#FreshlyPlated Joburg restaurant news – February 2023

more than a year ago
In our monthly #FreshlyPlated restaurant news round-up, we share a sneak peek of the newest bars, cafés, trends, and eateries that Joburg diners should know about. This month bubble tea with popping pearls is everywhere, hand-stretched laffa breads take centre stage,  and we visited French-inspired café Liberté. Catch up on our January #FreshlyPlated blog here.
New boba shop Bubble & Co, Emmarentia

Tea Time

There’s no doubt Joburg loves coffee but everyone is talking tea at the minute, starting with Bedfordview’s secret Chinese tea garden named Tea and Antique. The brick and emerald-walled tea house serves beautifully presented teas and cakes with a note card including descriptions and stories about your chosen treats. Also on the menu is a small selection of dumplings and steamed buns, and various bags of tea to take home. 

And then there’s bubble tea – a milky or fruity tea with chewy tapioca balls called ‘boba’ or  pearls. New bubble tea shops are ‘popping’ up everywhere, like the little hole-in-the-wall Bubble & Co in Emmarentia. The menu includes build-your-own tea options with milk-based tapioca pearls and water-based bursting boba. They have fruity sodas and slushies, and 'special-teas' like lotus brown sugar boba milk. Even our favourite 24-hour grocer The Pantry is now serving bubble tea sourced from Ben’s Bubble Tea. They’re serving unique fruit combinations like passion fruit and litchi, peach and green apple, or watermelon iced tea with strawberry boba.  

French-inspired menu at Liberté, Craighall

A new French-inspired bistro 

We visited Craighall’s new neighbourhood favourite, Liberté, at The Woods (formerly The Colony Cenre). Opened by Pronto's Natasha Maciel, Liberté offers French-inspired bistro meals, freshly baked bread, and a beautiful intimate dining experience. We were impressed by the bistro’s attention to detail including custom-made Liberté coasters with different quotations on the back of each and bespoke illustrated crockery. The food has been given the same thoughtful attention –  for example, the smoked salmon vol-au-vent is topped with a deep-fried caper for an unexpected pop of flavour. You have to try their take on the French classic moules frites and take home a loaf of buttery brioche which is baked on-site. Read our full review here. 

Fresh koeksisters every Sunday

Cape Koeksister pop up

If you love sweet spiced koeksisters, you have to swing past Emmarentia on a Sunday. Cape Koeksisters has a koeksister and bolla pop up outside Greenhill Grocer every Sunday from 09:00 until they sell out (which happens rather quickly!) Their freshly made koeksisters, still warm when you receive them, are crispy on the outside and deliciously soft and syrupy within, and rolled in desiccated coconut. 

Chili chicken laffa at Yalla, Rosebank

Laffa Love

The laffa has been a feature of Middle Eastern menus for a while at familiar favourites like Schwarma Co and Ba-Pita in Norwood, but recently Joburg’s developed a new admiration for laffa bread, the thin wheat flatbread cooked on a hot surface. Eateries like Syrian Rose and Yalla showcase the humble laffa bread by hand-stretching and cooking the dough in front of you. Noticing potato chip laffa and cheese laffa on the menu, we were skeptical of Yalla’s authenticity, but their falafel wrapped in fresh laffa bread is positively moreish. And if you’re craving more laffa after dinner, they make a grilled nutella laffa with fruit or almonds. 

In other news…

After temporary closure due to a fire, The Troyeville has reopened with a limited menu, daily from 10:00 - 20:00

Toasted in Rosebank now stocks Centurion-based bakery Tonka Bean’s famous donuts from Wednesday – Saturday.

Ba-Pita is launching a quirky cocktail bar upstairs for pop up events

Get Bird has opened a new bagel kiosk where Kleinsky’s used to be. Read our full Joburg bagel round-up here.

Celebrity musician and chef J'Something has quietly opened the much-anticipated Artistry at the new Black Brick in Sandton Central. The restaurant is open for bookings from Feb 25, 2023 and already filling up.



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