Windhoek, iconic Chef Benny and Metro FM DJ, Mo Flava were in Soweto this weekend where they continued their Search for South Africa’s Best Shisanyama.
The top eight venues have been identified and this weekend Kwa Lichaba in Vilakazi street and e’socialink in Doornkop were visited by the team to taste the food and evaluate the vibe.
“My task is to judge the food while DJ Mo Flava is in charge of looking at the overall vibe of the top eight Shisanyamas,” said Chef Benny Masekwameng. “This is a serious competition with over R1.2 million in prizes to be won so our voting process needs to be well structured and is evaluated on a point system – and the list is long! For example, we start judging from entry into the venue, customer relations, which includes the number of staff members on hand to service the number of guests. Nothing is left to chance including the cleanliness of the venue and the area where the food is prepared. Menu presentation is also considered as well as the quality of the service and how soon after order the food is served. Presentation, what is served with the meat and if the food is cooked according to customer request is also included.”
Former Generations star and celebrity, Sophie Lichaba (Ndaba), who owns Kwa Lichaba with her husband, Max, explained the concept of their venue. “Our focus is customer satisfaction and we create a festival atmosphere every weekend which makes us unique. Further, we allow our customers to bring in their own drinks and we charge a minimal entry fee. When it comes to our braai meat, we have our own unique marinade and secret spices that makes our food a huge attraction. Being situated on Vilakazi street helps us attract clients from all over the world as well as from every corner of South Africa.”
The Lichaba’s have opened similar restaurants in Lesotho and Botswana and are planning to open in Zimbabwe and Namibia.
E’socialink is also in the top eight and owned and managed by the Monye brothers, Kgoetsimang and Andile. “Being in the top eight is where we belong!” said former travel agent, Andile. “We have a perfect venue and being brothers and best friends is a win. We trust each other and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses so going into business together was easy and has proved successful. Kgoetsimang is a trained sound engineer and was working in the entertainment industry so he has included his expertise thereby enhancing the E’socialink vibe. We attract the top DJ’s who make our place come alive on weekends and our clients can forget about their problems and dance the night away and just have fun.”
E’socialink is the brain child of Andile and has been in operation for five years. “We were both in a comfort zone. I really enjoyed what I was doing as did Kgoetsimang. However, I felt that the shisanyama we were getting served at different venues was not true South African. I am passionate about my meat and the way it is cooked. What we do here is allow our clients to choose their own meat, they can then relax whilst the restaurant cooks the food for them. Our menu is limited to chicken, beef steaks, beef chops and beef boerewors, but we cook it exactly how the client wants.”
The brothers do not plan to expand any time soon. “We are focusing on getting the basics right. We are still building our unique brand. Being consistent and producing the very best meal every day is important to us. We also want people who come here to feel safe so security and having adequate parking is part of the service we offer.”
Andile plans to win the Windhoek Shisanyama search this year. “We are more prepared this year and believe we can win – which is our goal. Before we were visited by Chef Benny and the team we sat down and put a strategy together to ensure that our food and vibe was the best and they would all be impressed!
Next weekend Windhoek, Chef Benny and DJ Mo Flava head to KwaZulu-Natal.
“We are half way through visiting the final eight,” said Dana Katz, Windhoek Marketing Manager “The competition is tough, and our aim is to reward those who invest the same level of passion and craftsmanship into their Shisanyama as Windhoek does into their beer.”
“Each Shisanyama has its own unique selling point, business objective, customer base and they all serve excellent cuisine. We have visited four of the eight finalists and the judging will not be easy, but with the point system that we have devised we will get there. It is important to stay focused and objective. My advice to the final four is to ensure that they look at every aspect of their offering,” said Chef Benny. “.”
Ibuyile! Great Food, Great Vibe, Perfect with a Windhoek.