I can’t think of one Sunday when I was growing up when my mother didn’t lovingly and patiently prepare a Sunday lunch feast for our family. It’s colloquially known as ‘7 colours’ lunches among black, coloured and Afrikaans folk, derived from the number of different colours on your plate. It’s not uncommon to walk into the home of a family that takes this weekly meal seriously and find several pots on the stove, plus even more meaty or vegetable dishes in the oven. In black homes, for as long as I can remember, a traditional 7 colours plate consisted of meat, rice, gravy, spinach, pumpkin, beetroot – that was sure to leak into the rest of your plate – cabbage (boiled, fried or in coleslaw), and a bean salad or potato salad. Mayonnaise was sure to make an appearance in at least one of the salads! If you’re lucky, you will have acquired the skill of pulling off this feat from home. If not, find a similarly satisfying traditional feast at one of these spots.
Bantu Roving Kitchen (Brixton)
You could easily drive past this cosy, casual and very cool eatery situated on a Brixton street corner. Step inside for a little bit of history (newspaper articles and Apartheid-era posters fill the walls) along with traditional Afro-style soul food for about R100 per person. Expect to feast on braaied jerk chicken served on enamel plates with slow-braised amaqina, peanut and coconut chicken curry, morogu, coconut rice, chilli and coriander mielies, and coleslaw. The menu changes often.
Little Addis Café (Maboneng)
Allow us to stretch the South African-ness of 7 colours to the east of the continent. Little Addis Café is an Ethiopian restaurant and the food typically consists of injera – a spongy almost-sour flatbread – topped with stews, curries and vegetables. The injera is used to scoop up all these lovely foods by hand. For all of its colourful tastiness, it’s one of the worthiest contenders. Try beyaynetu (R75) with hearty little helpings of lentils, beans, spinach, potatoes, cabbage, beetroot and pumpkin all gathered together on a single dish. Even carnivores won’t miss meat.
This is technically more of a suburban-style tshisa nyama, but they serve up all the required 7 colours components, too. Ulusu (R110), served in a cute clay pot, comes with either creamy samp, pap, ting or a muffin-shaped dumpling, and three vegetables – tomato and carrot spinach, spicy chakalaka and sweet pumpkin. It’s one of few suburban spots where you can tuck into a sheep head (R110), with similar options for sides.
Ndash Food Concepts (Midrand)
This pop-up kitchen concept was bound to become popular given how hard it is to find traditional food in Joburg suburbs. Unless you’re based in Midrand or are willing to take a quick drive out of the city, your best bet is to swing by Tubbs Carwash on 183 Corlett Drive, Illovo, where they pop up on Sundays for a homey and life-giving takeaway 7-colours plate filled with the usual suspects for R75.
Its the simple things and taste that matters. #favouritemeal Pap and our delicious #yummy stew #itsallinthetaste #foodie…
If you can stomach the hordes of tourists at the lower end of Vilakazi Street, this is a Sunday lunch buffet you won’t want to miss. It’s R205 per person and you can eat as much as you want. Meat lovers, pile up on ulusu, lamb or chicken stew and wors. For starch, choose between rice, pumpkin, pap, dumplings or steam bread. Other sides include potato, pasta or green salad, as well as beetroot, and spinach cooked with potato.