#FreshlyPlated Joburg restaurant news – February 2024

21 Feb 2024

In our monthly #FreshlyPlated restaurant news round-up, we share a glimpse of all the new cafés, bars, and restaurants that Joburg should know about. The year has only just started and we've already seen the much-anticipated Gigi in Waterfall City and a new Coalition in Blairgowrie opening their doors. You'll get a caffeine kick from the coffee spots opening around town, and there are exciting collaborations and restaurant renovations, cocktail innovation, as well as a whole ice-cream situation. 

If you missed it, catch up on our previous edition of #FreshlyPlated here, and see our round-up of the best new Joburg restaurants and bars that opened in 2023 here

AJABU is coming

Award-winning mixologist, Eli Martinez Bello, from Mexico City. Photo: Supplied.

Africa’s first, bi-annual, international cocktail and spirits festival, AJABU, happens in Joburg from Sun, Mar 10 – Wed, Mar 13. You can look forward to bar collaborations between the best local and international talent from as far off as Washington DC, Accra, Nairobi, Mexico City, Miami, and London. They'll be offering once-off cocktail experiences over two nights at A Streetbar Named Desire, Benchwarmers, Saint, Sin + Tax, and Smoking Kills. There’s also an amazing line-up of daytime events that include community brunches, tasting tables, seminars, symposiums, and screenings. Tickets for the festival are complimentary, however registration is required as space is limited. Registration for tickets for the festival is free; book via Quicket

Coalition has moved

New venue, new menu, and a gorgeous outside dining area at Coalition in Blairgowrie. Photo: Supplied.

Coalition has closed its Rosebank branch to consolidate and expand its new Blairgowrie restaurant which has moved to Hillcrest Avenue. With an awesome outside area and the addition of a kiddies' menu as well as some cheeky pasta, sinfully good antipasti, and classic meat dishes including their version of Bistecca alla Fiorentina: a 1kg T-bone cooked over the open flame, sliced, and simply dressed in peppery olive oil and salt. Plus, they’re now doing weekend breakfasts. 

De Baba Eatery is open

De Baba Eatery's double-baked almond croissant dipped in a rum sugar syrup. Photo: Supplied.

De Baba Eatery has just made a colourful corner of Melville’s 4th Avenue and 7th Street home, with a shop front brimming in bright pink, green, and yellow, and their offering brings as much joy as their décor. Think decadent pastries, doughnuts, croissants, macarons, cheesecakes… if it’s made with butter and sugar, it’s on the menu.

Father Coffee brings us Father Goods

Fermented hot sauce is just one of the awesome things you didn't know you needed from Father Goods. Photo: Supplied.

Father Coffee – the people who taught Joburg what it is to be a coffee connoisseur – have launched an online store selling all the pantry goods you didn’t know you needed, along with a host of homeware and other treats. Think cold-brew coffee, jams, mustards, and lacto-fermented hot sauce. They’ve even taken the filling from their famous kanelbullar Swedish buns and made it into a buttery spread. Find Father Coffee Goods here

Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff hires their culinary dream team

 Brent Davids (Head Mixologist), Katlego Mlambo (Executive Sous Chef), Wesli Jacobs (Executive Chef), and Bazil Cass (Sommelier). Photo: Supplied. 

Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff has just announced that they have brought on board a stellar new team to head up their restaurant and bar offering in the form of Chef Wesli Jacobs, previously the Executive Chef at Spier Wine Farm and The Table Hotel, and Chef Katlego Mlambo, who you'll know from New Doornfontein's Marabi Club and Kudu Restaurant in London. Plus two pretty new but very exciting kids on the block: mixologist Brent Davids, from Marble, and sommelier Bazil Cass. We're looking forward to all that they have in store for us.

Freshly Ground gets a fresh facelift

The fancy new face of Freshly Ground. Photo: Supplied. 

The coffee shop-café located in the Trumpet Building on Keyes Art Mile recently indulged in a little renovation and has given its menu a mini-facelift too. This all-day café has added extra coolness to their new fruit krushers and milkshakes, alongside a whole array of new breakfast and lunch items. They’ve also got a host of classic cocktails and wines on offer. 

Fond opens in Fruits and Roots 

Fans of Fruits and Roots health store in Bryanston will rejoice to know they’ve just opened a Fond eatery serving up banana bread French toast, blue frozen lattes, moreish breakfasts, coffees, and so much more.

