EAST MEETS WEST
These very different suburbs make up a melting pot of different cultures, a taste of both Eastern and Western civilisations just a few kilometres apart. ANNA-BELLE DURRANT visits Cyrildene, Orange Grove and Norwood...
Raise your hand if you find yourself going to the same places over and over again. Let’s be honest, it’s easy to get into a routine because no one makes coffee like your local does, and there’s no better feeling than walking into a restaurant where the waiter knows your name.
You’ll find Cyrildene and Norwood nestled between the busy suburbs of Bedfordview and Melrose, and while they might be a little rough around the edges and you’ll definitely find yourself saying, “What on earth is that?”, they offer a fresh perspective on Joburg and the different cultures that thrive within its borders.
They offer a fresh perspective on Joburg and the different cultures that thrive within its borders…
Fisherman’s Plate is somewhat of an institution in Joburg’s Chinatown, Cyrildene. You would be amiss to visit the area without at least stopping in for a snack. Don’t let the appearance of the restaurant sway you; this is some of the best Chinese food you’ll get in the city. What’s more, it doesn’t have a hefty price tag.
Tip: The crab curry will keep you coming back for more, it’s a little hard to eat, but definitely the most popular dish.
Shun De offers a new take on Sunday lunch with its authentic yum cha. Yum cha translates directly as ‘drink tea’, and visiting Shun De, also in Cyrildene, on a Sunday involves feasting on baskets of dim sum and drinking traditional tea. A must-try is the deep fried rice dumplings.
Did you know that the food in the north of China is vastly different from the south? No? Well, luckily, Chinese Northern Foods, a family-run restaurant along Derrick Avenue, serves up a daily dose of jellyfish salad, flatbreads and braised eggplant. The menu is vast and it’s all delicious.
While it might not be your usual, The Usual on Grant is a café-style eatery with great burgers and even better shakes. If you’re stopping in for coffee, The Usual has its own blend that will leave any caffeine lover smiling.
A fan of firm Joburg favourite Momo Baohaus and Momo Soko? Well, they’ve got a little sister called Momo &O in Norwood that serves ramen! It’s really no surprise that the Momo restaurants are popping up all around the city. Their take on Asian fusion food is a breath of fresh air!
You get a taco, you get a taco, you get a taco! Baha Taco, also in Norwood, serves delicious authentic Mexican food. Baha’s food is quick, tasty and fresh, and you’d be missing out if you didn’t try the pineapple, gingerbread or mint tequila.
No one does Portuguese like Torinos in Orange Grove, and it’s been doing it since 1933. The prego rolls are famous and you’ll find the space packed on Friday afternoons with people winding down for the weekend.
Tip: Torinos has weekly karaoke nights, check out its social pages for details.
Steeped in history, the Radium Beer Hall in Orange Grove is the oldest surviving pub in Johannesburg, and yes, it still has it! The bar is filled to bursting with memorabilia and good music. Follow it on social media for an updated list of gigs or join in every Sunday for the weekly jazz days from 11am. There’s a cover charge of R70.
Looking for a new place to watch the sun set over the city? Norwood’s Crafters is the place for you! One of the city’s hidden gems, Crafters is a must-see when exploring Norwood. Look out for signs pointing to The Factory on Grant.
Fresh produce along Derrick Avenue
If you’re looking for fresh produce, why not ditch the fluorescent-lit veggie aisles at your local supermarket and take a stroll along Cyrildene’s Derrick Avenue? There are street-side stores bursting with fresh vegetables that you won’t find anywhere else. And the prices are excellent.
You’ll find Norwood Antiques and Collectables, a haven for knick-knacks, in The Factory on Grant. Whether it’s vintage furniture, interesting dêcor pieces or you need a new lease on an old piece, it has it all.
Looking for something a little out of the ordinary? There’s another gem in Norwood called The Lamp Post that has an eclectic collection of vintage clothes, furniture and art. You can also hire the store out as a venue, kitchen and all, on request. What could be better than entertaining amongst gramophones and small pieces of history?
If the name isn’t clear enough, The Tea Shop is a tea speciality store along Derrick Avenue with a massive selection of tea leaves and traditional tea sets. If you’re a tea lover, you have to visit this fascinating store.
Rice, noodles, fresh veggies, sweets, crockery… the list goes on. CJ Supermarket in Cyrildene has a mammoth selection of Eastern speciality items you would be hard pressed to find elsewhere in the city.
Tip: Look out for the herbs and spices section near the till for bargain deals on kitchen essentials.
Grant Avenue in Norwood is sushi heaven, with four sushi restaurants to choose from…
Specialising in Japanese food and great sushi, Hokkaido has built a reputation for its sushi platters, dim sum and choice of Asian-inspired food.
For fresh sushi, great sashimi and legendary dim sum, Rainbow Sushi is the place to go, for take-outs or for a meal on the premises.
Real Sushi is known for its fresh sushi, quick service, and the option of eating in or taking out. The food is simple and delicious, and portions are generous.
Kung-Fu Kitchen has a sister store in Parktown North, and is renowned for its great take-outs and Chinese dishes, especially the Crispy Beef and dim sum. Service is quick and efficient.
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