#FreshlyPlated Joburg restaurant news October 2020

22 Oct 2020
As we roll steadily forward into summer under 'lockdown Level 1', the city's dining scene is starting to pick itself up again with new venues cropping up and old favourites moving into new ways of operating through pop-ups, market stalls and online services.

In September's restaurant blog we celebrated the rise of the pop-up with some tasty new activations by the likes of Glory, Farro and The Feel Good Series and caught up on some interesting new venues bringing some fresh offerings to town. Here's the lowdown for October on new restaurants and cafes cropping up across this city as well as the hottest pop-ups to book and tasty markets to check out this month. 

The Basalt at The Peech Chef Collab Series

Some of Joburg's finest restaurants closed over the winter as a result of the difficulties posed by lockdown, leaving talented chefs with no place to show off their expertise. The owners of The Peech boutique hotel in Melrose watched the situation with sadness, before deciding to find a new way to get Joburg's top chefs back in the kitchen. As hotelier James Peech explains: "We are delighted to offer the city’s food and wine lovers the opportunity to see some of their favourite chefs in action again; this time through a series of refined pop-up dining experiences hosted in The Peech's Basalt restaurant. These events also provide an opportunity for some of the Chef’s pre-pandemic kitchen and restaurant teams to reunite and do what they do best.”

There are four weekends of pop-up dinners coming up: La Petite Maison & Basalt (Oct 29-31, and Nov 5-7), Farro Food & Wine (Nov 19 and 21) and Chef Candice Philip formerly of Grei at The Saxon Hotel (Nov 26-28). Reservations can be made for tables of up to six people. Email to book.
Basalt restaurant at The Peech Hotel

Coffee, music and cycling at The Mangrove in Braamfontein

Braamfontein has a new cafe-bar and restaurant, The Mangrove, located in a heritage building at the corner of De Beer and Smit (opposite the 70 Juta corner). The venue is named after The Mangrove in London, a Caribbean restaurant launched in the 1960s that became an important meeting place for activists and artists from the black community, and seeks to evoke the same spirit of art and activism as its namesake. The Mangrove serves up a fresh selection of cafe-fare, hosts weekend concerts and also leads a regular social city cycle ride every Sunday (meet at 09:30 to set off at 10:00). 

Rosebank Sunday Market on the up

Rosebank Sunday Market has been springing back to life over the last few months after closing during lockdown is now open every Sunday from 09:00 to 16:00, with a car boot sale on the last two Sundays of the month which has helped bring a fun flea market feel to the market. There are also some new food traders in the mix, including some tasty ice-cream stalls and the best curries, plus plenty of deli-style food traders selling everything from organic honey to fruit and vegetables and homemade charcuterie.

Black Brick opening soon in Sandton Central

As we reported in our October Hotel News round-up, there's an innovative new space opening next month in Sandton Central that combines a mix of residential and hotel accommodation, complemented by great amenities like rooftop meditation and yoga areas and shared electric car rental. The Black Brick building also has some tasty places to eat launching soon, including Sesame Cafe (formerly in Rosebank) and a new restaurant concept Pergola.  
Salad by Sesame Cafe at Black Brick

Food trucks in Greenside

If you haven't been to Greenside's main strip Gleneagles (currently closed to cars for roadworks) there are lots of new venues that have joined this busy restaurant strip including a mighty food truck, Oink and Moo, who open up at the crack of dawn for breakfast, lunch and coffee and another hole-in-the-wall style venue in a car park on the opposite side of the street, Blondie, a cute little spot serving pizzas and craft beer. Just off the main strip at 38 Gleneagles Drive (next to the site of the old Greenside Cafe) Loof Coffee has also launched in the neighbourhood.  

