The Marabi Club is a hidden gem that you definitely need to experience if you're paying the inner city a visit. This unique jazz venue was established in 2017 by TJ Steyn and Dale de Ruig, and has formed part of the inner-city regeneration. This space was an abandoned basement parking lot in an old diamond industry building before it was recreated into a trendy and interesting live music hotspot which harnesses the vibe and grit of real, down-town Jozi.
The thing is, you need to know where to find it! Tucked underneath 46 hotel rooms, a conference centre, gym, spa and rooftop bar, The Marabi Club isn't as obvious as you'd think. It can be found at the very bottom of Maboneng’s iconic, Hallmark House. If you're having trouble locating it, just keep an eye out for the discreet black canopy above a small metal door. Quick tip: make use of their valet service for parking!
We believe that Marabi Club is a well disguised time machine. It teleports visitors back in time with their 20s inspired décor, yet also spends you straight into the future with their trendy, cosmopolitan style and new age African ambiance. The careful detail that captures the history of the building and surrounds as well as the present culture and diversity in the inner city definitely makes it a truly unique venue to relax, indulge and enjoy a few pleasures, which we will get into shortly. Not only that, from the moment you step in through the door, it certainly doesn't feel like you're in the heart of Jozi anymore! With all the interesting décor and atmosphere, it feels more like you've fallen down a rabbit hole and landed in one jazzy, top-notch kind of place.
The Marabi Club's Head Chef, Vusi Ndlovu, is the master behind the amazing menu! His take on the tapas menu has pushed guests to experience something new and explore the boundaries of dishes they thought they would never try. Oysters and beef fat, calamari and grapes are a few of the dishes he serves to his diners. Vibrant, assertive and confident; Vusi lives up to the reputation that he has built, a chef who challenges the norms and pushes the envelop to create unique and astonishing food that'll wow your senses.
He was named one of the top seven in the 2018 San Pellegrino Best Young Chef Awards and the top-ranked in Middle East and Africa, using skills, techniques and flavour combinations learnt from his tenure under Chef David Higgs as well as in one of Europe’s top restaurants, In de Wulf in Belgium. Vusi’s menu is true to the Marabi style and is a progressive representation of Joburg’s fusion of tradition and future.
The cuisine at The Marabi Club is not what you expect it to be. The food here is not your traditional bar basket grub, oh no! It's far more than that. Vusi really wanted to do something creative, interesting and exquisite with The cuisine at Marabi Club and designed a menu that'll blow your mind (and taste buds). A great example of his creativity and skill on a plate is with his twist on broccoli. When you think of this simple vegetable, what comes to mind? Little green trees of not-so-goodness? Well, then you need to try the broccoli here - it was prepared with various different textures, flavours and surprises, our taste buds didn't know what hit them. It’s certainly not what you'd think it would be - it's even better!
Another must are their cocktails. They're everything you'd want in a cocktail and are definitely dream-worthy. Just like the venue, they're flamboyant and quirky, and will have you coming back for more. Other than the top-class food and trendy cocktails, they also have a fantastic selection of wine as well as cigars to indulge your senses. This combination of delights presents a 360˚ experience that is one-of-a-kind for its visitors.
The music at The Marabi Club reflects the popular genre during Joburg’s heyday. During the gold rush, Marabi's music and lifestyle was born - blues, jazz and soul, the perfect remedy when one needs to escape the hardships of the working week in the 20s and 30s.
The stage at The Marabi Club is the focal point of the restaurant, offering diners a platform for a premium jazz experience. Pictures of the Master of Jazz pantheon adorn the walls and it is the ideal stage for talented emerging artists wanting to perform and share their craft. Guests will be delighted with a variety of solo artists and bands throughout the evenings.