Simhle Plaatjies is our ultimate fitspo. Whether it is working out, playing tennis or surfing, Simhle always looks like she’s having the best time. The indoor and outdoor hockey player, actor, artist and TV presenter has an impressive list of talents. During her downtime she enjoys exploring restaurants and bars in and around her adopted hometown of Jozi. Originally from Cape Town, Simhle has been living in The Big Smoke for many years and she shares some of her favourite spots to wind down at.
A Streetbar Named Desire
Named after the Tennessee Williams play and situated at Parkwood Mansions, A Streetbar Named Desire is a trendy spot that is popular with locals. The bar boasts a lush green interior and beautiful artwork and overlooks The Goodman Gallery. Simhle loves the great cocktail list and the fact that the small plate menu has vegetarian options. She highlights the chicken wings and the man hero croquettes on the menu as being “yummy snack options.”
Blondie Bar is definitely the hottest place to be in summer. Situated in Greenside, it has an outdoorsy, casual vibe, where you can enjoy a good pizza, take in a beer special and listen to some great music. Simhle’s favourite orders are, “Puffy pizza if you enjoy a cheese griller sandwich – the Pepperoni Pizza also goes up! And, make sure to ask for a Paloma. It’s a fresh tequila-based cocktail with grapefruit.”
Recently reopened after being closed during lockdown, Romeos is lit whether you go there during the day or in the evening. With a stunning Ancient Rome aesthetic and warm lighting, this is one of the coolest spots in Melville. It has two bars, two dance floors, and at night has two DJ’s, so whatever you’re in the mood for you will be entertained. Simhle says, “one bar is in a dungeon with a red scorpion light!” Romeos also boasts an extensive cocktail menu and Simhle is a firm fan of their seafood, adding “prawns are my go to option!”
A bistro-style restaurant in Parktown North, Il Contadino is known as a 100% sustainable eatery. Chef James Diack describes the menu as being inspired by the rural food of the French, Italian and Spanish countryside. The food is sourced from the family farm, Brightside in Magalies and the extensive menu incorporates delicious organic options. It offers something for everyone from pizza and steak to plant- based options. Simhle especially enjoys their pasta paired with a good wine and she suggests trying their vanilla Panna Cotta with plum ice-cream.
Olives & Plates
The elegant and modern Olive & Plates in Hyde Park mall is a Simhle’s favourite. The dining experience is luxurious with bright interiors and stunning views. You can visit any time of the day and you will be able to taste their extensive menu which ranges from healthy food to light meal. Every palate is catered for. Described as a Modern European restaurant,and known for their divine breakfast menu and delectable pastries, this is one restaurant you simply have to visit. Simhle praised the variety on the menu but her absolute best meal is the linguine prawn pasta.
The Last Alpaca
This quirky bar in Greenside is South American-inspired and has a menu that ranges from burgers and subs to rolls and tapas. The cocktail menu features creative names such as the ‘Adriana Lima’, ‘Phantom of the Guava’ and ‘Whey So Sour?’ (which has lime and whey powder in it). The decor is bright and welcoming and they have a courtyard styled with outdoor lounges. Simhle’s first choice is Machu Picchu Burger, “It will have you salivating. Actually all their burgers! You’re in for a messy treat.”
Check out more from Simhle here:
Email: [email protected]
Title image: Olive and Plates
Words: Caryn Welby-Solomon @carynwelby