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One of Joburg’s newest restaurants has a small seasonal menu, an open kitchen, charming bar and sunny terrace to settle down in. It serves up an internationally influenced menu with curated wine and beer lists. We chat with manager Elena Venzo to find out more.

When did Thief officially open its doors and how has the Joburg public received it?

We opened in September of last year and it was a slow start, which we put down to the economy at the time. But since November it’s been going bananas!

How did Thief Restaurant come about?

Thief is now in what used to be the old Eatery space, which was run by Shayne Holt and Matthew Alcock for just over six years. I joined them to start Parliament Restaurant in 2015 after a stint in fine dining in Ireland. After two years at Parliament, they were looking to jazz up the Eatery and I really wanted my own place, so it seemed obvious that we should combine our efforts. We managed to take over the beauty salon next door and doubled the floor size, which was initially daunting, but now we’ve found our stride and can’t get enough of the rush.

What are some of your most popular dishes on the menu?

There are two dishes that have just about caused a riot when we tried to change them. One is the Porchetta: a herb rubbed, rolled and slow-cooked pork belly served on flatbread, which is a traditional dish in Northern Rome. The second one is our Moules Frites: fresh mussels steamed with wine, garlic and herbs, and served with fries. It’s incredibly simple food with good solid flavours, and it’s all really fresh.

Any exciting plans for the future?

We’re all getting trained up in wine and partnering with some exciting people in the industry to get our wine bar up and running. I reckon in six months we’re going to be the go-to place for wine in Joburg.

011 783 1570

Words: Belinda Mountain | Images: Supplied

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