Did you know?
Jain vegetarians do not eat any root vegetables, so no potatoes, onions or garlic are permissible in the Jain diet.
Shayona vegetarian restaurant in Mayfair has become a firm favourite simply through word of mouth. The locals love it, and if you visit on a Saturday or Sunday during lunch you are sure to see packed tables, and lots of families mixed in with health-conscious foodie types.
This friendly establishment is unique in that it offers Indian cuisine as well as a fusion of Indo-Italian pastas and pizzas. So, how about adding some paneer (Indian home-made cheese) to that pizza?
Shayona is part of a growing number of vegetarian restaurants in Johannesburg, in keeping with global and local trends. It offers a delicious (and karma-friendly) dining experience. Its menu is strictly vegetarian and no onions or garlic are added to the food (in adherence to religious beliefs).
The menu is broad and the Italian touch certainly adds a fun element. The dishes offer a careful mix of spices, an array of choices and unusual veggie mash-ups.
For instance, paneer and mushrooms are paired together in a dosa (pancake), the mung dhal (lentil) samoosas are tasty, the crushed nachos on the Sombrero pizza are unusual, and the potato curry is a winner.
Thalis (Hindi word meaning 'plate') are served and contain varied curries, roti, rice, dhal/khadi and poppadums – an entirely satisfying Indian meal on a single plate! Be sure to find out what curries have been prepared on the day because they vary depending on the vegetables in season.
The sweetmeats (confectionaries), charmingly displayed in a long, rectangular enclosure as you enter the premises, are also excellent.
The restaurant is easy, relaxed and laid back, with a lively hum at all times. It is conveniently located close to popular Johannesburg tourist attractions such as the Apartheid Museum and the Gold Reef City Theme Park.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0)11 837 2407
How to get here
Shayona vegetarian restaurant is located in Church Street, Mayfair, and is easily accessed off the main roads of Main Reef Road and Crownwood Road.
Best time to visit
Shayona is open from 9am to 8pm from Tuesday to Thursday; from 9.30am to 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays; and from 9.30am to 4pm on Sundays.
Around the area
Pop in at the Oriental Plaza shopping complex in Fordsburg. This traditionally Indian centre boasts 360 stores, selling everything from gorgeous Indian textiles to the latest fashions.
You can either organise a transfer or taxi from your hotel to Shayona, or take your own car there.
What will it cost
Shayona’s menu changes every day, depending on the vegetables the chef finds at the market that day. But the dishes are always well priced as the restaurant is run as a non-profit organisation.
Where to stay
Try Gold Reef City with its four-star Casino Hotel and four-star Theme Park Hotel, which is themed along the lines of a genuine old South African mining town.
What to eat
The deluxe lunch comprises three curries (one with paneer), several rotis, samoosas, poppadums, rice, mango achar, raita (yoghurt-based sauce) and a sweet dessert called shreecan, all in one serving. Also, any of the curries containing Shayona’s delicious paneer.