I don’t know if I’ve said this often enough but I have some great friends! I have one in particular who shares my love for eating out at interesting places.During my trip to Johannesburg to watch Rihanna in concert, my friend took my other friend and I out for dinner at a place called Moyo. On a previous trip to Johannesburg while at Melrose Arch I had noticed this restaurant because frankly it’s hard to miss. Their outside sitting area was full of people having animated conversations, decorated with numerous lights and you could hear the live “African” music being played by the live band from across the road. However I didn’t have the opportunity to eat there at the time so when my friend suggested it, I agreed eagerly.Moyo (meaning Soul in Swahili) is an African fusion restaurant based in South Africa that celebrates all things African with its interior design, ambiance and menu. Each restaurant also has a Moyo Retail section that has African crafts for sale. Their menu has dishes from various African countries going as far as Morocco and Tunisia. Because of the “African-ness” of the place you tend to find that they attract a large number of foreigners since “fancy” places specializing in African cuisine are hard to come by. Come to think of it, I don’t even know any restaurants that specifically serve African food. And by African food that means no pasta, no burgers or sandwiches. A typical African diet consists of meat (lots of meat!), some rice, potatoes and more meat. And maybe a vegetable or two here and there.
After getting a table upstairs inside the restaurant, we mulled over the menu while the live music blared in the background. It was quite loud but I didn’t mind too much because the atmosphere was awesome. I went with a Tunisian flat bread with dukkah spice and olive oil and coriander as my starter while one of my friends opted for a similar flat bread but it had a minced meat topping with a chilli sauce.
I LOVED that dukkah spice and if I ever see it in the stores I’m buying it no questions asked regardless of price. I thought the flatbread would be very bland but I wolfed that bread down in no time. If I had it I would probably put it in everything. For the main I had a lamb and chick pea tagine while my friends had calamari dovi (seared calamari caramelised in molasses, mint and harissa sauce, sprinkled with ground nuts) and oxtail amos (oxtail braised with butterbeans and carrots in red wine and beef stock jus).The tagine was very light in flavor and I expected something stronger but then again it was my first tagine so that could just be how they are supposed to taste. I had my tagine with cous cous. I am told a Moyo is soon to open in the CBD area in Gaborone, I will be one of their first customers for sure!
We also had lunch at an Italian cafe while on the same trip to Johannesburg and I want to mention it because I discovered the best pizza on earth there. Col’Cacchio has more than just your ordinary Hawaiian or Margherita pizza’s, they have some amazing tasting gourmet pizzas. I felt overwhelmed by the extensive pizza menu so I ordered a pizza foro (pizza with a hole in the middle filled with salad) like my travel companion.
My friend who has more experience with the place went for a half moghul (Indian butter chicken breast strips, fior di latte mozzarella, yogurt, fresh coriander, topped with crispy onions) and half smokey babe (Asian deboned smoked ribs, red onion, fresh corn, spring onion, mint and coriander) pizza. It was amazing!!! I ordered an extra one to take home because it was that good! The flavors were absolutely perfect! If their pizzas taste like that, I can only imagine how heavenly their pastas must be! Putting that on the to do list next time I find myself in Jozi.