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The State Theatre has had several restaurants over the years, but none of them actually seem to make a go of it. They seem to become tatty so quickly, and Capellos was as awful after a while as its predecessor, so it was not with very high hopes that I stepped into the Afro Lounge. Wow! Was I in for a surprise!
The décor is attractive and understated. Upstairs are lots of little conversational spaces, the “lounge” in Afro Lounge. Downstairs are formal tables for eating. Lovely Afro-centric art fills the walls and the map of Africa on the landing on the stairs between the lounge and the more formal dining area is lovely. There is a garden with a water feature for the smokers.
The door between the garden and the lounge where I sat was open and I sat close to the garden, so I expected to be able to smell smoke, but not a whiff intruded to spoil my meal.
After my order was taken and before my food was served, I was presented with a basin in which to wash my hands. Warm water was poured over them and they were then dried. This is often done in “African” themed restaurants. Incidentally, it is an authentic, although very rural African custom, a symbol of hospitality and a practical gesture in a society where running water is literally not “on tap”. It is labour intensive where both water and fuel needs to be gathered and the first time I experienced this custom was in Nongoma, the home of the Zulu king (although I was not visiting royal houses, but very simple kraals).
The food is contemporary Afro-fusion food and I had the lime chicken breast and salad (R62) with a side order of rice (R25). This is a light meal and with a cold drink (R16) it was adequate to sustain me for the evening. Sadly the chicken was somewhat tough and although it was prettily presented. It also had no particular flavour of lime or anything else. The salad was a bed of lettuce with green, red and yellow peppers with onions, green olives and feta cheese and it was delicious. The rice tasted overwhelmingly of tomato paste but it was very nicely cooked to al dente. I was given a side plate with my cutlery and paper napkin (upmarket restaurants have no business using paper napkins) and when I lifted the napkin the plate had an enormous chip out of it.
The ambience was welcoming and leisurely, the music soft, the service was courteous, prompt, efficient and the toilets were well maintained. Let me mention the friendly and dignified service again. I felt as if I were visiting a royal kraal. Or as if I were royalty visiting the Afro Lounge. It more than compensated for a less than perfect meal.
The Afro Lounge is situated between the Drama and Opera at the State Theatre, cnr Prinsloo and Church Streets Pretoria. They are open seven days a week from 09:00 till late and they have a breakfast menu as well as their other meals. Phone (012) 549-0180 http://www.afrolounge.co.za
Favorite Dish: No favourite dish. Only eaten there once.
Written Dec 9, 2011
Address: State Theatre, Church Street, Pretoria
Phone: 012 549-0180
Hatfield is Pretoria's student quarter, and as any self-respecting budget traveller will know, if you're travelling on a shoestring budget, the best way to eat affordably is to go where the equally impoverished students go!
The main street in Hatfield is pretty well wall-to-wall fast food outlets, cheap restaurants, pubs and nightclubs. Some of the internationally recognised names include Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonalds, whereas local chains such as Steers, Spur and Nando's are all well represented. There are a number of pizza outlets.
Updated Aug 26, 2011
The restaurant itself is a very high standard one, well situated in Arcadia (the typical Embassies' neighborough). If can stand with this, the food is very well prepared, presented and chosen.
Favorite Dish: I had great Karoo lamb, great "Potjie" containing kudu meat; nice ostrich and kudu billtong (dried meat).
The list is larger of course, adn it's worth notiicng that it contains lots of local foods and very little "international" cuisine!
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: Park Street, c/o Beckett
Phone: 012 344856
Mt favourite "was" [is still] LA MADELEINE now relocated
=== but here is a change
=== THE PRIDE OF INDIA owned by Kishore Bhima
>>> it has just been voted into SA's top 100 restaurants.
>>>It's PRICEY, aimed at the New influx of International Diplomats
Favorite Dish: examples from menu ( R12 = us$1 )
===Dal Khabila-The black lentil delicacy incorporating tomato and ginger simmered overnight in a traditional clay oven tandoor enriched with cream, butter and a secret blend of spices@R32 or
A boneless chicken dish in cinnamon and gravy which is one of the favourite dishes of the Great Mughai Emperor @R42
===Jhinga Tikka Masala-A delightful combination of prawns in a spicy tikka masala sauce@R80
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: 22 Groenkloof Plaza ,43 George Storrar Drive'Groen
Phone: (+27+12) 346 3684
We came here on recomendation from our daughter and her partner, as they had been before and recommended the five course special.
The five course consists of just that, each with a different glass of wine or liquor with each course. It worked out £25 a head which we thought was good value. The portions were enough and everything we ordered we really enjoyed.
The service was excellent and they were very atentive and the surroundings were very relaxed and had a nice atmosphere.
Updated Apr 12, 2010
Address: Shop21, Groenkloof Plaza, George Storrar Rd
I loved this little Coffee Shop and would come back again and again if I lived there. My daughter had been here before and she said you'll love this place Mum, and she was right.
It's just outside of Pretoria in a place called Groenkloof. The display counter offers so many tempting cakes and pastries and when you go further in, you well see freshly made quiches, lots of healthy salads and many other delights.
We had a quiche salad and cappuccino's and was not dissapointed, it was really nice and very well presented too. I'm very fussy about my coffee and this came tops with me. The service is excellent and the food. It's only a small shop and it's also made to look quite Englishy too, like a trendy tea shop.
I also brought some herbal tea to take back home to the UK and some cakes to eat at my daughters!
Would really recommend you try this place.........
Updated Apr 12, 2010
Address: Unit N46, Groenkloof Forum, 57 George Storrar Dr
Squires is a franchise steakhouse which offers consistent, reasonably good quality.
The atmosphere was pleasant and the rugby game that was being played was being screened outside. I opted, on an autumn evening, to sit indoors out of the night chill.
The menu is predictable with salads and various meat dishes and has some “gourmet” steaks. There is a vegetarian platter which my escort chose. I had the Supreme Steak which has the steak sliced open and mushrooms and bacon inserted inside. I asked for it medium rare and it arrived somewhat more medium than rare. The vegetarian platter contained, inter alia, tinned asparagus served warm. Ugh! The rest looked ok.
The service was both friendly and efficient and I felt well attended but not smothered.
The pricing of Squires is at the high end of “average”.
Favorite Dish: Steak. I like steak.
Written Apr 3, 2010
Address: Hartbeespoort Dam
This is a very big restaurant with a very extensive menu. The food we had was very good and authentic. Prices are not cheap, but worth the money.
The wine list is not very extensive, but ok. There is also bar in the restaurant.
Favorite Dish: All good
Written Aug 8, 2009
Address: No 29, Hatfield Corner, Cnr of Church & Gordon Rd
Phone: 012-342 9081
Although it is often voted as one of the top ten restaurants, I do not think that the food is always outstanding.
I had lunch and dinner there quite often, and was dissapointed with times. Still, some good food, but at a price! I suppose you could describe the food as French with some South African ingredients (like springbok etc)
They also hosts groups of tourists.
If you would like to have a fine dining experience, Brasserie de Paris would be a much better choice.
Favorite Dish: Trio of duck
Updated Feb 21, 2009
Address: Priori Avenue, Lynwood
This is my favourite restaurant in Pretoria. A very nice French restaurant.
From the rooftop you do have some great views of the city. The restaurant has relocated from Hatfield to Waterkloof, where it is now in an architecturally beautiful building.
The food is of high quality, as is the service.
It is always an enjoyable experience to dine here.
Favorite Dish: Tomato tart with black pepper sorbet
Updated Feb 21, 2009
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