Upmarket African dining at Moeng in Rosebank

Rosebank's new Oxford Parks precinct that straddles the corner of Oxford Road and Jellicoe Avenue, is steadily picking up steam with construction on the new Radisson Red hotel well underway and the new branch of Doubleshot Coffee opening soon. Now already open in the neighbourhood is the fantastic Moeng restaurant, that focuses on traditional southern African cuisine (think mogodu, cow heels and tshotlo) made with a finesse courtesy of the extremely talented head chef Absalom Kotsokoane. We paid a visit and can highly recommend the venue for authentic regional South African specialities made with love. Read our review of Moeng here.
South African cuisine at Moeng in Rosebank

88 Vilakazi Beach in Soweto

In February, which now feels like at least three years ago, we were excited to share that Vilakazi Street had a new craft gin bar The Soweto Gin Gallery launched by Linda Maseko and Zabalaza Mchunu (who helped found the Soweto Gin Festival). Happily, the pair never gave up on their dream despite the difficulties posed by lockdown, and this month they have launched the venue as the 88 Vilakazi Beach with a new beach-club style terrace.

Sotto Sopra reopens at Keyes Art Mile 

This super stylish Italian restaurant in Keyes Art Mile officially opened in December 2019, before closing just a few months later in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic. The good news is Sotto Sopra is finally back, officially reopened to the public from Thu Oct 22. 
A pasta dish at Sotto Sopra

Ba-Pita moves to Norwood

Faced with the challenges of lockdown, the Middle Eastern restaurant Ba-Pita closed its doors in Melville earlier this year. And now, after a few months absence Ba-Pita is back, albeit in a new location. You can find the new Ba-Pita on Grant Avenue in Norwood, with a great new corner location in the Factory on Grant.

Rand Club jazz evenings

The glitz and the glamour of the Rand Club, one of Joburg's most prestigious historic buildings in the heart of the heritage-rich mining district, always makes for a super special venue for an intimate concert. Now smaller live music events are again allowed, the Rand Club is opening its doors with the return of its fabulous jazz club nights. Tickets cost R300 (members R150) and for an extra R200 you can also enjoy a three-course dinner with the concert. The next concert, headlined by the always captivating Tamara Dey, is coming up on Fri Oct 30. Email to book.

Jazz and picnics at Fairlawns

​​​​​​Jazz lunches and the popular Lazy Days & Lawn Blankets are back this spring at the beautiful Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa in Morningside. The next garden picnic event is coming up on Oct 24. Find out more and book here. 

Market on Main pops up at Jewel City

Market on Main is back on Sundays in the city, with a new pop-up activation happening at the Jewel City precinct. If you are unfamiliar with the recently launched Jewel City development, a massive new residential area that extends the Maboneng precinct by several pedestrianised city blocks, this is yet another great reason to pay a visit to the neighbourhood on Sunday this month. The new-look market brings an indoor-outdoor vibe with music, an interesting mix of street fashion and vintage finds and tons of delicious food stalls including some classic Market on Main favourites as well as market newcomers such as the fantastic Roving Bantu Kitchen.

The market is open 10:00 to 15:00 on Sunday October 25, November 1 and November 8 at 230 Fox Street (three blocks along the new pedestrianised section of Fox from Arts on Main). 
Market on Main at Jewel City

Wine dinners at The Fairway

The Fairway Hotel & Spa’s popular 'Meet Me At The Fairway' wine dinners are back. The monthly event sees winemakers from the Cape’s top vineyards coming to Joburg to introduce diners to their finest wines. The wines are served with a special four-course dinner at the hotel’s restaurant Balata and we recommend arriving early to enjoy aperitifs while watching the sun set over The Fairway’s famous neighbouring golf course. The next wine dinner is coming up on November 26 with wines from the celebrated Lourensford Wine Estate. Tickets cost R480, email to book.

Motherland Coffee Company pops up at Goodman Gallery

Goodman Gallery in Parkwood has launched a contemporary sculpture garden in their newly landscaped car park area beside the gallery and also now has a cool new coffee bar pop-up courtesy of Motherland Coffee Company. The coffee bar is open Thursdays through Saturdays and the latest exhibition at the gallery, William Kentridge's latest work City Deep, is an absolute must-see. Find out more about the new Kentridge exhibition.
Motherland Coffee Co at Goodman Gallery

Coming soon

Among the many other restaurants coming soon that we also have our eye on are a new branch of Maboneng's Ethiopian restaurant Little Addis in Milpark and an intriguing new underground cafe-bar The Station in Parkhurst

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