as the temperatures have been known to hit 25 degrees Celsius during summer! Umhlanga Rocks Beach is one of Durban’s finest, with an enigmatic ebb and flow of the waves. The paved walkway alongside the ocean allows visitors to take in its sights before heading in and enjoying its warm waters.
Local tip: bring your wellies if you’re a bit of an explorer as there are some great rock pools to explore along the beach.

North Beach

North Beach in Durban is possibly the most well-known and popular beach in all of Durban. There’s so much variety of activities to do here that you could plan to stay in the area for a week and still not get bored. The warm waters offer the ideal swimming location, but be warned that it does get extremely crowded and you may need to get there at 6am to find a good spot during the summer holidays!
Local tip: Not just a beach to be enjoyed during the daytime hours, North Beach is known to be a thriving and energetic evening location too. Pack some cash in your back pocket as you enjoy some of Durban’s finest treats along the boardwalk.

Willard Beach, Ballito

Calling all surfers, bodyboarders and everyone else who enjoys some good waves with the sun on their skin! Willard Beach is the main beach of the town of Ballito, just outside Durban, and you can rest assured that you’ll have a great time on this Blue Flag beach. Another firm favourite just around the corner from Willard Beach is Thompson Beach.
Local tip: the beach gets really crowded during peak season and summer weekends. If you’re not too keen on this, there are plenty of other, more secluded beaches in the Ballito area for you to enjoy.

These are just of the top beaches to enjoy, so make sure to visit them on your next trip to Cape Town and Durban!