Waterfront eatery among Condé Nast best new restaurants in the world

April 28, 2023 (Last Updated: June 19, 2023)

Condé Nast Traveller has named a Cape Town eatery as one of the best new restaurants in the world.

Emazulwini Restaurant at Makers Landing at the V&A Waterfront was included in the publication’s ‘2023 Hot List’.

READ MORE: Contemporary South African design meets modern local culinary flavours

The list is a curated collection of the world’s best new hotels, cruises, restaurants, cultural destinations and transportation projects, with researchers visiting and vetting the entries to create a definitive directory of places whose style, ethos, and service set new standards for hospitality.

This year’s dining destinations included the Cape Town establishment, serving up contemporary Zulu and Nguni cuisine; a Northern California café honouring Ohlone recipes, and a community-driven Quito restaurant igniting Ecuador’s indigenous dining scene.

Chef Mmabatho Molefe Photographed by Paris Brummer

Chef Mmbatho Molefe’s modern Zulu restaurant, Emazulwini, initially opened in 2020 and has made waves in the local industry. Emazulwini means ‘the heavens’ in isiZulu.

The restaurant also scored a spot on the ‘World’s 50 Best 50 Next’ list recently with its seven-course set menu consisting of authentic dishes such as chicken liver truffle, a pate with a dusting of dark chocolate; Ulimi noshatini, ox tongue and variations of tomatoes; and Isijingi, a sweet pumpkin porridge served with orange caramel, roasted pumpkin pieces and a cinnamon tuille.

The South African chef, who was awarded the Eat Out 2022 Rising Star Award, recently moved from a 10-seater restaurant at Makers Landing into the 40-seater pop-up space.

Emazulwini was designed in collaboration with Clout/SA, a design programme that facilitates collaboration between designers and the hospitality sector. Interior design specialist Walter Train was the design lead on the project and was mentored by Clout/SA, bringing contemporary design to work with the Zulu-Nguni essence of the restaurant.


  • Bookings: Dineplan
  • Location: Makers Landing | The Cruise Terminal | Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town
  • Times: Thursday to Saturday: 12pm to 10.30pm | Sunday: 12pm to 5pm

The complete Condé Nast Traveller 2023 Hot List –  Best new restaurants in the World:

  • Enigma – Barcelona
  • RavioXO – Madrid
  • Masalawala & Sons – New York City
  • Emazulwini – Cape Town
  • Jun’s – Dubai
  • La Semilla – Atlanta
  • Mak-‘amham/Cafe Ohlone – Berkeley, California
  • Koji Club – Boston
  • Her Place Supper Club – Philadelphia
  • Mi Compa Chava – Mexico City
  • Foresta – Quito
  • Lasai – Rio de Janiero
  • Kōnā Corner – Buenos Aires
  • Vilas – Bangkok
  • Swallow Tainan – Taiwan
  • The Jade Room + Garden Terrace – Tokyo
  • Anda Kigali – Rwanda
  • Takya – Riyadh
  • Place des Fêtes – New York City
  • Le Doyenné – Saint-Vrain, France

ALSO SEE: La Liste’s hidden gem in Hermanus: Perlemoen Restaurant

La Liste’s hidden gem in Hermanus: Perlemoen Restaurant

Written by Murray Swart for Cape {town} Etc.

Feature image: Emazulwini

If you ever find yourself in Johannesburg, be sure to check out The 20 Best Restaurants in Midrand.

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