Mzoli's - the ultimate user-generated restaurant
Yesterday, being a public holiday, it was decided that lunch at a famous Cape Town institution was in order.
So we headed out on the N2 to Mzoli's in Gugulethu ('Our Pride'), to soak up the vibe and enjoy what is widely reported to be the best braaied meat in the city.
Mzoli's is a butchery, which doubles up as a very popular restaurant. But a restaurant with a difference - and soon we discovered it to be the ultimate social networking, user-generated business outside of Wikipedia.
You start off in the butchery - choosing from a vast selection of meat cuts, Your meat is handed to you in a huge enamel bowl (secret marinate optional), which you take to the braai kings at the back of the shop for a good grilling.
Head out to the 'restaurant' section of the shop, around the corner and take a seat.
The first thing you'll soon notice is that there are no waitron staff. If you want drinks - you have to go to the house next to number 4 across the road.
You'll probably be offered a seat at the game of cards already underway and a Jack on the rocks, but if you're focussed on your mission - you'll get the beer you're after in the fridge in the kitchen
Bread (good with the marinade) can be bought at the spaza shop on the corner.
The idea is that Mzoli's supplies the meat (and a wet cloth if you're looking suitably messy) and leaves the rest to the neighbourhood business community to supply. Even the music is courtesy of restaurant goer's parked cars.
The place was packed by 2pm, with loads of people waiting for tables throughout the rest of the afternoon.
It was crazy. A restaurant that doesn't try to own the supply chain? But it totally worked. And the three ATM's surrounding the place are a clear sign that people are spending much cash there.
For us - this classic user-generated restaurant makes you wonder why other Cape Town restaurants still insist on charging a corkage fee and now also a service surcharge of 10%.