Moyo Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, South Africa

Moyo Melrose Arch is my introduction to African cuisine – this is my first meal on African soil, and I can’t wait to delve into this rich and diverse continent.

Located within the vibrant Melrose Arch precinct in Johannesburg, Moyo offers an authentic African dining experience drawing on classic dishes and modern interpretations. A steady percussion of drumming welcomes us to this four-level restaurant and we head upstairs, where a multi-course feast awaits.

Moyo translates from the Sanskrit language Swahili, meaning heart, and the warm atmosphere and friendly staff at Moyo provide a lot of heart indeed. Dressed in traditional costumes, our meal starts with an African face-painting ceremony. We each have different dot motifs, some flowers, some swirls – each unique.

The meal begins with a starter of Moroccan flat bread and dips, accompanied by a leafy house salad of roasted pumpkin, Melba toast, cucumber, chickpeas and a mustard and herb dressing. The tasty Zulu-style chicken wings go down a treat, while the slow-cooked lamb shank curry with gravy and potatoes is a favourite at our table. The calamari curry is rich and creamy, while the three bean curry (sugar beans, black eyed beans and red kidney beans) in a rich, tomato base was flavoursome and nourishing. If you dare, try the fried mopane worms. Deep fried with fragrant spices, they were quite chewy and crispy. The worms weren’t to my taste, but since we were in Africa, it felt fitting to give them a go.

The constant beat of the drums from the local musicians downstairs provided a rhythmic backdrop to our delicious meal.
Moyo was a joyous dining experience and the perfect introduction to my African adventure.

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