Restaurant recommendation, Cape Town: El Burro’s

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

I would like to unabashedly gush about the best Mexican food on the continent of  Africa and maybe outside of the Americas (prove me wrong, I dare you). El Burro’s in the neighborhood of Greenpoint , Cape Town: on top of delicious, authentic food they have yummy drinks like their chili margarita (pictured above), a legitimate tequila menu (if you’re in the mood), adorable décor and adorable waitresses.  If you eat pork do yourself a favor and get the chilorio pork tacos (I get it every time I go and it’s sooo good I tried to recreate it in my kitchen). Pork shoulder that’s been braising all day in an adobo chili marinade, delicious fixins’, and homemade corn tortillas. They even fly in the good Tabasco from Cali and Mexico.  Make a reservation on a weekend night or busy time of year. If you’re into seafood P strongly recommends the seafood soup (big enough for a meal).

El Burro’s is located at 81 Main Road in Greenside on the second floor, look up!,  call for reservations 021-4332364 on weekend nights or busy times of year

The New Chinatown in Johannesburg

new chinatown in johannesburg, land of nams    On the top of my list of favorite things is food from around the world. So when my fellow Joburg expatriate Bing (she is showing up a lot in my blog posts huh?), who is from Singapore and is Chinese, said she wanted to take us on a trip to Joburg’s ‘new’ Chinatown we were very excited. She says the old Chinatown, which is in downtown Joburg, sells such cheap stuff that the Chinese won’t even buy it.  So we trekked to Cyrildene and reached glorious Derrick Avenue.  She showed us the best oriental grocery stores and Martina and I stocked up on all those hard-to-find ingredients for our Burmese and Indian dishes. I even took home some tapioca pearls to make Bubble Tea since I can no longer order them to my apartment like in good ol’ NYC. There were veggies as far as the eye could see, as well as electronics and massage parlors. Whatever you want, they have it for you and it is cheap as hell.

chinatown derrick avenue joburg, land of nams

Then Bing took us to the pièce de résistance:

 What, you ask. What is the piece of crap hole-in-the-wall doing on your sexy blog? It is a well-known fact that the dirtier the restaurant the better the food. We let her do the ordering, and man did she order…enough food to feed an army us three women. Pour l’entrée, lamb skewers. We couldn’t actually even tell what kind of meat they were because they were so deliciously fatty.

chinese style lamb skewers, land of nams

Then, a beef dish. Was it stir fry? I think it was salt and pepper beef. Who knows, I was too busy stuffing my face to pay attention to that.

salt and pepper beef, land of nams

Some noodles because if there was anything we needed after fatty lamb skewers, it’s lots of carbs.

Then to assuage our guilt, spinach.

spinach, land of nams

Another well-known fact is shopping is good for digestion. We headed to Bruma Oriental City to shop for all the cheap household stuff that we could ever need. If you are new to Joburg, don’t waste your money on household crap at Design Quarter. Look here first. We even found some bikinis, because if there is anything we are in need of, it is cheap chinatown bikinis.

When you’re in the mood for a cheap and extra delicious chinese lunch, some groceries, and some god-knows-what to stock your expat house with, make a trip out to the new Chinatown on Derrick Avenue and then Bruma City for some shopping and your wallet (and friends and hell, your husband) will thank you.

a night out in joburg with the hubs

Namrata Singh//oliva restaurant’s spicy duck risotto


last night p and i dined at an spanish/italian fusion restaurant called oliva in illovo (a neighborhood next to ours). they have tapas and regular sized dishes depending on what you’re in the mood for. i had the spicy duck risotto, i snapped a pic of the left overs above (not bad, eh?) and it was a buttery spicy delicious dream. if you come and visit we’ll take you there! it was a tiny dark industrial little space with concrete lions and fountains and the wine was delicious. you feel like you are sitting in a restaurant that is a labor of love, with the owner walking around to the small number of tables and making wine suggestions.

all of the africa correspondents for p’s paper were in town for a continent wide meeting so after dinner we headed to a neighborhood called melville on the suggestion of p’s colleague for a fun night of drinks. while it is wonderful to meet and make friends with local south africans, there is something so fun and satisfying when you live abroad about getting tipsy with your fellow countrymen and talking about godknowswhat after a few drinks. topics that we slurred about discussed included a declaration that we agree australia shouldn’t get the designation of its own continent. there are only 21 million people there and we should henceforth refer to it as the largest south asian island. i wish i remembered the name of the bar but all i remember is the men were patted down to make sure they weren’t packing which always adds a little excitement to your evening. 

5th october, 2011