It’s all ’Peachy’ at Joburg’s latest award-winning dine bar whose American and Asian flavours fuse with SA culture
Share this article:
Johannesburg - ‘Sooo cute’ might be a colloquial term brought into the mainstream by millennials and Generation-Z but is also a fitting way to describe Joburg’s latest dine bar.
Peachy, an American and Asian take on cuisine, is situated in the heart of the city of gold at the popular 44 Stanley precinct in Braamfontein Werf.
And while the Instagrammable diner, which is decked out in trendy pastel shades and features a picturesque outdoor dining section, has become a hit on the local food scene, the Covid-19 pandemic almost halted their operations.
Its founder, creative entrepreneur Matt Suttner, explained that Peachy officially opened its doors in December last year when the second wave of the novel coronavirus was raging on.
The subsequent tightening of lockdown restrictions then forced the diner to temporarily close its doors before they were finally able to reopen eight months later in August.
“We knew what we were getting ourselves into at the time as we opened in the middle of the pandemic, but I can’t say it hasn’t been difficult,” Suttner recalled.
“We’ve tried to support our team as much as possible financially during times when we were unable to trade, and we couldn’t have done it without our amazing landlords at 44 Stanley.”
But since then, the trendy diner has been welcomed by Joburg’s foodies as they indulge in the restaurant’s servings of modern street food and playful cocktails in a vibrant and relaxed atmosphere.
“The main idea behind Peachy was to create a fun experience that didn’t require any effort to be part of,” Suttner explained.
He was also determined to give Johannesburg a place to escape from the stresses and challenges of the unprecedented pandemic times.
“With 2020 being what it was, I felt like people needed a break from the serious and a place to escape to in Joburg, and we’ve tried to evoke as much nostalgia as possible in everything, from the food to the music to the chandeliers.”
Suttner was also intent on creating a ‘unique vibe’ at Peachy for all those who visit to enjoy. For this reason, they have recently also started hosting disco funk and soul, as well as old school classics on Saturdays, with live jazz on Sundays.
“Each week will also see a line-up of great local live entertainment,” Suttner said.
But, the Peachy founder wanted food to be the backbone of the award-winning dine bar’s theme and enlisted the services of Jess Doveton to become Peachy’s executive chef.
Doveton is acclaimed for her inventive and interesting approach to far-eastern Asian flavours and even travelled to South East Asia to explore and learn about the different cuisines and cultures of Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.
“Jess is our resident flavour master and brought life to our menu like no one else could have, and Peachy would not be the success it is without her,” Suttner believes.
The creative entrepreneur, as well as Peachy’s executive chef, then collaborated to create a modern tapas-style menu that infuses Asian and American flavours and cuisines.
Some of their most popular dishes include small platters of garlic and parmesan cheese chicken wings, beef, chicken, bacon and mushroom sliders, Asianesque Hot Wings as well as pork belly cubes with lashings of sticky-sweet glaze.
Brunch, the most in-vogue meal of the day, is also an important part of Peachy’s offerings as they offer a range of omelettes, frittata Stacks, smashed avocado as well as decadent French toast with baked apple and cinnamon glaze.
Peachy also caters to vegetarians with ‘Shroom Arancini,’ Gruyere and mushroom-filled deep-fried risotto balls, ‘Charred Broccolini,’ grilled broccoli dressed in a sexy but oh so cute tahini soy drizzle, deep-fried olives and kimchi fritters also featuring on their menu.
As the goal of Peachy is for its diners to unwind and indulge, desserts and drinks are also a central part of their operations.
Suttner reckons that their ‘Peach Sorbet’ and their ‘Deep Fried Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough’ are some of their most popular menu items in this regard.
They also looked to experiment with their beverages, and while there are non-alcoholic drinks available, Peachy offers an extensive range of spirits, wines, champagne and brews.
But their own blend of cocktails such as their ‘Peach Margaritas,’ ‘Peach Bellinis’ as well as their ‘The Queen Mother,’ artisanal gin with a splash of cranberry and a hint of Turkish delight and the ‘Shinjuku Highball’ zesty, fresh orange, Jameson, with ice cold seltzer, are all popular.
“I think that Peachy makes a playful, refreshing and mainly delicious addition to the Jozi culinary and cocktail landscape,” Suttner said.
“With goofy cocktail names, all-day snacking and no real reason to leave ever, we feel we provide the perfect atmosphere to kick back and forget about your responsibilities for a few hours.”
Peachy also sees itself as an all-rounder with its bite-size kiddies menu and also sells Uno and other playing cards for patrons to enjoy during their time at the dine bar.
While Peachy is a newcomer to the highly competitive Johannesburg food scene, they have already racked up accolades.
In June this year, the dine bar bagged top honours in the Ethnic Restaurant of the Year category at the Hospitality Counsel’s third annual Luxe Restaurant Awards.
Suttner, who was recovering from Covid-19 at the time of the award, is honoured by the accolade.
“I initially thought we were being pranked but to be nominated in the same category as such amazing restaurants was a real win for us.”
The creative entrepreneur is also proud that Peachy is part of Johannesburg’s food scene, a city rich in culture and flavours.
“We would love to see Peachy as a long-standing feature in the Jozi hospitality space, and we’d love to be a space where people continue to come to unwind and have a great time for years to come.”