Soul Souvlaki was originally conceptualised as a market stall, dedicated to serving Greek-inspired street food to the hip food connoisseurs at the Maboneng Market on Main. Since 2012, this brand has expanded to four cafe stores located around Johannesburg.
I recently treated my life-long best friend to a mid-week dinner out at Soul Souvlaki Bedfordview. We were quite ashamed to discover that this quaint side-street cafe has been in operation since August 2018 (we both drive past it almost every day!). Nevertheless, we headed off enthusiastically, having studied their online menu beforehand with eager excitement to try something new.
Before I delve into an in-depth analysis of our eating experience, there are a few disclaimers that need to be made. Firstly, we are huge fans of Mediterranean cuisine — especially the cheeses. Seeing that Soul Souvlaki includes offerings of grilled halloumi and feta cheeses on their one-page menu, we were bound to be impressed. Secondly, we love sharing platters. Not only do they cater to our student budgets, we also get to taste a little bit of everything without feeling too piggish!
Naturally, we ordered the restaurant's meze ''create a plate'' platter option. We chose a combination of lamb skewers, grilled chilli feta, pita breads, rocket salad, eggplant dip and potato wedges. I also ordered a Greek coffee to add to the authenticity of the experience. While I found the unfiltered texture of the coffee slightly off-putting, the taste was surprisingly sweet. This was great, since I am currently dedicated to a low-sugar eating plan (sigh).
Our platter arrived in good time, brimming with our chosen enticing nibbles. Now, I must admit that we have eaten our fair share of potato wedges together over the years of our friendship, and Soul Souvlaki's are undoubtedly some of the best we have tried. The lamb skewers were perfectly cooked and the chilli feta added a lovely extra kick and creaminess to the whole meal. Overall, we greatly enjoyed our mini feast and have promised to go back for more.
Unfortunately, we were far too full and short on time to sample any of the cafe's desserts. The atmosphere of the place lends itself to long discussions and the joyful passing of time. Although the indoor restaurant is rather dimly lit, it is, nonetheless, a welcoming environment, thanks to the care and attention of the waitpersons and restaurant manager. If you are looking for a break from the noise and chaos of shopping mall restaurants, Soul Souvlaki Bedfordview is a must-visit spot. The nostalgic vibe of this neighbourhood cafe has definitely left an indelible impression on both myself and my friend. We almost hope that it doesn't become too popular with the locals!
Soul Souvlaki Bedfordview is open Monday to Sunday from 11:00 AM. Find them at 2 Hawley Rd, Bedfordview, Johannesburg.
Contact: Tel (010) 595 1189 | Email: [email protected]
Images courtesy of Soul Souvlaki
The Grind Coffee Co.
Situated in a cycle shop in Melrose Arch, the Grind Coffee Co. is the inventor of the "most Instagrammed coffee in the world" - the coffee in a cone. Owner and master barista, Daine, spent years formulating a chocolate recipe that could be used to coat the inside of sugar ice-cream cones but won't melt when hot coffee is poured into it. Today, Coffee In A Cone can be found the world over, but we still recommend that you pay the Grind Coffee Co. a visit for the original treat.
Resident in Greenside and in Fourways, State 5 is a roast cafe with a difference... the difference being that the owner, Denis, is somewhat of a mad scientist obsessed with all things coffee. Here you can experience diverse styles of cold-brewed coffee on tap (like you would a draught), orange and Tabasco infused java drinks and whatever else Denis feels like concocting that day. To boot, the food is great – the pulled-pork sandwiches are something to write home about for sure. If you're feeling adventurous, stop by State 5 to get your caffeine fix.
Mighty Monk Nitro Brew
The illustrious Mighty Monk can be found at Pablo Eggs-Go-Bar in Melville and the Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein. But what is it? Mighty Monk Nitro Brew is the brainchild of two life-long friends and essentially cold-brewed coffee infused with nitrogen – the same process that gives Guinness draught that velvety, smooth finish. The dudes also like to flavour their cold brew with your choice of syrups and spirits – vanilla, cherry, orange, vodka, rum... that type of stuff.
Similar to a Turkish brew but drunk even sweeter (if that's possible), the vegetarian South Indian restaurant Saravana Bhavan in Rivonia offers a unique coffee experience complete with the caffeine kick that Joburgers need. Known as Madras filter coffee, it is made by mixing frothed and boiled milk with the decoction obtained by brewing finely ground coffee powder in a traditional Indian filter. The result is an intense taste, as flavours pronounce themselves with a surprising sharpness. Soak up some culture by heading to Saravana Bhavan for a Madras filter coffee and a dosa.
Starbucks Melrose Arch
From pumpkin-spiced lattes to bright pink and blue creations, there's never a dull moment when it comes to a cuppa Java at Starbucks, especially Melrose Arch where the team seem to be particularly creative. Above and beyond the limited-edition orders that come out periodically, we recommend you try a Frappuccinno or three – it's Starbucks' trademarked cold coffee, mixed with all kinds of interesting flavours.
During a holiday trip to South Africa, the Turkish owners of Galata fell in love with the city of Gold and so decided to open up a bakery and cafe serving authentic Turkish treats. We implore you to pay Galata Bakery a visit and order yourself some real Turkish Coffee, but be warned, it's got a sweet kick to it! While you're there, grab something off the lunch menu - we recommend the POĞAÇA burger.
By Shawn Greyling
Every now and then a restaurant comes along that we can't help but get excited about. Besides, who wouldn't bounce off the walls at the sight of Turkish food? This is where 47 On Grant comes into play. The restaurant itself is a chip off the old Eastern European block. Careful attention has been paid to the interior of this fine establishment, so much so that it is as if you have stepped inside a cafe in Istanbul. On arrival, you are treated to a complimentary cup of traditional Turkish tea to cleanse the palate and make you feel at home. The smell of lamb, hummus and spice from the Orient fill the air.
To add even more to the authenticity is that fact that all the ingredients are sourced in order to comply with Halaal regulations. It's a tough job to choose, but dishes that stand out include the mixed grill platter (served with adana, urfa and beyti kebabs, chicken cubes, chicken, chops and salads) and the outstanding fusion dish, Sri Lankan curry. 47 On Grant serves a wide array of Turkish food which is inspired by the entire region. The country itself is a smorgasbord of culinary history. From Jidish-inspired falafels to Persian shawarmas, the Turkish diaspora is a true gem on the world map of good food. Each dish on the menu has been carefully constructed to portray the very best of Turkish cuisine.
A meal like this deserves a note-worthy ending, and this comes in the form of traditional Turkish coffee. If you can't get to Cappadocia any time soon, consider this the next best thing: complete with brass pots and all!
If you ever find yourself in Norwood (and make your way there if you don't), do your inner-foodie a favour and head to 47 On Grant — you will not be disappointed. Just note that they do not sell alcohol (as they are strictly Halaal, after all). Come hungry and leave satisfied by the best Turkish food Johannesburg has to offer.
By Shawn Greyling
Have you been to 47 On Grant before? Let us know in the comments section below.
Planning a foodie outing to Norwood? Then share this article on social media.