People can often tell you many things about foreign countries; Marie Antoinette didn’t really say let them eat cake, Italians think it’s lucky to wear red and eat lentils on Christmas and Swedish people associate pea soup with Thursdays. Even considering their head for strange cultural facts, the most a lot of people experience of South African culture is vuvuzelas and Table Mountain. Get a cultural infusion and pay R88 for any main meal and house wine for two at Roots Soweto.
A jazzy and upmarket eatery that doubles as a place to showcase art, Roots is more than just an entertainment space. Winner of the 2008 SAB Kickstart competition, it celebrates the township spirit and brings together local and international better than the local airport. While you kick back in the understated modern luxury, you can enjoy a quiet view of Soweto life from the balcony or enjoy the soft background music and artwork in the large dining area. Nestled between Morris Isaacson High School and the Oppenheimer Tower, the restaurant finds itself in a popular tourist area and proves itself an ideal place to get yourself into the Sowetan vibe.
It’s not just the artwork and ambience that gives the restaurant its cultural kick. Many of the dishes are served with samp or pap, which combined with the traditional atmosphere keeps the restaurant true to its roots. Whether you’re tucking into Makhaya Oxtail with your significant other or chowing down on traditional Mogodu with a buddy, the two glasses of house wine help to finish off the experience.
Cultural fact: The first restaurant/art-gallery combination was an accidental invention. A chef in Albuquerque allowed his nephew to stick his crayon drawings all over the walls, which diners thought were done by a famous artist. This prompted other artists to request exhibition space on the walls of the restaurant.