Jo’burg: A pleasant surprise

Vilakazi street in Soweto

I suppose it’s not too weird that I’m South African and I had never been to Jo’burg. Never had a reason really, what with growing up in the Cape and being in love with everything it had to offer. That same sort of weird thing that a lot of Australians have – they’ve been all over the east part of Oz, but never to Perth, and vice versa. Ha! I  hope to get to Perth soon if  the talk about the awesome weather is only half-true…

Paella at the Neighbourgoods Market JHB

Anyway Joburg: pretty contrasting to the Mother city in every which way, but I found equal ground in the Neighbourgoods Market (I have blogged about the Cape Town one here), which was a case of the same but different. I liked the emphasis on the ready-to-eat hot food – great in winter, and the large area upstairs for entertainment.

Outside the N’goods Market wall detail

However same problem as Cape Town – already bursting out of its seams, after a while we retreated to the upstairs bar and had a brandy (80%) and ginger beer (20%) brunch. That kicked things off nicely…

Pizza, brandy & gingerbeer

I’m glad we went, which also gave us an interesting ride through downtown Jozi to the market in Braamfontein. Love the buildings in Cape Town, but the architecture in this city centre is amazing, we didn’t stop as we had a lot to fit in, but 2Summers has written extensively about Joburg on her blog here.

Street scene

I’d love to go back even just to do a walk though Jozi – Photowalkers style. So my pics aren’t as good as 2Summer’s but they give you an idea.

Outside Soweto

Whilst I still think the Cape dining scene is more developed and varied, there seemed to be a lot here to discover(which we unfortunately didn’t have time for), however I was keen to check out Marthinus Ferreira’s restaurant DW11-13 in Dunkeld-West.

The crab entree at DW11-13

I’m darn glad we went, and was pretty impressed by the level of service and creativity from the kitchen. You can feel how much love these guys are putting into this operation, and that makes for a great restaurant visit.

The foie gras entree

I had some favourite dishes – a crab entrée, a foie gras entrée, and the veal, beef and confit duck mains were awesome too.  Apologies for the quality of the pics – these are the best ones!

Veal main at DW11-13

The plating is meticulous and involved, and my descriptions won’t do the work that’s gone into each creation justice – best check it out yourself when you’re next in Joburg. Thanks M!

Carrot sticky toffee pudding

And to end it all off – that football stadium – I was sceptical at first, but seeing it for real – awesome!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. gold price says:

    We started with the markets. Being here only a week, we could only fit in three, and we’d suggest visiting all three: Bryanston Organic Market, the Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein, and Market on Main in the Maboneng Precinct. Bryanston has a great selection of local producers, and while they’re not all organic, each stall has a description from the organisers as to why the producer was selected for the market (very helpful). If you have visited the Neighbourgoods Market in Cape Town, you’ll know exactly what to expect from the Jozi version – great atmosphere, urban-cool setting, and many of the same producers. It was a pity there weren’t more local jozi producers there, but that was nicely covered by Market on Main, in the urban regeneration area called the Maboneng Precinct. With an indoor and outdoor area, good music plenty to peruse it’s the kind of place that can happily consume a Sunday afternoon.

  2. las artes says:

    A gathering of pretentious people in the inner city is how I assume many people would describe the Neighbourgoods market, it didn’t even take long for us to find where the market was located as we just had to spot young women sporting the ‘bright-lip’ (I did mine so that I could blend in- ok fine, I love the bright lip too) and men wearing the short shorts from Woolies. As much as I can easily rip-off this market, calling is pretentious and drawing crowds of designer minds and assisting them in their dreams that Joburg was Cape Town . I can’t. I love Markets.

  3. epicureaddict says:

    There are markets all over the world like this – and they are labelled pretentious wherever they are located – I guess because they are so focused on a certain demographic. I don’t have a problem with that – the ones calling them pretentious come across as sour and unwilling to accept the new. I love markets – there should be more!

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