Social media has been abuzz recently about Kota Joe, a fast-food brand taking the East Rand of Jozi by storm. But instead of burgers or pizza, Kota Joe is all about the kotas – a quarter of a bread loaf with filling, something like the love child of a gatsby and a bunny chow – and ‘everything’ milkshakes.
Owner Paul Figueira opened his first Kota Joe in 2011, aiming to attract students and youngsters with good quality street food at very affordable prices. His version of a kota is not the old-school quarter loaf of government bread, but rather a crispy Portuguese roll cut in half, neatly hollowed and filled with chips, plus exciting additions like grilled chicken, ribs, prego steak and chorizo to replace the traditional Russian sausages or polony.
Crazy Kota Joe milkshakes come in almost 30 flavours, including Horlicks and fudge; Zoo Biscuit; Ferrero Rocher and Oreo; banana and strawberry; Nutella and banana; salted caramel; custard and jelly; cookies and cream; Diddle Daddle; Peppermint Crisp; and Tempo.
These roadhouse-inspired eateries are souped up with brightly lit imagery, cranked-up music and speedy service. The first Kota Joe in Boksburg led to another in Edenvale, and then The Kingsway Campus of the University of Johannesburg got a takeaway branch. The franchise has now reached Gandhi Square in the Jozi CBD, and a new store is expected to open in Pretoria soon. Sure, the excitement is also being driven by the take-a-selfie-with-your-Kota-Joe competitions on Twitter, (prizes include extra milkshakes, sunnies and travel trips), but we’ve got to say, the milkshakes do look pretty great.
Have you tried a Kota Joe milkshake or kota yet? Let us know in the comments.