Lungile Ngubane, Siphiwe Mcanyana, Ntokozo Hadebe and Phili ButheleziPictureS: Zanele Zulu
Artizen Restaurant & Lounge is one of Durban’s renowned African cuisine establishments. 

The KwaMashu eatery offers a variety of Zulu traditional food, such as umleqwa (Zulu chicken), dumplings, umngqusho (samp and beans), tripe, kidneys, ujeqe (steamed bread), sgwaqane (phuthu and beans), imifino, amadumbe, sweet potato and, of course, chakalaka, the spicy vegetable relish.  

Artizen has got the Zulu tradition covered when it comes to great food. Founded in 2015, the restaurant has built up a reputation of serving delicious food which has led it to becoming one of Durban’s most popular restaurants. That it also celebrates authentic African culture and heritage by serving African food, lends to its appeal. 

According to the owner, Siphiwe Mcanyana, visiting the restaurant is like being at home. 

“We serve the food that we grew up eating, food which our grandmothers loved cooking.  We also have braai meat and beef, lamb and chicken curry with rice, all presented in a way that is very upmarket yet still traditional," explains Siphiwe. 

“People love our shisa nyama and that is a good thing, but there are certain people who don’t eat red meat (so) I decided to introduce white meat, which is the boiled Zulu chicken but with a different taste.” 
Siphiwe Mcanyana and Phili Buthelezi Picture: Zanele Zulu
Artizen is introducing more African cuisine to their menu, especially since it attracts people from the city and its outskirts.

“The demand has been very high. People come from far places out of KwaMashu just to have our Zulu chicken plate, which comes with iDombolo, veggies and chakalaka, it is our best seller,” he said.

A unique and vibrant place where people can connect with their creativity and be inspired, the lounge boasts striking and colourful South African style decor inside and out which the owner designed himself.

“I love decor. I watch a lot of decor channels and read decor magazines, which is where I get my ideas from to make this place beautiful, modern and attractive,” said Mcanyana.

One of the reasons Mcanyana decided to open Artizen Lounge is that there aren’t many restaurants and entertainment facilities in KwaMashu. 

“It has been a roller-coaster ride with ups and downs. The only thing that has got me here today is the passion I have for the restaurant business and the will to succeed. I don’t really experience any challenges as I already challenge myself to reach new heights,” he said. 
A spread of the traditional African cuisine on offer at Artizen Lounge Picture: Zanele Zulu
 Artizen’s popularity in the city has seen the establishment being featured on SABC1’s Uzalo

“We were fortunate enough to be approached by the Uzalo crew and musicians to film the place. I have gracefully opened my doors and assisted them with their requests (to use Artizen) as a location for local television dramas and music videos.”

And with its excellent food, ambience, service and mouth-watering shisa nyama dishes, the restaurant was voted one of the best shisa nyama joints at this year’s Shisanyama Awards.

“I am very grateful to be chosen among the best in town, which means I am doing something right for my customers. If you love your business, invest in it and you will reap the rewards. I always get motivated by my peers in the same industry. I look up to them and I strive to try and reach their level.”

P 64 Malandela Road | KwaMashu, Durban 4360, South Africa
+27 82 970 7475