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aMadoda: Woodstock’s Chilled out Braai and Bar
Dance, drink and dig into some serious meat at this vibey shebeen style Cape Town hang-out
Meat is South Africa’s national pastime and passion- whether you’re on a Free State farm or tucking into something tasty in a township tavern, everyone in Mzanzi loves a good braai. Which explains the happy and heaving crowd at aMadoda Braai, where patrons from all walks of life gather to celebrate the art of the African braai. Authentic Shisa Nyama is served shebeen style right here in the City Bowl. A sharp left off of Woodstock’s Station Street onto Strand will bring customers to aMadoda’s mecca of meat, where portions are mountainous and the resident DJ always has deep house on the decks.
Nestled between the train tracks and warehouses of the rapidly gentrifying suburb, aMadoda is an inviting and authentic scene, offering traditional entertainment in a safe and central spot. Plastic tables and chairs are spread below an outdoor canteen style awning, while dance beats and the sounds of a sizzling grill drift out across the parking lot, enticing in crowds who are hungry for great food and a night to remember.
Whether you’re catching up with friends or catching the game (multiple widescreens prevent any remote control conflict), aMadoda makes for an easy going hang-out at the end of a hard day. There’s only one rule in this downtown tavern- patrons have to get their hands dirty! No cutlery is allowed, so guests are invited to dig into the high quality cuts Mzanzi-style. Tender chops and sticky drumsticks are flame grilled to perfection and piled high on platters, ready to be dipped into chakalaka (spicy relish). Hands are wiped off on steaming hot Xhosa bread and servings of pap, the stiff maize porridge that’s a staple across Southern Africa. Finger bowls are provided, but most foodies will find themselves licking their fingers clean- aMadoda’s secret barbeque sauce is dangerously addictive.
aMadoda is the place to get a taste of true South African flavour, and celebrate the spirit of Ubuntu- the laid-back restaurant and bar is all about sharing and generous servings. De Big Mix platter serves at least two, with a selection of beef, pork, chicken and sides. Coming in at only R100, it’s not only ama-zing, but ama-fordable, too. If you and your mates fancy staging your own Ultimate Braai Master competition, a DIY-braai option is available, too. R450 gets you a braai pack of fresh seasoned meat and a grill topped up with hot coals. With generous sides for eight, you’ll want to bring your mates along and charge your picnic-style plastic glasses. The fully stocked bar operates a bottle-or-nothing policy, with dinky bottles of the strong stuff on offer for singles.
This slick city shebeen’s walls are adorned with local artworks- found object mosaics, incorporating classic photographs and rusted flick-knives- are framed behind shattered windshields. These hang alongside murals of bustling Sophiatown, the epicentre of jazz, politics and blues during apartheid South Africa. The influence of the Sophiatown scene is evident in aMadoda’s colourful crowd, who are varied, vibrant and dressed for the dance floor. This is a place for meat and for meeting people- come armed with a smile, and you’re sure to leave with a few new friends in your phonebook.
aMadoda is as diverse and lively as the loxion culture that inspires it, bringing together locals from the Mother City and her surrounding settlements, as well as international tourists and friends from across our borders. With an inclusive Pan-African sentiment prevailing, aMadoda frequently welcomes Malawian and North African musicians. Jah Army’s chilled reggae beats are live on stage every Thursday from 8- 10pm, and Zimbabwean jazz often lends its smooth strains to the local house and Kwaito scene. While some acts charge a reasonable entrance cover, regulars are treated like family, and nodded through to the dance floor. Keep an eye on aMadoda’s social media shout-outs, as the venue regularly plays host to some of the continent’s dopest live performers and DJ’s. On busy nights the venue spills out into a massive street party, stretching a tent over its sizeable parking lot to accommodate over a thousand revellers. With doors open until 2AM on weekends, aMadoda’s is your go to for a loud and laid-back late night vibe.
Tip: aMadoda’s staff, headed up by Shailene the “Shebeen Queen”, are friendly and flexible in helping you put together an unforgettable event, from a birthday party or company bash to a fully-fledged Afro-fusion street party. To discuss options contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The bill: Whether you’re grabbing a quick bite with ’De Quickie’ for R30 or feeding the whole family with ’De Feast’ for R250, this township-styled tavern has a platter for every pocket.
Want to enjoy this proudly South African pastime elsewhere? We've rounded up the Best Braai Spots in and Around Cape Town . Or, if you want to explore more of Woodstock's food scene, pop into Bread Cafe in the Bromwell Boutique.
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