Freshly Plated – Joburg restaurant news: Marabi Club, bar pop-ups, Grei and SumTing Fresh

In this month’s edition of our restaurant news blog we bring you the latest on Joburg’s top pop-up bars, Saxon Hotel Villas & Spa’s new fine dining restaurant, one of our favourite chicken joints and The Marabi Club’s chef Vusi Ndlovu.

Marabi Club chef off to Milan for Best Young Chef in the World finals

Vusi Ndlovu, chef at The Marabi Club in Maboneng, is heading to Italy this month to compete for the title of San Pellegrino Best Young Chef in the World. In October 2017 Ndlovu won the regional competition for Africa and the Middle East.  He now joins 20 other young chefs from around the world at the finals in Milan. As part of the final round of competition Ndlovu will be cooking up his incredible signature dish ‘Isicupho’ (pictured), which is made using aged duck crown, smoked duck leg “biltong”, pumpkin and an assortment of grains.

New pop-up Blank Bar opens in Parkhurst

Parkhurst’s chic high street 4th Avenue has a new dedicated pop-up space, Blank Bar. Operating as a pop-up spot for artisanal local brands, every new edition of the bar showcases a different spirit. The first iteration of the Blank Bar is open until May 13 and is dedicated to locally-produced gin with Joburg distilleries Time Anchor, Ginologist and Flowstone in the spotlight. Expect a broad range of interesting and unusual infusions on the menu ranging from a refreshing G & T served with cucumber, citrus and pomegranate to the Ginologist’s unusual spicy gin with 15 botanicals that include two different kinds of pepper.

The Belvedere Garden Bar comes to Rosebank

The Union Bar pop-up is back this Autumn sponsored by vodka brand Belvedere. The Belvedere Secret Garden Bar pops up from April 27 until the end of May at The Firs in Rosebank and is themed ‘Relearn Natural’. Envisaged as a secret garden, the bar opens every Thursday through Saturday and each week will see the space getting a complete makeover to reflect Belvedere’s different vodka flavours that include mango passion, pink grapefruit and citrus. Walk-ins are welcome (although an entrance fee will be charged), alternatively book online and be added to the bar’s free guest list.

New fine dining restaurant Grei opens at Saxon Hotel Villas & Spa

After 13 years at the Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa, Chef Candice Philip has taken the helm of the hotel’s new fine dining restaurant Grei. Loosely translated from Portuguese the name Grei means “a society of people” and the restaurant’s décor and menu is inspired by Scandinavian design and culinary philosophy, promising a simple, minimalist and sophisticated approach to ingredients and plating. At Grei, Phillips is serving up gourmet six-course menus that bring together her knack for unusual pairings, intricate plating and a love of herbaceous flavours. Grei is open Tuesday to Saturday from 18:30. Reservations are essential. To book call +27 11 292 6000.

New look SumTing Fresh reopens in Norwood 

Our favourite fast casual chicken eatery SumTing Fresh has reopened on Grant Avenue in Norwood with a fresh and fun bright new look.  With their own lingo and a range of signature chants such as “Bump the Cheese up” (add parmesan) plus innovative dishes such as ‘Gujon’ Chicken (strips served with Asian slaw, skinny fries, aioli, sweet chilli sauce and a watermelon slice), this place provides maximum satisfaction for fans of the fried chicken.

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