Melville has a reputation as one of Joburg’s quirkiest neighborhoods. But Melville doesn’t have a monopoly on quirkiness.
Today Joe and I went to Greenside, one suburb over from Melville, to try out a restaurant there called the Odd Café. We go to Greenside all the time for groceries but this was the first time I’d properly investigated the neighborhood. Turns out the whole place is odd.
The Odd Café is a coffeehouse, restaurant (with all-day breakfast — score), and art exhibition space all rolled into one. It is indeed odd, in a very good way. The furniture is mismatched, the music is eccentric, and the menu is adventurous. It’s decorated with graffiti on the outside and has a London telephone booth on the inside.
I had the Spanish vegetarian breakfast — delicately spiced scrambled eggs topped with haloumi, onions, and red peppers, with a side of grilled ciabatta bread and berry-chili jam. Joe ordered the “Leaning Tower of Odd.” I copied the description straight from the menu so I wouldn’t forget:
The two dishes cost R38.50 and R39.00, respectively. About $6.50 each.
Odd Café also serves good coffee from a Cape Town company called Origins Roasting.
Well-fed and highly caffeinated, we wandered across the street to Deer Hunter Junk Shop. Junk shops normally scare me — there are a couple in Melville that I haven’t been brave enough to enter yet. But Deer Hunter is special.
Shaun, the owner of Deer Hunter, and his astonishingly cute daughter, Frankie. Don’t be deceived by the name of the shop or the fact that Shaun is wearing camo — he does not hunt actual deer. He and his wife collect interesting deer pictures and figurines. The walls are covered in needlepoints featuring deer.
The July 1974 issue of National Geographic. From the month I was born! I bought it for R15, which is probably less than the cost of a new National Geographic from Barnes & Noble. Photo courtesy of Joe.
Our final stop in odd Greenside was Mamma’s Shebeen, a local hangout just up the street. Mamma’s serves traditional African food. We only went for a drink so I can’t attest to how it tastes, but the menu looked quite expensive. Great place to sit and watch the world go by though.
There are several more odd places in Greenside that I haven’t visited yet, and of course there is oddity all over this city. This won’t be the last odd post from 2Summers.