I love any chance to try out new restaurants so when I received the invite for a menu tasting for a newly renovated restaurant called Friends, I was very keen to see what they had to offer. A quick google search shows they are a kosher establishment that focuses on Mediterranean flavours….interesting.
I opted to have an early dinner like i always do. Eating earlier means i can dedicate the rest of my night to unwinding or catching up on work. I showed up at around 6pm straight from work.
I was seated and given the menu to look at. They offer a wide range of selection across the Starter and main options. They also have a sushi menu you can choose from. I didn't know where to start. if anything i would have appreciated being presented with tasting options from the menu so i could get a well rounded feel of the menu. None the less, one of the owners, Dennis was very kind and accommodating and offered to have me taste their tapas spread.
The spread had humus, falafel balls and grilled eggplant. This was served with warm pita bread and side salads. I'm a sucker for fresh bread, so before i could even get into the food, the soft and warm pita bread won me over. I dug into the falafel and they were crispy on the outside and perfectly moist inside. The winner on the plate was the grilled eggplant; perfectly cooked with lots of garlic.
I took quick look through the menu to see what main i could have, nothing particularly spoke to me but i saw beef short ribs on the menu and opted to have that. I opted to have them with steamed vegetables instead of chips. The price of the short rib is rather high in my opinion but the size of the portions make up for it.
The Beef short ribs came and I was overwhelmed. Where would i start with this large piece of meat. I didn't quite read the menu properly because i had assumed the ribs would be braised and falling off the bone. I also didn't expect them to be this large, there was no way i was finishing this. I dug in they weren't as tender as i would have liked, i don't like to fight for my meat but they were definitely packed with a lot of flavour. The accompanying sauce they serve with the ribs is to die for. I'm quite annoyed that i forgot what it was called and what was in it because i have been craving it since and would love to recreate it. The vegetables that came with the short ribs were uninspiring, they could have used more attention.
if you've never been to Silvamonte, it definitely feels like you're not in Johannesburg anymore. There's a great sense of community and Friends Deli & Restaurant is the neighbourhood restaurant everyone loves. The restaurant comes alive just after 7pm and you quickly begin to notice how everyone knows each other. The customers have their favourite waiters that know their favourite drink and food orders. The owner gets his hands dirty during service helping around with orders and having conversations with customers.
Friends is really a great place to eat if you're looking for a great family restaurant with extremely friendly staff members. They make it a point to treat each and everyone of their customers with great attention and care. I'll definitely be going back to give the rest of their menu items a try.
Facebook: Friends Deli Restaurant