More meat at Mzoli’s

On Sun­days, this joint in Gugs rocks down a mil­lion more times than some fa­mous shore­line favourites

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODPASTIMES -

IT’S NOT a club, but it all goes down on a Sun­day and it rocks a mil­lion times more than other Sun­day favourites such as La Med or Caprice.

Mzoli’s, a restau­rant in Gugulethu, is no se­cret and many lo­cals from out­side the town­ships, more for­eign­ers though, have dis­cov­ered it.

I am a Mzoli’s “vir­gin” and I loved it. The for­mula is dif­fer­ent from other venues. It’s prob­a­bly the wildest and most en­ter­tain­ing place in Cape Town on any given Sun­day.

Within 10 min­utes it’s com­pletely un­der­stand­able why so many love it.

It’s all in the vibe and about hav­ing down-to-earth fun. The var­ied crowd, I’d say, is also a rea­son for its suc­cess. Be­cause if you’ve had any prej­u­dices, fears or un­cer­tain­ties, they will all be blown away like you will be by this place.

The group I ven­tured to the restau­rant with had no fears about go­ing into the town­ship. We were a mix of lo­cal cul­tures and two friends from Lon­don.

Mzoli’s was burst­ing at the seams. Small crowds of peo­ple gath­ered in groups out­side the venue, parked cars blar­ing kwaito, house, R&B and hip hop.

The park­ing con­tro­versy that sur­rounds New­lands sta­dium when there is a big match is non-ex­is­tent here. The lo­cals are more than will­ing to let you park in front of their prop­er­ties, know­ing that the restau- rant is a hit. It’s ob­vi­ous that they ap­pre­ci­ate so many cul­tures and races ex­pe­ri­enc­ing their way of life. Black, white, coloured, from re­ally young to re­ally old, sit around or jam to some of the best in kwaito, afro and deep house.

The in­fec­tious beats es­cape no one – heads bop, the crowds watch the lo­cals jive and pantsula af­firms that Africans have the best nat­u­ral rhythm.

It’s a slice of town­ship life. There is no fancy dé­cor and the ta­ble may be dodgy. But every­one is hav­ing too much fun to com­plain. There is a lack of chairs, sure, but it’s all in the hus­tle. A mere R5 will get you a re­served ta­ble or you can min­gle on the pave­ment or be­tween ta­bles.

Af­ter a few hours of meat and drinks every­one is a pantsula, jive mae­stro in their own right and the place is pump­ing by early evening.

What the place lacks in class it makes up for in raw, town­ship, open fun where every­one comes as they are. There is no cover charge, no fancy dress code and the rest is what you make of it. Mzoli’s butch­ery of­fers lamb chops, chicken, pork and sausage at a bar­gain rate.

A few men in the back braai room will do your meat just right while you find a ta­ble and pull out the drinks. It’s a place where you could meet any­one from a CEO to a politi­cian to a lo­cal celebrity.

I can safely say now that there is noth­ing to fear about the place. It’s friendly, fun and un­like any­thing you have ex­pe­ri­enced. The toi­let, park­ing and seat­ing fa­cil­i­ties could use some work but th­ese things are mi­nor and won’t bother you if you’re ready to get down.

Ditch the shore­line’s La Med or Caprice some­time be­cause Mzoli’s can do all that and more and it’s a dif­fer­ent kind of hot fun.

PIC­TURE: RO­GAN WARD

PUMP­ING: Joseph Rasta Mbula serves meat to the cus­tomers at Mzoli’s in Gugulethu.

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