Max’s Lifestyle Lounge, or as locals say KwaMax, is a well known and popular establishment among locals and visitors alike. Situated just off the main road, it’s easily visible from there.
The vibe and atmosphere is palpable and starts from the moment you park your car. There’s a big variety of meats on display, from chicken wings, wors, beef chuck, brisket, short ribs and T-bone to ox kidney and liver. If you want more homely food you also can choose from traditional African foods like tripe (usu).
We chose the chicken wings, wors, beef short ribs, chuck and kidneys which were all well-spiced. You need to make your choices quickly as everything moves fast and the serving ladies like to keep things moving. So indecisiveness is not appreciated. Once your meat is spiced, you take it to where open flames are constantly on the go. But be sure not to lose your slip as you will need it when you return to collect your meat.
Our meat was well cooked and tender with the short ribs being a highlight for me. While overall the meat lacked seasoning I enjoyed the shisa nyama flame flavour.
While your meat is cooking you can walk over to what is considered the restaurant side of the establishment and order sides of pap, bread, ushatini (raw tomato, onion and chilli salsa/sambals) and chakalaka (spicy bean, carrot, vegetable atchar and tomato relish). Unfortunately we were told the chakalaka was finished so we opted for the pap and sambals.
Like other such venues. Max’s offers a take-away option if you just want to order, braai and enjoy at home, or have usu and pap as a take-away with any of the offered sides.
Walking over to the other end we were greeted by a well stocked bar where you can order anything from soft drinks to your premium Champagnes. I won’t lie, the food and drinks were on the pricey side, but the overall vibe and atmosphere more than made up for it, not even counting the large outside area, an upstairs lounge and VIP area.
All in all, we three ladies were able to enjoy the evening for the sum total of R682.40, which included some extra meat, which we took as a takeaway.
The toilet facilities are clean, but could be better maintained. There’s also a car wash and an African cuisine restaurant next door.
What makes KwaMax special is that you get a true township shisa nyama vibe, along with lively and colourful patrons. With Max’s catering to events and local acts on any given day you really are in for an entertaining time.
The most convenient part about visiting KwaMax is that it has two ATM machines on the premises. Our food bill of R373.40 covered eight chicken wings, four beef short ribs and two beef chuck steaks, wors and kidneys, pap and ushatini. Our drinks bill totalled R309, which covered two double Jameson’s (R96 per double) and tonic water plus soft drinks and one Hunter’s Dry.
Judged by: Lungi Nhlanhla