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Joburg's Marabi Club announces pop-up with chef Katlego Mlambo

Celebrated South African chef, Katlego Mlambo, will host a pop up at the Marabi Club in Hallmark House, Johannesburg from Thursday, 20 January to Saturday, 26 March 2022.
Chef Katlego Mlambo. | Source: Supplied
Chef Katlego Mlambo. | Source: Supplied

The Marabi Club, lauded as the finest live jazz bar in the city is located in Maboneng, a globally renowned precinct that pulls a discerning crowd and has long been recognised by creatives as a high energy hotbed of innovation.

The club itself is situated in the hotel basement, a sultry speakeasy that offers world class African jazz by the resident Marabi Quartet plus showcases emerging and established artists.

That, and the top notch, relatable fine dining experience is what consistently lures jazz afficionados to the venue.

Pop up set to bring Mlambo’s popular classics

The Marabi pop up will see a number of Mlambo’s popular classics be back, including the in-demand Thai style oysters, fish tacos and his legendary African carrot dish that took the humble veg to stellar heights in all of its spicy, pickled glory.

Seafood lovers should look out for the chef’s Lekker Calamari - succulent deep fried tubes served with Mlambo’s homemade atchar, miso mayo, tamarind dressing, smoky toasted sesame seeds and garnished with tuna bonito flakes, an umami odyssey on a plate.

Overall, patrons can indulge in a well-crafted offering of shared plates that present as “sweet, salty, spicy, tangy and naughty, like me”, Mlambo says in his typically affable manner. “I want diners to have that ‘oh yeah’ moment. You know, like when you taste something great and nod your head twice.”

Mlambo commented about the pop up: “I’m very, very excited. Due to the pandemic, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to cook food my way. Over Covid-19, so many great chefs took a hit and lost their passion, including myself, so this is an opportunity to do what I love most and I’m grabbing it with both hands.

“The fact that we are situated in town at the beautiful Hallmark House Hotel provides such a great synergy and my having worked at the Marabi before is a huge plus.”

From Eldos to the world

Mlambo hails from Eldorado Park in Johannesburg. An alumnus of the Silwood School of Cookery in Cape Town, he spent a decade honing his cordon bleu skillset under some of South Africa’s greats, including Luke Dale Roberts, PJ Vadas, Eric Bulpitt, Scot Kirton and Chef Patrons of outstanding eateries such as the Luke Dale Roberts group.

After a bout of world travel, Mlambo spent some time in Cape Town before returning to home territory in Johannesburg to take the helm in The Marabi Club kitchen. While steering that operation, he won several awards such as the Nederburg Rising Star Award and African Restaurant of The Year.

Additionally, Mlambo has carved out a burgeoning career in television as the presenter on his own Food Network cooking show called The Inside Job which is heading into the second season of production and is broadcast throughout Africa and the Middle East.

The Marabi Club is open from Thursdays to Saturdays from 6pm to late, and on the last Sunday of every month from noon until 3pm the sister-restaurant, Rooftop at Hallmark, plays host to the iconic Sunday Lunches brought to you by Chef Mlambo.

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