Sometimes, when hunger strikes, you just need to be able to grab something quick and convenient and get on with your busy day. The Get It girls were recently invited to a ‘grab and go’ deli lunch at the new Checkers Food store at The Steps Convenience Centre in Ballito.
Although we absolutely love a long, leisurely three-course sit-down lunch spoil, more often than not we find ourselves grabbing a quick ‘whatever’ in between deadlines and meetings.
That doesn’t mean we want to compromise on quality and taste (or blow the whole week’s grocery budget) though. And now we don’t have to!
The first Checkers ‘food store’ of its kind in KZN, this brand new, high-end shop offers a wide variety of ready-made snacks and meals, as well as a selection of fresh fruit and veggies, meat, cheeses, drinks and pretty much everything else you would expect from a Checkers store. One of a number of these smaller stores currently being rolled out countrywide, the shop is aimed at the higher LSM shopper who is looking for high-quality produce and niche products.
After a morning of back-to-back meetings, the Get It team arrived at the new store, situated at the bottom of Ballito opposite Willard Beach, hungry and excited to see what was on offer.
We were introduced to the lovely store manager, Jessie, before being ushered towards the deli section. From the very first look, it’s clear that a huge amount of thought and planning has gone into not only the selection of items on offer, but also their presentation.
Marc Francis, who is responsible for training the staff on the fresh food side, came out and gave us a brief run-through of what was on offer. “Everything is freshly baked, every day,” he said.
Big, golden bagels and crunchy baguettes begging to be torn into are filled to the brim with creamy chicken mayo, roast beef and bacon and egg, and homemade sweet chilli chicken mayo wraps lay invitingly alongside them.
You can’t miss the smell and sight of the cooked-to-perfection ‘Sunday roast’ offering, which Marc says is served every day. Think delicious roast beef topside, beef picanha, roast gammon, sweet and sour Eisbein and crispy roasted pork belly … yum! You can either order from the ready-sliced selection or ask them to cut specific pieces for you (you can even buy a whole roast … and that’s dinner sorted!).
While we do love eating healthy, we can’t say no to some freshly deep-fried goodness, and the chicken drumsticks and strips (which you can have either plain or spicy) at Checkers do not disappoint. They also have fried hake fillets, calamari and steakhouse chips (which we’ve all agreed we’ll be back to try!).
If you’re looking for ‘comfort food’, then the bain marie filled with steaming hot creamed spinach, savoury rice, mac and cheese and lasagne will certainly do the trick. And, um, did someone say sushi? Yes indeed! Freshly made by the in-house sushi chef, the restaurant-quality sushi is competitively priced and there are often specials to look out for. You can also request a special selection be made up for you while you shop!
The bakery is lovely, with the most wonderful mini chocolate, custard or apple-filled mini danishes on display (perfect for a little tea-time treat), and freshly-baked giant pretzels and bagels waiting to be filled with something yummy (or popped into the toaster and then slathered with cream cheese!). There is also an impressive offering of fresh, artisanal breads as well as delicious, buttery croissants!
For a birthday or celebratory spoil, you can grab one of their beautiful convenience cakes (priced between R79 and R159), and there is a wide range of convenience meals that are quick to prepare for those nights you don’t feel like cooking.
Over and above the ‘convenience’ side of things, the store also offers everything else you’d expect from a Checkers store, including the full Forage and Feast and Simple Truth ranges, an awesome braai section, ‘padkos’ snacks and a selection of health foods.
Also opening soon is a Krispy Kreme coffee station (yes please!) and a fresh fruit juice bar. Needless to say … we will be back!
Details: Checkers, Ballito Steps Convenience Centre, Jack Powell Road, Ballito.