Solly's fish and chips with seasoning

#Gauteng52, Week 32: Joburg’s Best Fish and Chips

Welcome to Week 32 of my #Gauteng52 challenge, for which I visit and blog about a new place in Gauteng Province every week for 52 straight weeks. This week I visit Solly’s Corner, a takeaway shop serving fish and chips and other fast-food delicacies in Fordsburg.

A few months ago I stumbled upon an article in Roads & Kingdoms called 18 Things to Know Before You Go to Johannesburg. It was an odd collection of tips, in my critical opinion. But the article’s 18th tip caught my attention: “Get stuffed” at Solly’s Corner.

The article described Solly’s Corner as Joburg’s “epitome of comfort food”, yet I’d never heard of it. I started to ask around. Apparently Solly’s is famous for fish and chips.

Solly’s Corner is in Fordsburg, Joburg’s historically Indian neighborhood and one of my favorite cheap-eats dining destinations. It’s strange that I never stumbled upon Solly’s before. I usually go to Fordburg for curry or samoosas, and I suppose it’s never occurred to me to seek out fish and chips.

Solly's Corner entrance The entrance to Solly’s Corner.

Solly’s Corner, true to its name, is at the corner of Lilian Ngoyi Street (formerly Bree Street) and Central Road. There isn’t a big sign on the outside and Marie-Lais and I drove right past it the first time. Once we walked in, we nearly walked out again because we wanted to eat in and didn’t see anywhere to sit.

Inside Solly's CornerThe take-away counter was already crowded when we arrived at noon on a weekday.

Then we spied a little room through the side door with a couple of tables.

Taking an order at Solly's CornerNote the little dining room on the left.

Man eating in Solly's CornerA man eating fish and chips in Solly’s small eat-in area.

Our friend Gail soon joined, and the three of us had a jolly Solly’s lunch.

Fish and Chips and More at Solly’s Corner

Solly’s Corner is a true Joburg institution, proved by the many newspaper articles taped to the walls. The menu is difficult to describe to non-South-Africans.

Vienna with slap chipsFried Vienna sausages on a bed of slap chips.

Offerings include fried polony (the South African version of baloney), Russians and Viennas (sort of like hot dogs), frikkadels (spiced meatballs), and “slap chips” — pronounced “slaahp chips” — greasy, floppy french fries. (They taste better than they sound.)

Solly’s offers several custom-made sandwiches and combos with names like “Madiba Box” and “E-Toll Box” and “Mother-in-Law Special”, with varying combinations of chips, meat, and gravy. And then, of course, there are the fish and chips.

Everything at Solly’s Corner is sprinkled with a spicy, homemade masala seasoning.

Solly's fish and chips with seasoningMy fish and chips are sprinkled with masala seasoning. All of Solly’s food comes wrapped in simple white paper.

Mother-in-Law frikkadel sandwichA cross-section of the Mother-in-Law special, a sandwich with frikkadels, slap chips, and a variety of sauces and condiments.

The fish and chips were delicious; the tasty fried coating worked perfectly with the spicy seasoning. Hard as I tried, I couldn’t finish my mountain of tasty slap chips.

After eating we hung around for a while, chatting to the staff. The owner wasn’t in but his son, Mohammed, was there and in charge, busily taking phone orders and dealing with suppliers. China, the deft short order cook, manned the fryer.

China was eager to be photographed but Mohammed and his colleague (also named Mohammed) took some coaxing.

China fries fish and chips at Solly's CornerChina.

The Mohammeds at Solly's CornerMohammed (left), the owner’s son, and his colleague Mohammed.

We didn’t want to leave.

Thanks for the tip, Roads & Kingdoms. Solly’s Corner has rocketed to the top of my Jozi cheap eats list.

Man waiting in Solly's Corner

Solly’s Corner is at 30 Lilian Ngoyi Street, open from from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week (extended hours until 7:00 p.m. on Fridays). Call +27-11-834-6359.

(Note: Solly’s Corner is next door to Akhalwaya’s, which has a similar menu and is actually owned by the same family. Akhalwaya’s has branches all over town.)

Read all of my #Gauteng52 posts and check out the interactive #Gauteng52 map.

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11 Comments

  • Reply Gail Scott Wilson August 10, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    This place always reminds me of Fridays as a child, having grown up catholic we did not eat meat on a Friday so my Dad would arrive home from work with this large white paper wrapped parcel of fish and chips. Solly’s slap chips did not disappoint.

    • Reply 2summers August 10, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      That’s such a good story!

  • Reply Jinga August 10, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Next try ciscos best nuts and dried fruit in Africa also in fordsburg they process at the factory right in fordsburg

  • Reply Ahmed August 11, 2017 at 6:48 am

    aa

  • Reply Zahraa August 12, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Gotta try out delpresto Pizzeria. Wood fired pizzas, with a twist.

  • Reply Lani August 13, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Note to self: do not look at Heather’s blog posts when hungry.

    • Reply 2summers August 13, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      😊🍟🍟🍟🐟

  • Reply Saleem Khan August 13, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    The guy eating fish and chips is Saleem Khan. He’s works for Broadway Sweets manufacturers of the famous Stumbo lollypop.

    • Reply 2summers August 13, 2017 at 4:09 pm

      Haha, hi Saleem! It was great meeting you that day.

  • Reply Elizabeth Venter August 14, 2017 at 8:33 am

    This is a terrific post. I’m currently in South Korea and returning home shortly, after having been here for six months. Reading about this ‘traditional’ deliciousNess, I’ve made up my mind that this will be my first stop when I’m back home. Thanks for your enthusiasm about Gauteng.

    • Reply 2summers August 14, 2017 at 8:34 am

      Yay! I hope you enjoy it 🙂

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