I’ve decided to intersperse my Sandton snapshots with Melville snapshots. I haven’t written about Melville — my home suburb — in a while. The newest 2Summers readers might not even realize that I live here, and I feel a moral responsibility to periodically remind the world that Melville is awesome. Also, a bunch of cool new restaurants and shops have opened in Melville lately. I’m going to try to feature one per week for the next few weeks.

My first Melville snapshot comes from the Great Eastern Food Bar, which just opened last month in the Bamboo Shopping Centre.

GE menu

The “GE” stands for Great Eastern, not General Electric.

I ate at Great Eastern for the first time today. I’m excited about it for three reasons:

1) Great Eastern moved into the corner spot on the top floor of Bamboo, a pleasant complex at the intersection of 7th Avenue, 9th Street, and Rustenberg Road. Great Eastern has a beautiful view of the Melville Koppies. The previous businesses that have occupied this space over the last three years — an art gallery and then an interior design studio — were not making optimal use of this prime location.

Great Eastern Food Bar view

Nice view.

2) At long last, there is a restaurant in Bamboo that is open for dinner. I love the Service Station, which is directly below Great Eastern, but it closes at 4:00. I live less than two blocks from Bamboo so this is great news for me.

Great Eastern Food Bat coffee

I met my Instagram friends for lunch at Great Eastern today. (They’re silly boys.) I walked there from my house in two minutes.

3) Great Eastern serves interesting, eclectic Asian food. The pad thai (which Great Eastern calls Phat Thai) that I ordered today was delicious.

Phat Thai

Pad (Phat) Thai with grilled shrimp, tofu, and lemongrass. Reasonably priced at R70 (about $6.50).

The Great Eastern menu includes a limited number of dishes and changes regularly, which I love. They also serve beer but no wine yet. I think customers are welcome to bring their own though.

I have a feeling that Great Eastern will soon become a prominent stop on the Jozi hipster dining circuit, and there are a limited number of tables. So I would recommend booking ahead, especially if you want a table with a view.

Great Eastern Food Bar wall

Great Eastern has plants on the walls.

Contact Great Eastern on Facebook, or at 011 482 2910.

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