Three Jo’burg eateries with refreshing new menus that you’ll love this summer
By: Sibongile Nzimande
THE FUSSY VEGAN
With its cheeky play on the signature coloured discs and Helvetica font of the New York subway system signage, this vegan haven located at a filling station in Randburg is both trippy and hippy in the most refreshing way. The Fussy Vegan’s shiny white subway mosaic wall tiles and almost clinically pared-back interior give the feeling of being in transit. And that is perhaps the point, whether you choose to sit on a wooden bench while waiting for your juicy takeaway seitan rib burger, or relax at one of the round metal tables to tuck into a quick pulled mushroom toasted sarmie. The new menu includes more scrummy burgers, a soya-based boerie roll and unconventional bowls, such as mac and cheese (made with cashew cheese sauce); lentil lasagne layered with mushroom sauce; and a burrito bowl featuring refried beans, salsa, black rice and sour cream.
Pricing Dishes from R40 to R85 | Favourite dish Spicy breakfast burrito with scrambled tofu, seitan bacon, avo and salsa, R55 | Caltex Waterfall, Jan Smuts Avenue, Blairgowrie | facebook.com/thefussyvegan
EST EST ALEA
New restaurant & menu
Cube Chef Dario Di Angeli has gone rogue … well, as rogue as a chef known for his molecular gastronomy-inspired dishes can go when he turns to classic cooking in his new restaurant. Each dish on the menu of Est Est Alea – which means “It’s still Cube” – is a reawakening of flavours and senses, created to make the eater imagine what it must be like to eat and experience flavour for the first time. An à la carte menu is available at lunchtime from Tuesday to Saturday, and a tasting menu is offered at dinner from 7pm at R800 per head for a full tasting menu, or R500 for a half tasting menu. Particularly interesting on the current full tasting menu is the Christmas pudding-stuffed quail with harissa, dukkah and kuri pumpkin paste; and the line fish Jamaican jerk condiment, with soy foam, pineapple and fennel (on both tasting menus).
Pricing Main dishes from R160 to R200 | Favourite dish From the à la carte menu, ostrich fillet with red pepper taffy, pomegranate, raspberry paper, seeds and nuts, R190 | Parknorth Heights, 17 4th Avenue, Parktown North | estestalea.co.za
Consistent with the restaurant’s ethos of using sustainably sourced and seasonal ingredients, a menu refresher every few months is par for the course. This summer, the kitchen has turned up the heat a few degrees, with the entry of the Fico al Gorgonzola e Spinaci pizza – a lip-smacking combination of fresh wild figs, baby spinach and gorgonzola cheese on Jamie’s Italian’s signature home-made, hand-stretched pizza base. New to the grills section are a herby and tender roast rack of lamb, as well as a humungous Jamie’s 1kg T-bone that’s been aged in-house (to share), served with two sides and a house salad.
Pricing Non-sharing mains from R110 to R280 | Favourite dish Ultimate sharing plank – mortadella, schiacciata piccante, arancini, Italian nachos, buttermilk squid, mini buffalo mozzarella, olive and pickles, slaw, olive tapenade and grissini sticks, R650 | Shop 00513, Building 13, High Street, Melrose Arch | jamieoliver.com/italian/south-africa
WORDS Sibongile Nzimande