The Living Room- Girl Boss Food Review

Your girl went to Living Room in Maboneng to taste the food and feel the atmosphere. The Maboneng Precinct is a trendy area in the Johannesburg CBD. Maboneng means ‘place of light’ in seSetho and the first time I went there I thought this is the South Africa the enlightened Nelson Mandela envisioned in his 46664 prison cell in Robben Island.

Photo by Simi Gumede

It’s a place where the cool people gather on weekends. Although I am new to Joburg I am aware there is unfortunately glaring inequality like many other places in South Africa.

I guess the question is, did I feel alive in the living room? And the answer is yes, it’s a roof top café that has a lot of plant life. There is something calming about seeing all the green of the plants, it’s beautiful. It’s actually more of an event venue but when they’re not hosting a private event. The place is open as a restaurant from 11am-10pm from Wednesday to Friday. Therefore, one should check the online calendar if planning on going there on Saturday or Sunday as they be hosting a private function. If not then they have Djs come through on weekends and there is a chilled vibe. The music is that music that hipsters listen to that we really can’t name the genre unless you’re a music head. I like to think of it as ‘post-genre’ music, lol.

Hipster Dancing GIF by Neurads - Find & Share on GIPHY

Lets Talk About The Food

I shared the food with my sister as there is no way I could eat all of it by my selfie.

For starters I ordered from the Gourmet Tapas section of the menu

I got the SAFA Classic- R30. Which is two small crispy beef, veg spaghetti and pickled cucumber spring rolls served with peppadew cream cheese dip. The spring rolls were crispy and the filling tasted of crispy beef and veg. Crispy beef is basically browned beef, when you fry it on a high temperature and that brown seal forms. That’s the flavorful part and it tasted mostly of that. It had simple yet effective taste but I’m was left feeling, where are the aromatics?

Photo by Simi Gumede

I also got the Dimsum Yum- R40. Which was 4 steamed Asian Pastries with coriander chicken filling. It was delicious! I Highly recommend this as a starter. The chicken filling was tender and flavorful with coriander and ginger. The dipping sauce tasted of soy, sesame oil, chilli and there sweetness to it. It was lovely. I love the taste of soy sauce there was a time where I would put soy in all my food. And, every time I did I would say, “it’s time for my boy, soy”, so soy is my homeboy.

Photo by Simi Gumede

The mains we got was the Ocean Breeze- R115. Which is fresh mussels steamed in white wine and garlic. Finished in either a mussel broth or a yellow Thai coconut curry. Served with two fresh mini rolls. It was also very tasty. The mussels were fresh and not overpowering. I’m not a fan of mussels as I think they taste too much of the sea. But I think the ones I have had in the past were not fresh. These fresh ones, were the ones, damn, it was so good. It was creamy as the sauce base was coconut cream, there was the taste of garlic, coriander, lemon and lemon grass. I enjoyed it and I am converted. I am now a believer of mussels. However, I wished they had been served with noodles not bread rolls as you just want to slurp all the soupy goodness.

Photo by Simi Gumede

We also got the Stripped- R140. Which is a Grilled Sirloin (250g) steak cut into strips served with a tangy mustard cream and french fries or a small salad. I got fries of course, as I haven’t out grown potato chips yet. I think if there was ever a marker of adulthood it would be when you get the small salad instead of fries. That’s when I’ll know I’m grown AF, I don’t play.

Photo by Simi Gumede

I asked for the steak to be medium and I got what I asked for. It tasted of chargrilled beef and herbs. The mustard cream was tasty. I guess it depends on how you like your food. Some people want their meat to taste like meat and everything else must enhance that natural flavor of the meat. Whereas I like my food to taste of meat and the seasoning.

Photo by Simi Gumede

For desert, we wanted the Peachy -R45. It is a glass jar filled with grilled peach, ginger cookie crumble, lemon and mint curd. Topped with ice cream but unfortunately it wasn’t available. So, we shared the Yes Please -R45, it was a Deep-Fried Bar One with Salted Caramel. It was yummy for sure. The batter was little crispy and warm. I could taste the batter also had lemon juice in the dough making it balanced and not overwhelmingly sweet. The salted caramel tasted lush but the texture was grainy as some of the sugar was still crystallized and there wasn’t enough of it, sadly. 

All in all, I really enjoyed the living room. I even danced a little with some happy strangers. I definitely recommend the spot, but I wish the music was more distinctively South African. So I can feel I am really living the post-apartheid South African dream.

Girl Boss Rating: 4/5

Simi Gumede