Gigi is open

The stunning interior of Gigi. Photo: Kate Liquorish

We had a first glance and first taste of the much-anticipated Gigi by the talented Chef Moses Moloi (previously head chef at Zioux). He opened the beguiling space in Waterfall earlier this month with a dream team that includes his dear friend and right-hand man, Chef Wesley Van Wyk, whom he worked with at the award-winning Cape Town restaurant The Greenhouse. It’s a sensational venue at the main entrance of Waterfall Corner that flows out onto a covered outdoor patio space. They’re open from breakfast through to dinner serving a contemporary, global a la carte menu that celebrates South African ingredients and flavours. And, they’re working on an exclusive 10-course tasting menu that’s going to be served right in front of the open kitchen at their exclusive, 10-seater chef’s table. 

Ice-cream dream

The delightful display of gelato at Tashas Le Parc. Photo: Supplied. 

It's still summer, so we made it our mission to find the best ice-cream and gelato in Joburg and created an irresistible list of the best in the city. Read all about it here.

Marble is coming to Cape Town

Marble is set to open in Cape Town at the V&A Waterfront’s historic Castle Building. The restaurant is being constructed on top of the building offering dramatic, panoramic views. With a seating capacity of 300 people, it’s even larger than its Johannesburg predecessor, which has a capacity of 220. Expect big and bold; no doubt their interior design team is going to work magic.

Obento Ramen Bar's Taste of Vietnam

Just a few bánh mì sandwiches you'll enjoy at Obento Ramen Bar's 'Taste of Vietnam'. Photo: Supplied.

After great success with their Japanese street food festival in Sep 2023, Obento Ramen Bar is now bringing ‘Taste of Vietnam’ to Parkmore. On Sat, Mar 2, they will be enlightening and indulging Joburg with a feast of bánh mì, pho, and a host of lesser-known Vietnamese delicacies. This is a sit-down event with a reservation charge of R100 p.p. (this amount will be deducted from your bill).
Book your table here.

The Gathering by Embarc and Sin + Tax 

Julian Short and Evert De Jong from Sin + Tax with Chef Darren O’Donovan from Embarc. Photo: Supplied.

A collab between Embarc and Sin + Tax? Say no more. Well, we will tell you a bit more: they’re doing a six-course food and cocktail pairing for one night only at a secret location on Thu, Feb 22. It’s R2,500 p.p. with all the juicy details available to you on inquiry. 
To book email:

Soulful Sundays at The Northcliff Boutique Hotel

With jaw-dropping views over the city, a delicious and approachable menu, and now live music in the mix, The Northcliff Boutique Hotel's Sunday lunch is very appealing, to say the least. Get a three-course lunch for R495 p.p. Booking is essential, call +27 74 545 2473.

Two new restaurants in Soweto 

The interior of Sakhumzi Phefeni. Photo: Supplied.

Sakhumzi Phefeni is the newest location of the Sakhumzi brand, which started in Orlando West on the famed Vilakazi Street. They’ve just opened their second restaurant in Phefeni. Expect succulent ribs, steaks, chops, mogodu (beef tripe), and all-day breakfasts.

Street & Chill opened in Dec 2023, bringing three eateries together with giant woodfired pizzas, burgers, and waffles on offer. There's a shared rooftop dining space with great views over the city that doubles as a rooftop cinema every Thu. 

Newly opened coffee and sandwich spots 

Melrose Arch has just welcomed a quaint sourdough sandwich café called Melrose Deli. They also have a whole range of salads and naughty baked goods to sweeten the deal. 

Pret A Manger comes to Joburg. Photo: Supplied.

Pret A Manger is coming to Joburg. If you’ve been to London you’ll know all about Pret A Manger. They’re outside most Tube stations serving sandwiches and coffees to weary travellers and daily commuters in need of a caffeine fix. Pret A Manger has just announced they’re landing on our shores. They haven’t announced where exactly, but Joburg is their first destination in Africa.

In other news

Yardbird Deli has just opened a fresh pasta bar: pick your pasta, your choice of sauce, and flavoured oil, and voilà, lunch is served. 

Closing doors

Sanctuary Tapas and Cocktail Bar in Fox Street and Ba Pita in Norwood have both sadly closed. Ba Pita plans to open in a new venue but has put things on ice for now, while Sanctuary is looking for a new spot in the northern suburbs. Watch this space. 



Shop 27 Waterfall Corner Shopping Centre Corner of Waterfall Drive, Woodmead Dr, Waterfall City, Midrand


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