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Br aamfontein
Jo zilicio u s
Twitter: @hasmita

A walk through

With good food and a vibrant atmosphere, the revamped area is now the place to be

LMOST 10 years ago, Braamfontein was an area desperately needing attention. Pavements were broken and filthy , littered with informal traders and unauthorised taxi ranks. Traffic was congested and crime was rife. It was an area no one wanted to visit, unless they had to. In 2004, the Braamfontein Improvement District was established, with the aim of addressing the urban decay taking over the area. Since then, the area has flourished, becoming a hub of activity attracting locals and tourists alike. Braamfontein is now one of Jozis hippest neighbourhoods, offering visitors everything from trendy fashion, gourmet food and cosy coffee shops. The newly launched Joburg City Sightseeing Bus operates throughout Braamfontein, and is a great way to explore the inner city if you arent too keen to drive there yourself. You can park your car securely at Gold Reef City and catch the bus from there. Tickets cost R120 if bought online and buses depart every 40 minutes, seven days a week. The bus will drop you off at The Grove, a small public square overlooked by various eateries. Go on a Saturday between 9am and 3pm and visit the Neighbourgoods Market, on the corner of Juta and De Beer Streets. The market features a host of boutique food stalls. Youll find de-

licious, fresh homemade produce think quality , flavourful pestos and chutneys, samoosas, flatbreads and burgers to name a few. If youre in a large group, you can easily spend an entire day at the market, as the second floor has become an open-air bar of sorts. With views over the city and live jazz, on a sunny Saturday this really is the place to be. If youd like to have a sit down meal, there are many great options you can consider. Velo Gallery Caf, situated in the Grove is one of these. It is a gallery caf offering simple sandwiches and salads within a space used to showcase upcoming artists with the objective of exposing untapped talent. For a more formal meal, try Narina Trogon, located on 81 De Korte Street in a century old building which used to be the original Turn n Tender in the eighties. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu offers unique items like whisky oats oat porridge served with honey , cinnamon and whisky . Braamfontein is a coffee snobs haven, with a number of dreamy coffee shops that look like theyre right out of the movies. Visit Double Shot, where the vision is to create an artisanal roaster and tea blending store that will offer the finest and rarest teas and coffees from around the world. The store also offers classes and education to both professionals as well as people who just want to enrich their tea and coffee experience. For the best coconut cupcake in the world, try out newly opened Daleahs owned by 25-year-old Daleah, whose lifelong dream was to open an eatery . Daleahs has a warm, welcoming atmosphere with food to match. With a reasonably priced

TOP: Neighbourgoods Market and inset, food that is available at the market

Live music at an open-air rooftop bar at Neighbourgoods Market

chalkboard menu that changes every day , Daleahs passion comes through in the customised coasters and serving boards, both ingrained with D, as well as in the books and hand-picked artwork on the shelves. Just across the road, youll find Post, a contemporary caf with simple soul food that is locally sourced. Breakfast options include chocolate flapjacks with nutella, or egg and brie crostini with napolitana sauce. The lunch menu offers a range of gourmet sandwiches, like grilled haloumi with tzatziki, tomato, onion and rocket or stripped sirloin with pesto and feta. If a sandwich doesnt hit the spot, pop over to Great Dane, situated on 6 De Beer Street. This is

Narina Trogon
a quirky bar with a gourmet hot dog menu and a floor covered in five-cent coins. In-between all that eating, Braamfontein also has a number of interesting shops. The Braamfontein Bookshop, corner Juta and Melle Street, stocks second hand books, vintage clothing and other interesting items. Aspiring photographers will love the Lomography store, a photographic concept store that prides itself in being a platform for photographic inspirational products, cutting edge photographic artists and avant-garde photographic concepts. Lomography also does custom printing of photographs onto canvas, wallpaper and lampshades.

Braamfonteins most famous landmark is undoubtedly the Nelson Mandela Bridge, which starts at the intersection of Juta and Bertha Street. This is a striking architectural feature, beautifully lit at night. Its clear to see that the Braamfontein we enjoy today is far removed from what it was 10 years ago. Future plans include a gateway feature to the university campus, pedestrian linkages through to Constitution Hill, upgrading the alleyways between buildings, providing public art, reopening of the historic Alexander Theatre and new pavement coffee shops. For more ideas of things to do in Jozi, visit Hasmitas blog,

Out with the new and in with the old school


In Joburg, we are lucky to be treated to a new restaurant opening almost every month. As exciting as it is to try out a restaurant for the first time, there is something comforting about eating at a place where you know exactly what to order, and what to expect. In Joburg, there are a few excellent old school restaurants which have been around for longer than the 10 years Ive been living here, catering to a loyal clientele. Dont expect the menu or dcor to change over the years here, the focus is all about the food. ER RE E AR RE E MY YT TOP 3 OLD HE L SPOTS: SCHOOL 1 Fra n co s Pizze ria Open since 1987, this family-run neighbourhood restaurant is a favourite for its mouth-watering, moreish pastas and pizzas. After a few visits, the waiters know you (and

Old school bolognese at Franco's

PICTURE: HASMITA NAIR your favourite dish) by name.The interior hasnt changed since the day it opened, welcoming generations of families who have sat in Parkviews dining roomand enjoyed a meal together. My favourite dish is the Tortellini Alla Cacciatora, R69, rings of pasta stuffed with chicken, prepared in a creamy garlic, tomato and mushroom sauce. Specials change daily, with the most popular being the Conchilioni Al Zucca large shells of pasta filled with butternut and ricotta. Even the bolognese is done

the old school way instead of the usual mince, Francos version is slowroasted beef left in the pizza oven overnight, then shredded and added to a tomato and red wine sauce. If youre having a dinner party and dont feel like cooking, Francos does catering too. Open Tue-Sun. Find it at: 54 Tyrone Avenue, Parkview. Call 011 646 5449. Visit 2 Pa rre irin h a Open since the Seventies, this Portuguese eatery is located in an

Chicken and prawn combo at Parreirinha PICTURE: RISHAV NAIR

old police station. Although it is situated in the South, tables are packed with visitors from as far North as Pretoria, all digging into juicy, tangy prawns. The dcor is quirky, with old ties belonging to patrons hanging from the ceiling. On the menu, youll find Portuguese items, like Bacalhau na Braza (cod on the braai) or Bacalhau a Braz (strips of cod with finely chopped onion and thin fried chips in an egg mix), as well my favourite: the queen prawn and chicken combo. Portions are huge, and come with your choice of garlic, lemon butter and peri peri sauce. Open Mon-Sat. Find it at: 9 Sixth Street, La Rochelle. Call 011 435 3809. 3A Ad e g a do Mon g e Located in an old house in Kensington, this restaurant has been around for over 15 years and promises an authentic Portuguese experience.Youd be forgiven for confusing it with the Adega chain of restaurants, but it is independent

Mozambique prawns at Adega do Monge PICTURE: HASMITA NAIR

and not part of that franchise. Youll find seafood done the traditional way Adega do Monge has become famous for their Mozambique prawns, as well as their range of Portuguese dishes, like Feijoada (bean stew with pork and beef ), and Arroz de Marisco (saucy seafood rice) Open Mon-Sun. Find it at: 32 Roberts Avenue, Kensington. Call 011 614 3041. Visit: Hasmita Nair was hosted by Parreirinha for the purposes of this review