I spent last weekend in Johannesburg for the last time this year. It was the perfect time to be there, with the streets carpeted in gorgeous purple Jacaranda blossoms as the trees shed their flowers. It was also the best time to do a bit of sidewalk eating.
Top of my list was The Leopard in Parkhurst for lunch, but first I needed good eggs Benedict so I headed straight to Salvation Café at 44 Stanley. Delicious free-range eggs, poached, and bacon nestled on a toasted muffin and were smothered in hollandaise – not a mere smidgen either, but a much-needed generous dollop. The coffee is probably the best in Johannesburg, along with the brew at Park Café.
Later, while sitting outside on the pavement at The Leopard, I slurped on a big bowl of chilli coconut fish soup with a huge chunk of warm dunking bread on the side. An icy coconut drink, a dreamy wedge of lemon curd pavlova and the fistful of Smarties that came with the bill made me very happy. If we had The Leopard in Cape Town I would be a regular. I must add that the eggs are all free-range, the meat all grass-fed (from just up the road at Braeside Butchery) and the fish is SASSI friendly – quite refreshing to see in a Joburg restaurant.
My desk at the moment looks like a school project, with snippets and scorecards and scribbles. I am in the process of preparing my speech for Sunday night’s Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards. If I won’t be seeing you there, watch our @Eat_Out tweets and follow all the news on www.eatout.co.za.
Photograph: Brett Rubin