Review: MiHa Eatery

29 Apr 2024
Established in Sep 2022, we only recently got around to visiting MiHa Eatery, a halaal restaurant that offers a unique blend of casual ambience and classic dining. Expect a stylish, alcohol-free experience in an open, expansive restaurant with large windows that create a breezy feel, with a lovely view over the Melrose Arch piazza.

The restaurant's name was birthed as a celebration of the coming together of the Miya and Hassim families. Coincidentally, in many Hispanic countries, the homonym 'mija' is a common term of endearment, meaning ‘my daughter’, further emphasising the familial connection of the eatery.

On a recent lunch visit, we were offered plenty of seating options across the balcony, newly renovated luxe main floor, and private dining areas. We opted for the main floor, and because we were only one of two tables for lunch, we had what felt like a private lunch experience at a fraction of the price.
The modern and spacious main floor of MiHa Eatery. Photo: Johannesburg In Your Pocket.

MiHa serves breakfast through to dinner, offering a diverse menu that includes classic dining options, casual meals, kids' meals, and desserts, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. It's centred around family –  so parents can have beautifully plated, "grown-up" dishes and kids can have their favourite go-to. The head chef and co-owner, Tasneem Miya, has personally developed each recipe and works passionately in the kitchen.

"My love for cooking started at a young age, watching my family members prepare meals for special occasions," says Miya. "I was especially inspired by my grandmother, who would spend hours in the kitchen perfecting her recipes and sharing stories of her cultural heritage through food."

"I believe that food has the power to bring people together, and by offering a wide range of dishes from around the world, I hoped to create a welcoming and inclusive space for everyone."

Miya would later start experimenting with food and discover that cooking isn't just about following a recipe; it is also about understanding the history, culture, and people behind each dish. 

"I've had the opportunity to travel and learn from chefs and home cooks from around the world, and I'm always looking for new inspiration to bring back to our restaurant and share with our customers," she says.

This inspiration is well and truly reflected in Miya's diverse offerings. The menu is a wild ride through world cuisines. For starters, we ordered the tapas board for one, which consists of falafels, sheesh kebabs, halloumi fingers, chilli chick ‘n cheese bombs, and chicken strips. This spread is served with scrumptious sauces and condiments such as hummus (we loved the addition of smoked paprika in this version), tzatziki, and chilli mayo served with wraps to scoop up every delicious bit. 
The flavourful red masala butter chicken curry is served with rice, papadam, and salsa. Photo: Johannesburg In Your Pocket.

To wash down our tapas board, we had watermelon, mint, and pink lemonade mocktails from the central mocktail bar. MiHa prides itself on these creations and giving diners non-alcoholic options that are not a mere afterthought but a central aspect. They're beautiful, if perhaps a little sweet for those who enjoy something more sour or bitter, and certainly fun and flavourful.
The starter portions were generous and made tucking into mains a challenge but we readily accepted the plates of MiHa signature sushi and butter chicken placed before us. The butter chicken was rich in flavour, not very hot, and was perfectly complimented by soft rice and papadam. We also tried the sushi, which included a unique topping of crunchy onion.  

The menu offers exciting options of fresh salads and bowls, reminiscent of Miya and her husband Abdulla's first restaurant, Clenergy, which sadly closed in Greenside when Covid-19 came knocking. For the less green inclined, there are burgers, pizzas, bagels, and wraps on the casual menu, and everything from pasta to steak and curry on the classic menu. Their most popular dish happens to be the 200g fillet steak and signature prawns.
 The signature dessert: a 'croffle'. Photo: Johannesburg In Your Pocket.

The variety of options may be dizzying for diners who are more accustomed to restaurants that specialise in a particular cuisine but it's been done with thought and intention. "I wanted to create a restaurant that reflects the diverse tastes of cultures and our community. I believe that food has the power to bring people together, and by offering a wide range of dishes from around the world, I hoped to create a welcoming and inclusive space for everyone," Miya says. 

Ending lunch on a sweet note was an easy feat with a few bites of MiHa’s signature 'croffle' dessert. It's what happens when a croissant meets a waffle paired with white chocolate, cream, and the expert touch of berries to brighten and cut through the sweetness. All the elements together make for a most fantastic dessert. 
MiHa is the coming together of family with a casual café and a classic dining experience. Its varied halaal menu, prime location in the heart of Melrose Arch, and spacious set-up make it a good spot to host your next alcohol–free family get-together.

*We were invited to MiHa Eatery by the owners. The views expressed here are our own. 


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