2017 Restaurant round-up: 10 new gems that opened in Joburg this year
image: Saigon Suzy
As 2017 draws to a close, we reflect on our favourite eateries that successfully opened in Joburg this year – ones that we hope to visit again and again.
Serving delicious Greek street food from its Maboneng outlet (constructed from an old shipping container), Soul Souvlaki brings a taste of the Mediterranean to Joburg. Choose from a variety of dishes, including halloumi, lamb and chicken wraps, traditional Greek pita souvlaki with tzatziki, fresh tomatoes, red onion and rocket.
The Royale, a Cuban-inspired bar and restaurant in Craighall serves up cocktails as delicious as the food. Pair the mojito with cheesy jalapeño fries, mojo-rubbed pork belly or the Cuban sandwich. The menu is short and sweet but full of flavour, while the decor alludes to The Royal Palm Hotel in Havanna, featuring neon signage and patterned wallpaper.
If there's one word to describe Saigon Suzy it's this: cool. An Asian BBQ and rock’n roll bar serving authentic Asian-inspired cocktails and street food from South East Asia – Thailand, Vietnam, China, Korea and Japan – adapted into flavourful dishes — dim sum, bao, pha banh mi, ramen and miso. The modish interiors designed by Studio A founder Tristan du Plessis are a playful interpretation of an Asian street market.
A new gourmet deli and coffee concept in Morningside, Naked Kitchen and Coffee bar is a run-on from Naked Coffee, owned by Shaun Els and Victor Barbos. The beautifully designed shop – with interiors by Tristan du Plessis of Studio A – specialises in small-batch, artisan hand roasted coffee beans and blends using 100% Arabica beans.
If you feel like escaping reality and sipping instead on cocktails on a tropical island, far, far away, this rum eatery is for you. Covered in greenery, neon lights and the occasional pineapple, Brian Lara Rum Eatery does its best to recreate a Caribbean bar with a fun, tropical atmosphere. Enjoy the short menu that features the likes of sticky ribs, crab curry and corn frittatas.
"ONO", Hawaiian for delicious, is Joburg's very own dedicated poké bar. The focus is on fresh, balanced flavours and textures, sliced and diced to create healthy, nutritious meals on the go. Although the main focus is poké, ONO also serves health breakfasts (chia seed bowls and chocolate protein pudding), as well as protein shakes. The café is inspired by the tropical and natural lifestyle of Hawaii.
The talented duo that brought you Momo Baohaus has opened another modern Asian eatery that's already proving to follow in its sister restaurant's successful footsteps. Momo Soko's menu is similar to that of Momo Baohaus and you'll find loads of tapas-inspired dishes, bao buns, skewers (soko), poké and momo bowls.
La Boqueria, Parktown North's new and trendy tapas spot is influenced by food markets from around the world. With a nod to traditional styles of cooking on live-fires and in wood ovens, the aim is to bring you a fusion of flavours and dishes, where ceviche meets fried street food, paella meets beef "kebobs". Prepare for a whirlwind food journey, from Argentina to Japan — we recommend you go hungry and order multiple plates to share.
Although Paul Bakery isn't exactly new (it's been around since 1889 and has 673 stores worldwide) the bakery in Melrose Arch is South Africa's first. With a passion for craftmanship at the five-generation establishment's core, the recipes, attention to detail and love for artisan baking – not to mention a wonderfully innate French touch – visitors can expect a pastry experience unlike any other.
The first Jamie’s Italian to open in South Africa and situated ever so fittingly at Joburg's chic Melrose Arch, the restaurant is designed to suit the bustling Jozi lifestyle. The aesthetic is all about traditional finishes, classy yet confortable table settings and delicious, flavour-rich food – the sorts of flavours Jamie Oliver is known for. Ideal for families, the menu features antipasti to share, pizza for the little ones and pasta you simply can't live without.
Images: Restaurant's own