Foodie Find: New Lunch Spot, Teta Mari in Illovo

Whenever I meet new bloggers/ media who are passionate about the same things I am (food and travel), I always ask them about their favourite Jozi restaurants as well as the best holidays they have been on. Most of the time the restaurants that come up are ones I love too, or have already been to, but last year I had 3 different people mention Teta Mari to me. I’m a big believer in word of mouth recommendations so decided to go and check it out last weekend.

Situated in Illovo Square in the same complex as Mastrotonio and Carnuti, this restaurant can be easily missed due to its hidden location adjacent to the parkade, but is definitely one of my favourite lunchtime spots. I love the relaxed, outdoor seating but mostly THE FOOD.

The menu is a mix of American diner food (burgers and huge sandwiches), as well as Middle Eastern cuisine, like shwarmas and falafels. We started with a meze platter which was ah-mazing. I usually don’t like falafels (okay, the only place I’d had them before was Anat) or hummus, but both were amazing. All our dips were packed with flavour and I could tell that only the finest ingredients were used. I’ve been fantasising about that falafel shwarma ever since and am dying to go back soon!

The owners (a mother, daughter and cousin) are there fulltime and do everything themselves- including making their own falafels and baking their own bread.

We went at around 3pm on a Saturday afternoon as the restaurant was winding down ahead of their 4pm closing time, but apparently it gets much busier at peak times. I want to try their breakfast (kitke french toast- yes please!)

For mains, Rishav had a brisket on rye sandwich which was HUMONGOUS, and I had a chicken salad ‘cos I was already pretty full after stuffing myself with pita bread and dips.

So I’m totes recommending this to everyone I know and I’m going to go back as soon as I can. I just wish they were open for dinner ‘cos its pretty impossible for me to get out for lunch during the week, and my weekends are always jam packed. I must make a plan soon!

Visit Teta Mari at Illovo Square, 3 Rivonia Road, Illovo, or call them on 011 268 5019