The Greeks are striking back in the northern suburbs
There are some new kids on the block – and their offerings are more than promising on the culinary front
When I was much younger, my parents would take me for Greek food in Edenvale. It was a secret. Guarded by Greeks in Joburg with their lives.
On the surface this restaurant was a pizzeria, but for Greeks in the know the chap who owned it (and apparently also half of Mykonos) would produce a feast to remember.
You did not order, he simply brought out dish upon dish of perfectly calibrated calamari, lamb, zucchini, melanzane and, to top it off, bougatsa – a desert speciality of the house – freshly baked into my soul.
If someone was ever ranking the spot for a Michelin star, they would have given it a zero for ambience and about 110% for deliciousness.
I know which part of the assessment my stomach would respect. I also know how big the Greek hole in my stomach became when that Edenvale guy moved back to Mykonos.
But fear not, friends, the Greeks are striking back. There are some new kids on the block – and their offerings are more than promising on the culinary front. You don’t even have to do the mysterious Edenvale tour.
1: Soul Souvlaki
Dino Vlachos is rapidly expanding his chain of simple, delicious souvlaki shops. His latest establishment is next door to Steve Maresh’s Corner Grill. Together they have conquered this corner of Parktown North. The offering is the clean, fresh taste of tried-and-tested basics – souvlaki, haloumi, chops and salads – the best of Greek street food in a charming and unpretentious environment. Nice work, Dino.
Corner 3rd and 7th Avenue, Parktown North, 011-327-6366
2: Kolonaki Greek Kouzina
Parkhurst’s 4th Avenue is now officially on fire for the summer. Kolonaki Greek Kouzina opened last week , and when I manifested for lunch on Sunday I felt transported to a sophisticated corner of Athens, on a balmy summer afternoon. It was super-nice.
The décor by the Valasis siblings of Atmos – Architecture, Design, Development is seriously delightful – beach house meets Greek trad, with a shot of brassy whimsy.
And the food by owner and chef Vassilios Holiasmenos is a playful and considered take on Greek classics. His kataifi prawns are superb – and the homemade haloumi and feta gets a prize from me.
Cheese with everything, people!
18 4th Avenue, corner 9th street, Parkhurst, 010-900-3319
For other firm favourites
Plaka – Traditional old school. My happy place on Corlett Drive
Mezzepoli – Some of the best mezze south of the equator, in Melrose Arch