I have been wondering where people from across Africa’s cultural diversity find their authentic traditional food in the busy heartbeat of modern Johannesburg.A clinche of only finding such meals out in downtown streets hangs around but not for long after major investments in up market spots.
Johannesburg’ nicknamed the City of Gold accommodates a rich history of struggle that has claimed the ‘Creativity Capital of Africa’ title. Home to people from all nations and Africa’s most visited city according to the 2014 MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index.
Especially in Jozi’s sophisticated northern suburbs where the bold and beautiful mingle. I found myself lingering at a lively up market Shopping Precinct, Melrose Arch one afternoon, where I quickly noticed nicely embedded Moyo restaurant.
Moyo, a Swahili word that relates to most indigenous languages, means heart. The place reminded me where my heart really belongs after years of town life!
A mix of local cultures and influences alongside the incredible diversity of South Africa has much to offer when it comes to African cuisine and dining, Moyo is just that. They are re-defining the African myth of not only finding traditional food on the outskirts of town but the desire for a well served meal at one place in uptown.
The multi-level modern restaurant clad in extracted steel with pressed pebble walls is an ideal set for a true African dining experience.
Out of my curiosity, I did not hesitate to get in to a casual conversation with the host at our service. “The main stage accommodates over 700 cocktail guests, with live entertainment, corporate celebrations and tour groups” he went on to say.
Typical African terrain with caves that only differs with Stone Age era in that they are no longer occupied by nomadics, but modern people in resemblance of dare (kraal meeting) ancient fire place.
Onto the outdoor table, we took a sit at a perfect angle on the square. Starters were well served with a variety dish in original handmade ceramic plates.
They included tasty Nigerian sweet potato filled with chakalaka, Tunisian bread sticks and smoked crocodile tail pies that I enjoyed for the first time.A Cameroonian beef suya arrived onto the action marinated with paprika.
Into intriguing main course, Tanzanian curry got me pumping, while coconut milk swirled through all the home-made vegetables that I dipped in exclusive Madagascan sauce. Senegalese Line Fish Yassa was another star in the pond bringing my much desired taste of West Coast seafood ensemble to reality.I appreciated Mozambican peri peri chicken flamed into the baby spatchcock chicken pieces because all the time had my smooth iced Tequila by my side.
After that soft but hard eating main meal, was the round for Dessert, I opted for Cape Malva pudding custard with ground nuts.Other sets of desserts that I deserted but tantalising on the menu included wild berries and fresh fruit kebabs. Live stage bands provide soulful vibes and dining options are diverse from relaxed meals enjoyed on the outdoor square, I reckoned.
“Communal menus, buffets and breakfasts of any kind in celebration are rightly placed in each pamphlet.
Moyo’ located over 4 Levels, has become the ideal venue for a variety of corporate events from smaller-end function rooms like the Blue room or the Rock room” our host added.“The stage level and Mezzanine level that overlooks the main stage area is an ideal area for other events that do not require exclusivity” he said.This was beyond doubt a trip across Africa I must say.
“Inspired by the traditions and values of our ancestors, our famously warm hospitality and modern African ambience makes the Moyo experience an unforgettable one” our host who looked enjoying what he was doing added.