The Marabi Club in Hallmark House will play host to celebrated chef Katlego Mlambo from 20 January to 26 March. The restaurant and music venue is lauded as the finest live jazz bar and located in Maboneng, a globally renowned precinct that pulls a discerning crowd and has long been recognised by creatives as a high energy hotbed of innovation.

“I’m very, very excited. Due to the pandemic It’s been a while since I’ve been able to cook food my way,” says Katlego. “Over COVID-19 so many great chefs took a hit and lost their passion, including myself, so this is an opportunity to do what I love most and I’m grabbing it with both hands. The fact that we are situated in town at the beautiful Hallmark House Hotel provides such a great synergy and my having worked at the Marabi before is a huge plus.”

 

Katlego Mlambo Marabi Club

Of the Marabi pop up, a number of his popular classics will be back, including Thai style oysters, fish tacos, and Katlego’s legendary African carrot dish that took the humble veg to stellar heights in all of its spicy, pickled glory. Seafood lovers should look out for Chef’s Lekker Calamari – succulent deep fried tubes served with Katlego’s homemade atchar, miso mayo, tamarind dressing, smoky toasted sesame seeds, and garnished with tuna bonito flakes, an umami odyssey on a plate. Overall, patrons can indulge in a well-crafted offering of shared plates that present as “sweet, salty, spicy, tangy and naughty, like me. I want diners to have that ‘oh yeah’ moment. You know, like when you taste something great and nod your head twice.”

Katlego Mlambo hails from Eldorado Park in Gauteng. An alumnus of the Silwood School of Cookery in Cape Town, he spent a decade honing his cordon bleu skillset under some of South Africa’s greats including Luke Dale Roberts, PJ Vadas, Eric Bulpitt and Scot Kirton, Chef Patrons of outstanding eateries such as the Luke Dale Roberts group (as Group Sous for the Test Kitchen, the Pot Luck Club and The Commissary) as well as other iconic chefs including The Roundhouse and La Colombe respectively. After a bout of world travel, Katlego spent some time in Cape Town before returning to home territory in Johannesburg to take the helm in The Marabi Club kitchen. While steering that operation he won several awards such as the Nederburg Rising Star Award & African Restaurant of The Year. During his time at La Colombe, the Cape Town restaurant snagged the number one spot at the 2019 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards and he simultaneously scooped the 2019 Eat Out Nederburg Rising Star Award, a prestigious accolade. Additionally, Mlambo has carved out a burgeoning career in television as the presenter on his own Food Network cooking show called The Inside Job which is heading into the second season of production and is broadcast throughout Africa and the Middle East.

The Club itself is situated in the hotel basement, a sultry speakeasy that offers world class African jazz by the resident Marabi Quartet plus showcases emerging and established artists. That, and the top notch, relatable fine dining experience is what consistently lures jazz afficionados to the venue. Named for the Marabi style of music that evolved in the yards of New Doornfontein in the 1920’s, the atmospheric club also boasts an authentic long bar and a stylish cigar lounge, and is replete with vintage furniture pieces, hand painted floor tiles, a signature wall made up of reclaimed doors and a collection of contemporary art works and classical South African jazz imagery, all on point décor elements that capture the essence of a bygone era.

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