Last night I had dinner at the Darkie Café. I’m writing about it because:
1) The Darkie Café is smack in the middle of downtown Jozi, in the mining district — one of just a few restaurants in that area that are open at night.
2) The Darkie Café has decent food, and it’s fun.
3) The Darkie Café is called the Darkie Café. Only in Joburg will you find a restaurant with such a name. I like it. Continue Reading
As a Melville resident and passionate lover of all things Melvillian, I have an inferiority complex about the nearby suburb of Parkhurst.
I’ve ranted about this before so I’ll keep it brief. But basically, many Joburg residents are under the mistaken impression that Melville — once a Utopian gathering place for bohemian intelligentsia and hotbed for Jozi fun — has now deteriorated into a rat-infested drug den. Even some Melville residents fall into this trap, glorifying the old days when Melville had the Bassline and Soi Restaurant, and bemoaning the fact that today’s Melville isn’t more like Parkhurst, the bustling neighborhood to the north.
Don’t get me wrong — I like Parkhurst just fine. It has lovely restaurants and coffee houses, trendy shops, and a charming village vibe. Parkhurst even has a rad tattoo parlour. It’s a bit…shiny for me, and on weekends it’s overrun with preppy students and drunk 20-somethings. But other than that I have nothing bad to say about it.
Except for one thing: Parkhurst isn’t Melville. Continue Reading
Right around the time that my Dad booked his trip to South Africa, I was offered the chance to spend a weekend at DeHoek Country Hotel — a five-star hotel and restaurant outside Magaliesburg. Perfect timing, I thought. Dad’s birthday fell on the last weekend of his visit and this would be a good way to celebrate.
Sam, the head waiter at DeHoek, walks out of the hotel’s main building. DeHoek is about an hour northwest of Joburg, near the Cradle of Humankind. Continue Reading
I’m in a food rut.
I used to enjoy food-shopping and cooking, but since I’ve been on my own I can’t be bothered. I love eating out, but I’m on a budget and lately I’ve been too lazy to leave Melville. And as much as I love my suburb, I’ve become slightly weary of the Melville dining scene. Don’t get me wrong: There are several Melville hangouts where I love to eat and drink coffee. But I need to expand my horizons. Jozi is full of quirky suburbs, each with its own set of quirky dining establishments. Time to start discovering them.
When my friend told me about a café in nearby Parktown North that serves the best croissants in town, I insisted we go there, pronto. We went to Amamus Café Bakery the following weekend and I’m glad we did. Continue Reading
A couple of weeks ago I had brunch at Anita and Johnson’s house. There were many quality Instagram photo-ops at this brunch, and it was such a classic Melville Sunday. I decided it was worthy of a blog post.
All photos shot with Instagram, of course.
I’ve written several times about Joburg’s Oriental Plaza — a giant Indian shopping mall in Fordsburg. “The Plaza”, as locals call it, is one of my favorite spots in town. So when my friend Anita called me up on her birthday and invited me to go to The Plaza to pick up a rabbit fur coat, I dropped everything and complied.
I know what you’re thinking: Anita’s birthday, The Plaza, a rabbit fur coat? WTF?
Anita, Johnson, and me at The Plaza.
Two days ago I went to Spar, the grocery store in Melville, with my friend Anita. Anita noticed something in the refrigerated section near the bakery.
“Look at that!” Anita shouted.
There was a row of plastic bags, each containing a ball of dough. The bags weren’t sealed or anything — just sitting there, open, with dough inside. Each bag cost R10 (about $1.20). Continue Reading
Nearly two years ago, soon after I moved to South Africa, I ate at a restaurant in Melville called Café Mexicho. I wasn’t impressed, and I actually got sick the next day. I named the ailment “Mexicho’s Revenge”.
I wrote a blog post about the experience, called Where Not to Eat in Melville.
Café Mexicho, August 2010. From back in the day when I didn’t care what my photos looked like. Continue Reading
My birthday is all about 7s this year. Lucky? I hope so.
Light fixture at the Liberation Café, Melville. (Photo: David Penney)
My birthday is actually today, Sunday 8 July. 8/7 or 7/8, depending on which side of the Atlantic you’re reading this from. But I decided to celebrate on Saturday, 7/7, on Melville’s 7th Street. Continue Reading
A fellow Melville blogger, Chuck V., recently referred to me as “the Melville American”. I was flattered; it’s fun to think of myself as THE Melville American. (Although I suspect all the other Melville Americans — and there are many others — might object.)
Photo by Jon.
Chuck’s post got me thinking about one of the things I find strangest about being an expat, especially an expat from America. When you’re an American living in a foreign country, your nationality is the first thing people notice about you. Continue Reading