New African immigrant food flair
Did you know?
Chef Amsale Debela walked all the way from Ethiopia to South Africa fleeing political persecution.
In the post apartheid era, migrants from all over our continent have introduced a delicious new layer of gastronomic diversity to South Africa. African immigrant food is found most commonly in Gauteng but there are a few eateries outside of the golden province. Be aware that many of the most authentic tastes are to be found in the least salubrious spots so be prepared for shabby chic.
If you like food markets try Johannesburg’s the Congo Corner Market in Yeoville where you will find everything from aphrodisiac spices to chikwanga cassava breads. The Little Addis building in downtown Jo’burg is a blissful jumble of Ethiopian spice shops, bottle stores and coffee bars.
If it’s restaurants you’re after try Chef Amsale Debela’s Abyssinia in Kensington, Johannesburg, where sour dough injera breads are piled high on a range of mild curry-like stews, washed down with Tej honey wine. Addis in the Cape on Long Street, Cape Town offers similar fare. Since the Ethiopian Coptic Church has many non-meat fast days within its calendar such restaurants are always ideal for vegetarians, as meat is always in the minority.
If you fancy your African immigrant food served with Mozambican flair try the Flamingo restaurant in Troyeville, Johannesburg or Port Elizabeth’s Fernando’s Chicken House for super hot piri-piri and so much more.
No one is ever going to get thin on the opulence of West and Central African food. This African immigrant cooking style is a delicious mélange of peanuts, palm-nuts and plantain bananas. Super-smart Congolese is available at Zemara, Pretoria where the patrons are largely diplomats and big business types. Cheap and cheerful can be had at House Ivorian in Yeoville, Johannesburg, where carp with nya-nya aubergines and attieke couscous is washed down with palm wine and cold beers.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Congo Corner Market, Rockey Street Municipal Market, Johannesburg. No telephone
Little Addis/ Medical Arts Building 220 Jeppe Street, Johannesburg. No telephone
Zemara Restaurant; 223 Schoeman Street, Arcadia, Pretoria. Tel +27 (0) 72 756 2057
House Ivorian; 8 Francis Street, Yeoville, Johannesburg. Tel +27 (0) 11 487 0885/ +27 (0) 82 743 6537
The Flamingo, Troyville Hotel; 25 Bezuidenhout Avenue, Troyeville. Tel +27 (0) 11 402 7709
Fernando’s Chicken House; 11 Moffat Street, Central Port Elizabeth. Tel +27 (0) 41 5853794