Why Melville’s 7th Street in Joburg is the place to be
Melville’s 7th Street used to be a mixture of seedy bars and a few, great restaurants muddled between second hand stores and coffee shops, but it’s fast evolving. It’s becoming more retro and populated with a cool new set of restaurants that are hell-bent on making 7th Street a real restaurant destination.
I’ve rounded up a few new places that are worth visiting!
You can’t help but fall in love with their name, and their eggs are pretty fabulous too. It’s a breakfast-come-brunch spot with a delightfully different, well-priced menu: the eggs and soldiers (asparagus spears wrapped in bacon served with 2 soft-boiled eggs) are fantastic and the red shakshuka (homemade flatbread topped with a spicy tomato sauce, poached eggs, coriander and avo) will cure any hangover. They also do great, freshly-pressed juices and coffee, and have some marvelous and zany cocktails in the making for when they get their liquor license.
They’re about good music and a great night out. In saying that, it’s definitely more of a cool, weekend party spot than a restaurant, but if you go early, you can get stuck into some scrumptious eats before the crowds take over. The menu is small, but then so is the kitchen. The burgers are terrific (try the HK double burger with Cheddar, bacon and pickles on a brioche bun) and the pizzas never disappoint.
La Santa Muerte
Hell’s Kitchen has opened a sister restaurant right next door offering Tex-Mex style street food, great cocktails and lots of tequila. Like Hell’s Kitchen, this is more of a night-time, hot spot, but it doesn’t get as crowded or busy. The ambience is fantastic, but the service can require patience. Go for the pulled pork tacos and churros. Try the Chavela and Michelda cocktails; tomato juice and beer-based cocktails with tequila (and a serious spicy kick).
You wouldn’t be mistaken in thinking it’s a barber shop/salon, because it is. But, they also have a coffee shop serving up serious coffee from Sihle’s Brew, and an in-house barista to make you the perfect cup.
Bread and Roses
It’s a bright and eccentric little spot that’s always busy. They make magnificent, freshly-pressed juices that will have you feeling like a million bucks; The Refresher (watermelon, cucumber, lemon and mint) and The Detoxer (beetroot, carrot, apple and ginger) are out of this world. They also serve all-day breakfasts for those who struggle to get out of bed in the mornings.
And most exciting of all:
The Federal (opening end July)
It hasn’t opened yet, but chef/owner James Diack (Coobs and The National) has everyone buzzing in anticipation of his latest venture. It’s going to be a more casual offering – think a New York-style deli/diner, but still integrating his signature, quality, farm-to-table ingredients. Everything will be made from scratch, including the hot dogs and the sausages. The dessert menu is going to revolve around pies in the classic, American sense and there’s a definite emphasis on ‘comfort’ when it comes to the feel of the venue and the menu. The restaurant is going to be divided into three spaces: a seated area reserved for lunch and dinner bookings, then a more casual, unreserved area with a beautiful bar and what James calls his ‘Bar Pickings’ menu (chicken wings and other naughty treats), as well as an amazing upstairs area for larger tables and private functions.