WORDS: CATHERINE BLACK IMAGES: SUPPLIED

Urban Moyo recently opened in Sandton’s 24 Central, as an urban twist on the well-established Moyo group of African-inspired restaurants in Joburg, Cape Town and Durban. Where Moyo is more traditional African, Urban Moyo brings a new layer of urban sophistication, catering to surrounding corporates for weekday lunches, and local and international visitors over weekends who are looking for creative African cuisine in a trendy environment. We chatted to the team to find out more.

Q: What’s Urban Moyo’s take on live-fire cooking?

A: What could be more African than cooking over an open flame! Our specially-designed open flame grills utilising mopane wood coals are used to give a smoky chargrilled complexity to each dish.

Q: Tell us about the owner, Gugu Zuma?

A: Gugu is an acclaimed actress, TV and film producer and entrepreneur whose most recent business endeavour has found her in the restaurant industry. She’s a creative with a passion for entertainment. Opening this restaurant has combined her passion for good food and wine with her desire to create memorable and unique experiences.

Q: Who is behind the food?

A: Our group development chef for Fournews is Ane van Zyl and together with our food support specialist, they support the kitchen team at Urban Moyo who are responsible for delivering the food experience. Ane has worked at Fournews for seven years and is responsible for the food development of a number of different brands.

Q: What would you say are standout items on your menu?

A: Our flamed sirloin on the bone is really popular, served with field mushrooms and spinach salad, breaded herb crumb, Madagascan green peppercorn and a piquant pepper sauce. Then there are our turmeric yoghurt-marinated deboned chicken thighs with masala gravy, crushed aloo, poppadum, roasted carrot salad and green chutney. Lastly, our Gin & Tonic dessert is a big hit – it’s made up of G&T cheesecake, dark chocolate biscuit crumb, mango sorbet, ganache drops and Cape gooseberries.

Q: Tell us about your cocktail menu?

A: Our signature cocktails are nine cocktails each representing a province in South Africa, and we use various ingredients and creative vessels to tell a story for each province. The Free State is one of the more popular ones – it’s made with KWV five-year-old brandy, apricot, naartjie juice, lemon juice, bitters and apricot foam.

Q: What was the inspiration behind the decor?

A: Urban Moyo is a tribute to Africa – from the ingredients and flavours used in the menus, to the textures and materials used to create this store. It pays homage to what’s beautiful and sophisticated about modern Africa.

Urban Moyo is a tribute to Africa – from the ingredients and flavours used in the menus, to the textures and materials used to create this store URBAN MOYO TEAM

Urban Moyo | 011 326 5523 | urbanmoyo.co.za