Thava, which first opened its doors in Norwood 9 years ago, has opened a second restaurant in Montecasino, bringing its authentic Keralan menu to the North of Joburg. Diners can expect tasting and sharing options as well as main courses, and a lovely innovation comes in the form of a traditional Indian food cart serving up street food to passers-by.
The food cart menu features dishes designed for takeaway, including Tandoori Bunny, Paani Poori, Momos, Vegetable patties, Panjabi chaat, and more. Customers place their orders with any manager, collect their orders from the window or trolley, and then can sit and eat on the terrace or move around the streets of Montecasino while eating.
“Since its inception in 2010 Thava as always prided itself on being different from all other Indian restaurants in South Africa. Thava has always been about family food, and street food in India is more than just eating on the street,” says the Thava team. “It’s a whole culture and most stores are created because many people in India do not have a kitchen at home so what is found on the street is all they can eat.”
Authenticity is the golden thread that runs through both Thava restaurants. Owner Matthew Abrahams hails from Kerala and has used his mother’s recipes as the base for the menus, with 95% of the chefs in the Thava kitchens coming from the region represented on the menu, mainly Kerala. Matthew believes there is “no substitute for the real thing” and there’s an active focus on maintaining standards and quality. “We don’t compromise on raw material and on method of preparation. All food is done a la minute, maintaining the freshness of the end product, which takes priority over speed of service.”
This means that when gearing the menu to the Montecasino market, where diners are often on their way to a show or another form of entertainment, the menu was cut down a little to streamline service without compromising on dish quality. Another change will be the soon-to-be-introduced lunch special from Monday to Thursday where chefs will get to flex their culinary muscles and try out new recipes while boosting lunchtime trade.
“Many Joburg residents already know and love Thava from their Norwood restaurant, and this new Montecasino branch takes an already great restaurant to the next level,” says Mike Page, Operations Director and Complex GM of Montecasino. “Thava Montecasino has the same exceptional commitment to delivering food that is authentic, real and true to its heritage – but blended with a dash or two of innovation – something we pride ourselves on at Montecasino. This is Indian food at its best, in a prime location, with a beautiful interior and a funky street food vibe to bring it all together. It is certainly delivering on Montecasino’s promise that ‘We’ve Got It’.”
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