South Africa’s Best Shisanyama Search is back with a bang
Ibuyile! Ibuyile! Great Food, Great Vibe, Perfect with a Windhoek
Two top Soweto entertainment outlets were the centre of attraction last weekend, thanks to Windhoek’s search for South Africa’s best Shisanyama drive.
This famous search that attracted dozens of revellers and pleasure seekers is a brainchild of HEINEKEN South Africa, a key player in the beer and cider industry in the country.
On the ground the competition was driven by iconic Chef Benny Masekwameng and Metro FM DJ, Moeti Tsiki popularly known as Mo Flava.
Organizers revealed that top eight venues have been identified and the past weekend Kwa Lichaba in Vilakazi street and e’socialink in Doornkop were visited by the team to taste the food and evaluate the venue and the vibe.
According to Masekwameng, a judge for the competition. His role was to check the quality of the food, taste and how it’s displaced and access until it’s delivered.
“My task is to judge the food while DJ Mo Flava is in charge of looking at the overall vibe of the top eight Shisanyamas,” said Masekwameng.
“This is a serious competition with over R1.2 million in prizes to be won so our voting process needs to be well structured and is evaluated on a point system – and the list is long! For example, we start judging from entry into the venue, customer relations, which includes the number of staff members on hand to service the number of guests. Nothing is left to chance including the cleanliness of the venue and the area where the food is prepared. Menu presentation is also considered as well as the quality of the service and how soon after order the food is served. Presentation, what is served with the meat and if the food is cooked according to customer request is also included.” He said.
Mo Flava told this reporter that his role was to check the vibe, look at the set up, venue and the social aspect.
He also revealed that visibility of the venue, location and attractiveness was also considered big time .
Former Generations star and celebrity, Sophie Lichaba (Ndaba), who owns Kwa Lichaba with her husband of a year, Max, explained the concept of their venue.
“Our focus is customer satisfaction and we create a festival atmosphere every weekend which makes us unique. Further, we allow our customers to bring in their own drinks and we charge a minimal entry fee. When it comes to our braai meat, we have our own unique marinade and secret spices that makes our food a huge attraction. Being situated on Vilakazi street helps us attract clients from all over the world as well as from every corner of South Africa.”
Max, who met Sophie at Kwa Lichaba in 2014, when she came to view the venue for a possible corporate function, said,
“Sophie has come in and added a specific charm to the venue. She helped me build a VIP and VVIP area with a plunge pool for customers that want to host smaller functions, conduct business meetings or just want to have quiet time away from the crowds. We can accommodate 3 000 people in total, which not many venues are able to do making us even more attractive to corporates. We also host weddings.”
E’socialink is also in the top eight and owned and managed by cousin brothers, Kgoetsimang Monye and Andile Khutshwayo.
“Being in the top eight is where we belong!” said former travel agent, Andile. We have a perfect venue and being brothers and best friends is a win. We trust each other and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses so going into business together was easy and has proved successful. Kgoetsimang is a trained sound engineer and was working in the entertainment industry so he has included his expertise thereby enhancing the E’socialink vibe. We attract the top DJ’s who make our place come alive on weekends and our clients can forget about their problems and dance the night away and just have fun.”
E’socialink is the brain child of Khutshwayo and has been in operation for five years. On the sidelines he told this reporter that they are working hard with his cousin to make sure their Shisanyama outlet was the best in Soweto.
“We were both in a comfort zone. I really enjoyed what I was doing as did Kgoetsimang. However, I felt that the shisanyama we were getting served at different venues was not true South African. I am passionate about my meat and the way it is cooked. What we do here is allow our clients to choose their own meat, they can then relax whilst the restaurant cooks the food for them. Our menu is limited to chicken, beef steaks, beef chops and beef boerewors, but we cook it exactly how the client wants.”
The brothers do not plan to expand any time soon.
“We are focusing on getting the basics right. We are still building our unique brand. Being consistent and producing the very best meal every day is important to us. We also want people who come here to feel safe so security and having adequate parking is part of the service we offer.”
Khutshwayo also revealed that winning the Windhoek Shisanyama search this year will be an added bonus to their brand.
“We are more prepared this year and believe we can win – which is our goal,” he argued.
Dana Katz, Windhoek Marketing Manager said they are half way through visiting the final eight.
“The competition is tough, and our aim is to reward those who invest the same level of passion and craftsmanship into their Shisanyama as Windhoek does into their beer.”
DID YOU KNOW?
The Windhoek Shisanyama search is expected to head to KwaZulu-Natal this weekend.
The Lichaba’s have opened similar restaurants in Lesotho and Botswana and are planning to open in Zimbabwe and Namibia.
About Windhoek Beer
100% Pure Beer, brewed to the purity standard of the Reinheitsgebot (the original German Beer Purity law) for nearly 100 years: malted barley, hops, water…that’s all. This is what makes Windhoek 100% Pure – and it is a brewing ethos that Windhoek brew masters stick to, without compromise. It’s an ethos that stands for an unwavering commitment to quality in Windhoek Draught, Windhoek Lager and Windhoek Light.
About HEINEKEN South Africa:
HEINEKEN South Africa is a key player in the beer and cider industry in the country, with an impressive portfolio of brands, including Heineken®, Sol, Windhoek, Miller Genuine Draft, Amstel, Strongbow, Soweto Gold, and Tafel. HEINEKEN South Africa is a joint-venture between HEINEKEN N.V. and Namibia Breweries, employing around 1500 people directly and through its dedicated third-party service providers.