Monday, 22 April 2019

District delicious

Posted on Wednesday, 29 August 2012 by in Taste

This Emmarentia eatery serves simple Cape curries like ouma used to make


District 6 Eatery occupies what used to be a paint shop on the sunny side of the boulevard at the top of Greenhill Road in Emmarentia. Unlike Joburg’s other dining streets, this one is wide enough and quiet enough to make sitting outside a pleasure. The other bonus is that D6 is unlicensed – which means you can sit outside with a bottle of your own whiskey.

Former owners, Clarence Swartland-Gorlei wanted to create the sort of bistro he and partner Romano had eaten in while they toured France. So they did.

Swartland, who was born in District 6 – and who remembers being moved out by apartheid’s goon squads – retrieved family wedding photographs and pictures of the district and put them on the walls. A minstrel’s full uniform adds a golden glow. The crockery is all tureens and serving dishes that used to belong to his mother.


Sometimes, all anybody wants is a proper, no-frills Cape curry, cooked without artifice or in a hurry. D6′s menu is a simple blackboard on which the day’s offerings are written in large flowing script. Since I have now eaten there three times in the past week, I can say that it is likely to offer mutton curry (on the bone), smoorsnoek, chicken curry and a proper Cape bobotie, among others.

The lightest, freshest samosas I have yet eaten in Jo’burg are served as starters with a sauce made of tamarind, chillies, garlic and a dollop of apricot jam – something quite special. Lamb dishes are R80, chicken R70 and fish R65.


My chicken curry was not too hot, with the meat tender and pulling easily off the bone. My colleagues ordered the smoorsnoek and mutton curry. Both are simple Cape classics and were done the way Clarence remembers them from his childhood. Judging by the speed at which all three dishes disappeared, everyone was happy.

We concluded lunch with one hertzoggie – a coconut tart with apricot jam – which was found wanting, and a milk tart which was as good as it had been earlier in the week. The sago pudding is also wonderful.

I missed the pumpkin fritters, though. These have to be ordered in advance as they take time to prepare. They are worth the extra effort, though, and are worth doubling up on because you will want more by the time you get home.


The bill for three was R298, a bargain in these financially embattled times.


D6 is at 42B Greenhill Road, Emmarentia, corner Barry Hertzog Avenue, Gauteng. Phone 011 486 7226. Open Tues-Sat for lunch and dinner, lunch only on Sundays.


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