Quirky Jo’burg Street Food

Clever wordplay got me to visit Sumting Fresh, a diner-like restaurant that knows everything there is to know about street food. If I only knew what I was getting into…

When I first heard about Sumting Fresh, I thought: “Hey, another healthy eatery in town!” To my surprise, that was not exactly the case. The name rather suggests that its menu is fresh. New. Unique. Different. What it doesn’t suggest is that almost everything on the menu is deep-fried, which I suppose is what street food is all about.

What started out as street food trucks at local markets, evolved into a quirky, yellow-framed, diner-style eatery in Norwoord, Johannesburg. Sumting Fresh has been catering to people in Jo’burg’s streets for about 2 years now, with a menu that seems to be ever evolving as customers dine and comment.

Chef Andrew says things have changed a lot since they originally started. A menu that was initially launched with very similar items to that of other food trucks at local markets, evolved into a menu that features Sumting Fresh in comparison to the usual street food options available at markets, festivals and events.

Their jam jars are delightful with choices like Elderflower, Grinadella Passion and Kiwi Apple – all very refreshing and delicious. A popular newcomer to the menu is the Cheese Burger Springrolls and you’d be surprised at how many other things they have found to deep-fry. From deep-fried Mac and Cheese Balls drizzled with a tomato salsa and cheese to Gua Bao (two Taiwanese steamed buns with crumbed, deep-fried chicken) and much more.

I believe the word “fresh” has got a new meaning. At least at Sumting Fresh it has.

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Staycation – Ways to be a tourist in your own town

Feeling like you never get to go away on a special holiday? You don’t need to travel far to do some sightseeing, relax, and get an exhilarating feel of adventure. Here’s how to be a tourist in your hometown and see your city with new eyes:

Show foreigners around

Take foreigners around your area – be it friends from another part of the country, family or an exchange student from Finland. Think of places that are usually branded as “too touristy” and try to enjoy the experience just as much as your guests do.

Take a bus tour

Do you know the history behind the buildings seen in your hometown? Do you understand how and why your city was founded?

Take a bus tour that is usually meant for tourists to gain some local history knowledge. Engage yourself with the tourists on the bus to see what they find interesting – you might be fascinated about a few things you forgot your city has to offer. City Sightseeing‘s hop-on hop-off bus includes all major Cape Town, Jo’burg and Soweto tourist attractions.

Stay in a hotel or guesthouse

To set yourself in a mood for exploring and travelling, book into your town’s favourite hotel or guesthouse. Jo’burgers can indulge in a staycation at the Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa, which should tick all the boxes. (See our recent post about their bubbly bar here). Being away from home for the evening will add to the touristy feeling you’re after.

The Fairlawns Treehouse Studio

Schedule time for those “one day” places

We all have places that we pass regularly in our town or city that we plan on visiting one day. It will never happen if you don’t actually decide on a date to go. While busy, look at recommendations and tourist brochures of activities in your area and create a schedule of the things you want to do.

Go on a taste adventure at the most touristy restaurant in town

Go to the most touristy restaurant in town and eat the meals they specialise in. Look at coffee shops and restaurants you usually don’t go to and try various cuisines. Stepping out of your comfort zone when it comes to restaurants, is exhilarating and refreshing. If staying in Pretoria, why not visit the Monument Restaurant and experience authentic Afrikaner food.

Cheer on a local sports team

To get a feel for the spirit in your city, go to a stadium near you and watch a sports game with passionate locals and tourists.

Do something that only your city can offer

Most towns and cities are well known for an outdoor adventure like no other. Go out and explore your town’s most fun activity. If you’re from Cape Town, head to Table Mountain and experience the Aerial Cableway.

Glide into vacation-mode

When leaving the office for your staycation, leave all your worries behind and settle in for your well-deserved holiday. Put on some music, open a bottle of wine, relax and get ready for your holiday at home.

Written by: Katrien Nel

Images: Supplied

There’s Magic in Bubbly

Love, romance, milestones, anniversaries, great achievements, deals signed and sealed – these all have one thing in common: It calls for bubbly! The effervescent bubbles magically create a joyful feeling of celebration and special moments.

There is always an occasion for some bubbly or a delicious cocktail. Even if it’s simply to reward yourself after a long day or to indulge your craving for your favourite bottle of Champagne in a gorgeous venue designed for magic and Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa‘s MUSE Champagne Room offers the ideal setting for celebration.

The Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa has added a brand new MUSE Champagne Room, in collaboration with French Champagne House, Perrier-Jouët. The Champagne Room and adjoining Courtyard is a combination of elegance and contemporary chic, utilising nature as source of inspiration.

The adjoining courtyard is ideal for late afternoon sundowners, offering an eclectic range of designer cocktails, as well as a signature Casse-Croûte menu. This unique space goes beyond the sipping of champagne and draws you into an atmosphere that contributes to a fabulous event or a decadent do.

The MUSE Champagne Room is where Joburg’s hottest movers and shakers share their bubbles during a perfect date, anniversary, special occasion or friend’s night out.

“Only the unimaginative can fail to find a reason for drinking champagne.” – Oscar Wilde, Irish playwright and novelist

PR for your town

I’ve recently read an article on the importance of PR for the city of Johannesburg, which made me think: it is not only Johannesburg that needs more PR. It’s every town and every city that we love here in South Africa. Cape Town might be the Mother City of South Africa, but mainly because of its spectacular natural wonder: Table Mountain. We need to find the reasons why other cities and towns in South Africa are PR worthy and tell it to the world!

Table Mountain - Photo taken by Renate de Villiers

Table Mountain – Photo taken by Renate de Villiers

Johannesburg, for one, like mentioned in the article written by Brand Slut, has many different things to offer and its diverse cultures and its history should be just as big an attraction as Cape Town’s attractions when communicated to the world.

Smaller towns like Matjiesfontein, Parys in the Free State, Clarens, Henley on Klip, Haenertsburg, Paternoster – why are they not on every traveller’s list even though everyone who has been there loves it? Because they lack PR!

Matjiesfontein is one of my favourite towns in South Africa. More like a village, actually, consisting of a gravel main road that separates the train station from the Lord Milner Hotel and the rest of the town. It is in this town that you will find the house where the first South African telephone rang – or so the tour guide told us. So much history and stories lie hidden in this town, yet no one knows of it.

Matjiesfontein - My favourite South African town

Matjiesfontein – My favourite South African town

Clarens has become very popular over the years, offering great outdoor activities in and between the Drakensberg. It also allows the not so active to enjoy arts and crafts, which is becoming a very popular reason for travel worldwide according to research from American Express Travel.

Still, I can go on and on about the awesomeness of all these places, but if its inhabitants don’t share their love and appreciation of the place with the world, no one will know and no one will visit. Let’s get up and do some PR, people!

For bookings on workshops relating to the basics of PR and Marketing for tourism and hospitality destinations, contact Travelling Mystery Guest on enquire@travellingmystery.co.za / 082 336 1562.

PS – thanks for the great eye-opener, Brand Slut. Let’s start with Jo’burg.