Mamasan Cape Malay Eatery in Joburg


It’s impossible not to feel happy here: bright, cheerful decor, reminiscent of a Bo-Kaap street scene; jazzy but unobtrusive music, friendly service and some of Joburg’s eclectically hippest diners all add to the atmosphere. Primary hues complement an offbeat selection of arty pieces: I could muse over the interior for days, but suffice to say my favourite features are the hanging pots of mother-in-law’s tongue and the dusty pink sheepskins slung over the backs of macramé chairs. Although the menu is divided into “beginners”, “intermediaries” and “climaxes”, my partner and I decided to order a few things to share – the food offering is conducive to communal dining. Of the dishes we settled on, the sticky suurvye (sour figs) chicken wings; the peach snoek pâté and the chargrilled tuna with biryani rice, corn and warm carrot-date sambal scored top marks. Each mouthful was a surprising mix of mild spice, sweetness, crunch and cooked-to-perfection traditional Cape Malay flavour, with an inspired modern twist. We couldn’t leave without sampling the fresh banana split with boeber ice cream – a sweet end to a fabulous meal. Shop 2A, 1 7th Street, Melville, Joburg; 072 622 6510.

By Claire Ferrandi

Send this to a friend