Have you noticed something missing in Greenside, lately? A certain lack of 'cool kids', perhaps? I'd been pondering on this as the festive season wound down and everybody began to return from their annual pilgrimage to the Mother City and Holy Mountain; that is, until I stepped into Hell's Kitchen... There they were - man buns, tattoos, and fashion senses to die for.
Hell's Kitchen opened up on Melville's 7th Avenue strip at the end of 2014 and has since attracted Joburgers in droves. And who can blame them? Slick rockabilly diner décor, craft beer on tap, a reasonably priced menu of delicious eats, and let's not forget their patented 'Hellfire' cinnamon whiskey (it alone makes Hell's Kitchen worth a visit).
Plenty of effort was put into the décor - everything works together, from the striking checkered floor tiles and cute neon signs to the bowler hat light fittings in the 'hidden' bookcase backroom and one damn tasty black and white portrait of Iggy Pop and Johnny Depp looking oh-so-suave. Just picture a sleazy diner minus the sleaze.
Food-wise, think Americana fare - soft shell tacos, burgers, pizza, 'badass' baby back ribs and crispy roast pork belly - served with lashings of chimichurri mayo. Vegetarians have not been forgotten, to the relief of my meat-averse compadré, who ate what I must admit were some mighty fine falafels (this coming from a loud and proud carnivore). A simple menu with no more than 10 items (something my indecisiveness truly appreciates) of reasonably priced food, accompanied by some absolutely delicious sides - order the onion rings. Trust me.
You're looking at spending about R55 for a veggie meal and R79 for some meaty goodness. Unless you go to town on the tequilas, you definitely won't break the bank and the welcome addition of the Zapper payment app to the bill streamlines the process immensely for the technologically inclined.
The verdict? Well worth the trip but be sure to book a table if you're looking to sit down and eat. If Hell's Kitchen is anything to go by, the Melville uprising is well on its way.
Where? Shop 4, 7th Street, Melville
When? Monday - Sunday: 11:00 - 23:00
Tel: 072 478 2592
by Dominique Baxewanos