Looking for an affordable lunch in Sandton? The Nook is a new little eatery in Nelson Mandela Square that caters for the everyman working in the area and not for the upper-middle-class patrons of the neighbourhood’s more upmarket restaurants.
“Not everyone wants or can afford to eat a restaurant meal here every day,” says the owner, who also recently opened L’Opulence and wishes to remain anonymous. “The people who work in the stores often go out to the street vendors to buy their lunch. We want to provide them with good, wholesome food they can afford.”
The concept is a blend of the cosmopolitan feel of New York delis with a traditional South African food offering. Developed by Mark Hoberman, executive chef at L’Opulence, the small menu offers plenty of choice, and will be updated every six weeks. Marks says he set out to create home-away-from-home cooking that feeds the soul as much as the stomach. The current menu includes lasagne, pizza slices, pap and crispy potatoes. Salads include a roasted vegetable salad and Moroccan chicken & couscous. The drinks offering is your standard café fare. The coffee is freshly brewed and at R18 it’s cheaper than you would find at most other restaurants and cafés in the area.
Aesthetically, The Nook takes inspiration from Singapore and Tokyo, where cafés are brightly lit and brightly coloured. The green walls and seating are definitely eye-catching, as is the mural of the gogos smoking Cuban cigars.