Taste of Joburg 2013 is better than ever!

Taste of Joburg at Montecasino opened tonight and I’ve just got home, having had a great night- I’m slightly tipsy as I write, but wanted to get this post out asap so you guys can all make plans to go this weekend. I’m going to Diner en Blanc tomorrow night, which I’m super excited about and will be reviewing for the Sunday Indy’s 6 Oct edition, and then on Saturday I’m going to Dubai with Nokia for a press trip, returning Tuesday! I know it sounds amazing, but it’s been a stressful few days… I’ve been running around like a headless chicken trying to catch up on everything I usually do on weekends, like blogging, writing my newspaper stories and working on my MBA applications. Nevertheless, I’m grateful for any and every travel opportunity that comes my way so I’m really looking forward to it. Anyway, back to your weekend, which hopefully will include a visit to Taste of Joburg.  

I’ve always had mixed feelings about Taste of Joburg.
Pros: You get to taste a wide variety of food and can also pick up some really good bargains. It’s an outdoor event and is a nice way to hang out with friends. I like being able to try food from a restaurant I’ve always been wanting to visit but maybe haven’t gotten down to trying out yet.
Cons: I feel like only the bigger restaurants with larger budgets have a presence there, so you aren’t really getting to taste food from smaller Jozi restaurants. I also find the food expensive. I’ve gotten over the latter though, because ALL market food is expensive. In terms of quality, it varies. Some restaurants produce better fare at Taste of Joburg than what I’ve had in their actual restaurants, some don’t.

But this year, the event is way bigger and better than ever before and I think you’re going to really enjoy it.

Things I noticed that were different and really cool:
1. There’s now live music, with loads more seating
2. The event seems to occupy more space so it’s not as crowded as before
3. There’s a Lindt praline studio so you can see pralines being made from scratch- very cool

4. There’s a “snacky” area called Taste Bites- you can get samoosas, bunny chows and tacos

5. There are lots of freebies- people offering free wine, chocolates etc
6. I particularly enjoyed the wine and burger pairing at the Asara bistro- it was something different and very yummy!

What I didn’t like
1. Snowflake is gone! I used to love their stand, and always made sure to get myself a pancake. Unless I missed it, they didn’t seem to have a presence at all.
2. There are some really random stalls which don’t seem to fit in with Taste of Joburg at all. SA Gold Exchange? Maybe linked to the “Crown” system which is the festival’s currency… but I doubt it.

Here’s the restaurant list.

1. African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel Executive Chef  Hanroe Erasmus
2. Beefcakes Burger Bar Executive Chef Wonderful Ndhlovu
3. Coobs Chef-Patron James Diack
4.Gwefey Redefined Asian Cuisine Head Chef Weiliang Song
5. La Cucina Di Ciro Chef-Patron Ciro Molinaro
6. Lacuna Bistro Executive Chef Dallas Orr
7. Prosopa Chef-Patron Dino Fagas
8. 3SIXTYº Liquid Lounge Complex Chef Rylan Ramsamy and Head Chef Vaughan Assam
9. 2 Thai 4 Head Chef Oya
10. Thava Indian Restaurant Chef-Patron Mathew Abraham
Consulting Executive Chef Philippe Frydman
11. The Grazing Room Chef-Patron Marthinus Ferreira and Head Chef Damian Pentelow
12. Vivace Restaurant At The Radisson Blu, Sandton Senior Sous Chef Jacques Venter

Visit www.tasteofjoburg.com fore more info and to buy tickets. You can also buy tickets at the door. I was stoked to see a couple of my readers tonight, who attended the Jozilicious Spring Mixer and got double tickets in their goodie bags 🙂

Were you there tonight? Let me know your thoughts.

xxx H