We had guests who stayed last here last week who had dinner at one of the Parks new drinking-eateries – the Griffin in Illovo Junction, about 4 km from Liz at Lancaster at the top of Corlett Drive. They said it was really fun – lots of young people, with a great vibe and atmosphere. The owners Thom Hughes and Martin Jakoby are no strangers to restaurants in the north of Jozi as they owned The Office in Greenside, The Attic on 4th Ave Parkhurst, and The Loft in Melville. Here at The Griffin, Hughes and Jakoby have gone for the popular new eating style of ‘gastro-pub’ with a special twist of offering ‘craft beer’ – with at least 20 types on offer. A great veranda adds to the appeal of this venue. Booking is essential 011 447-9842 And the really great news is that there’s a parking lot available opposite the Junction. Their website is still under construction. (For another popular new gastro-pub The Foundry see http://lizatlancaster.co.za/blog/new-restaurant-at-the-steakhouse-corner-in-parktown-north)Also at Illovo Junction is Trabella, still THE BEST pizza place in Joburg. I went to Trabella when Tracy first opened her very small,very basic, low key pizzeria in the early 2000′s. But her fabulous cooking skills, generous salads and great pizzas soon made here a firm favourite neigbourhood restaurant. Now that Illovo Junction has been revamped Trabella has a newly styled home, but Tracy continues to serve up simple food with great taste sensations and particularly fabulous pizzas. Highly recommended. 011 442- 0413
Next door to Trabella, Oliva Bar and Kitchen is also a small and intimate venue. I celebrated a friend’s birthday there a couple of years back with a great lunch of tapas starters followed by mains such as line fish, paella and other suitable Mediterranean dishes. It has a nice ambience and the tapas were particularly good. Like Trabella it’s advisable to book: 011 025 5225
And finally another for ‘coffee, cake and stuff’ meet at Wolves the brain child of Shane and Angie Durrant Described in the Blog: (http://blog.sa-venues.com/provinces/gauteng/the-cutest-little-indie-coffee-shop-in-africa-wolves/ ) as ‘fun, artsy and welcoming’ cupcakes seem to be one of their particular trademarks. To get more of a feel for their funky zaniness visit their website www.wolves.co.za. Shane and Angie also own the adjacent Good Luck Club next door which specializes in South East Asian fare like Dim Sum, Thai curries and noodle dishes. Dinner Tuesday to Saturday and lunch only Saturday 011 447 – 3816
So the newly revamped Illovo Junction is another great addition to Joburg’s wining, dining and meeting hubs.