Jozi is abuzz with food festivals in September and foodies are totally spoilt for choice. We attended the Taste of Joburg this weekend, and I really wish we could have stayed longer (or gone again)! There were so many amazing restaurants to sample, chilled sparkling wines and Sauvignon Blancs to be gulped and producers stalls to be visited that one day simply is not enough. Not to mention the live demonstrations and performers that add to the vibe.
The weather cleared up and people were sipping chilled drinks under large umbrellas until we were forced to leave as the next session was about to start. Here are some of the dishes we tried and briefly what we thought of them:
Bellagio: Sashimi style Scottish Salmon, with a variety of shoots, ginger and garlic chips and a citrus dressing. *Loved the garlic chips.
DW eleven – 13: Steak Tartar hand chopped beef, capers, gherkins, onions, spicy mayo and Bloody Mary sorbet. *Very flavoursome and interesting contrast offered by the sorbet.
Piccolo Mondo: Lamb shoulder with fried butternut Gnocchi, braising vegetables and a pinotage onion marmalade. & Crunchy prawn and ricotta pasta ‘pillows’ served on wild mushrooms with a smoked salmon Champagne cream. *Lamb was perfect but the pasta pillows where a bit bland, mushrooms were tasty.
roots @ Forum Homini: Self saucing Malva pudding, homemade ginger ice cream and kumquat preserve. *AMAZING Served with a cute tube of custard, this was one of the standout dishes.
Sel et Poivre & Le Petit Sel: Belgian ‘Moule-frites’ (mussels & fries) *Yum, totally moreish!
The Saxon: Parma ham-wrapped terrine of Foie Gras ‘farmer style’, served with warm brioche. & Rocky Road, honey and rose water ice cream, chocolate brownie, praline and homemade marshmallow. *Terrine was rich and delicious & Dessert was a playfull plate of goodness and textures.
Taste of Joburg really is a showcase for the best that Joburg has to offer, and a great platform for restaurants to introduce their food philosophies to people that wouldn’t necessarily have known about them. It’s quite expensive (R60 entrance and between R20 – R40 for a small portion) but the chefs use great ingredients so it’s definitely worth it.
Joburg is an amazing city to live in; great weather, fab restaurants, and an intangible pulse. But we’ve always had something missing… a proper food market that not only serves as a shopping destination but also as a delightful day out.
Enter Neighbourgoods Market. Finally! Cape Town has been spoilt for years with the market at The Old Biscuit Mill, and now Joburgers also get a foodie spoil in Braamfontein each Saturday.
Located on the first and second levels of a building in the city, this market boasts a selection of Cpt regulars as well as some Jozi producers. Expect to find everything from fresh produce, flowers, artisanal beers, handmade chocolates, cheeses, cured hams, clothing, jewelry and a vast selection of prepared-on-the-spot food stalls.
What sets the Jozi version apart from Cpt is ample seating and more space, with long wooden tables and benches on both levels and clever sitting stations around the outside (designed by Dokter and Misses) it really makes for a fabulous day out. Whether you choose to buy bits and pieces to create your own snack platter, or try different offerings from the food vendors, there is something for everyone.
Get there early (before 10 am) to ensure you get a prime seat outside on the roof, start your day with a Bloody Mary and work your way through the stalls – and remember to pick up some fresh bread and cheese to take home.
I can see it becoming a Joburg intuition… we’ll certainly be back (several times).