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Johannesburg tours | Tour2.0 | Alexandra

Alexandra, Johannesburg

Cocktails and Culinary delicacies in Alex

with Asanda Daza
Hop-on, Hop-off
  • Rating

  • 4 hours

  • Friday to Sunday

  • 2 to 16 people

  • 12+

  • Incl. Food and refreshments

  • Reviews

4 hour Hop-on, Hop-off tour

Tour highlights:

1. Sample “Sly wat-wat”.
2. Have Tshisa Nyama at Joe’s butchery.
3. Enjoy a home cooked meal at Happiness Makhalenele’s home.
4. Gourmet meal and cocktails with the boys from Theos Kitchen..

Includes:

Guide, wine, food and refreshments.

Excludes:

Transport to and from the meeting point.

Show Detailed Itinerary

The Alex Culinary Tour takes visitors on a taste experience of the various styles of food, ranging from flavours of street food to fine dining, the ideal way to explore the social and political history of South Africa’s oldest township.

We start things off with some high calorie count street food, as street food should be. We stop at a local spaza shop that doubles as a hangout, where the long queue to order tells us that we’re in the right place. We’re here for one thing and one thing only – “Sly wat-wat”, a mini-skyscraper of a sandwich that is reminiscent of a bunny chow and a kota. Asanda, our tour guide, unpacks the colloquialisms at play and explains just what the name means. The word “sly” is used as singular to mean slice of bread, which is in turn used as a plural. “Wat-wat” is a remixed version of an Afrikaans word “wat”, which means what, or in this case, “whatever”. “Sly-wat-wat” then consists of “whatever” you want to put between multiple slices of bread, but the “wat-wat” is usually some combination of ingredients such as cheese, fries, deep-fried sausage, egg, polony, cheese, archar (a local spicy mango relish), mince meat, etc.

Our next stop is Joe’s Butcher, a popular Tshisa Nyama within walking distance from the spaza shop. At the Tshisa Nyama we meet the proprietor of this renowned lifestyle hangout frequented by local residents, out-of-towners and famous personalities. The owner is kind enough to spare a few minutes to speak to us about the history of the establishment and its growing popularity. Before our food arrives, Asanda takes over and provides more context about Tshisa Nyamas, which are often one of the simplest forms of business to get off the ground in townships because of the modest capital needed and because of their general favour with locals. Often they start off as small butcheries with the option for people to barbecue their meat and enjoy it on the premises.

After getting our fill of the delicious barbecued meat from the Tshisa Nyama we head over to East Bank to Happiness Makhalenele’s home, on the other end of Alexandra for an even more laid back food experience. It’s time for a traditional Sunday lunch, which can be loosely compared to African American soul food. Our tour guide briefly speaks about the kind of food that typically makes up a black South African Sunday lunch and the feelings of nostalgia Sunday lunch always brings up in her, before sharing her interpretation on the origins of Mogodo (tripe) Mondays and its connection to Sunday lunch. Happiness and her husband are two entrepreneurs who started off in the catering business many moons ago out of a trailer at a taxi rank and have gone on to start their own restaurant in their home. The love affair with food runs deep and has been passed down to the couple’s son who is in his final year of culinary school. His spot is our last stop before we pass out from gluttony.

At our final stop we watch the young chef prepare our final lunch ala Jamie Oliver cooking show, while his compadre mixes the cocktails. Together they rove around and put up pop up eateries under the name Theo’s Kitchen. This is remarkably different from the other food experiences we’ve enjoyed throughout the day, which all have their roots in township life. But more than just being a great food experience, the choice to enroll as a classically trained chef speaks to ever new horizons opening up for black South Africans to explore.

  • From R1099 ZAR
    Per Person
  • From R1649 ZAR
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    Grand Total:
    R1099 ZAR

4 hour Hop-on, Hop-off tour

Tour highlights:

1. Sample “Sly wat-wat”.
2. Have Tshisa Nyama at Joe’s butchery.
3. Enjoy a home cooked meal at Happiness Makhalenele’s home.
4. Gourmet meal and cocktails with the boys from Theos Kitchen..

Includes:

Guide, wine, food and refreshments.

Excludes:

Transport to and from the meeting point.

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