When I heard that the Untrained Chefs ZA , in collaboration with Chill Out Events, were going to be in Soshanguve, a township in Northern Pretoria, I diarised the date.
After all, I am always ready to whet my appetite for a good cause.
Admittedly, the first time I heard of the name, Soshanguve, my curiosity was piqued. Situated about 45km (42 min, 54.6km via N4) north of the Pretoria city centre, the township offers a unique experience with its diverse offerings.
Its name, So-Sha-Ngu-Ve is made up of prefixes of the four dominant tribes, Sothos, Shangaans, Ngunis and Vendas that formed this township in around 1974, hence the name Soshanguve.
Salivating over the culinary delights on offer, I couldn’t wait to get to the food market. However, getting someone to accompany me wasn’t to be, thanks to the Soweto derby between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.
While most of my friends chose the match, the foodie in me decided to brave the almost one-hour-long trip alone.
On my arrival in Sosh (as it’s affectionately known), I was welcomed by the sounds of endless hooting of local taxis.
The vibrancy of township life was most infectious as people walked around with kotas.
Thanks to Google Maps, I eventually arrived at Block GG, where I then relied on the directions of the locals. You can speak any South African language, and you’ll be understood. They are a true reflection of the rainbow nation residing here. It wasn’t long before I arrived at the venue. Having worked up an appetite, I was ready to stuff my face.
My eyes were immediately drawn to a succulent fat burger on a fresh bun, with all the trimmings.
But my eyes were darting all over the place, sending my taste buds into overdrive.
More so, with the wide array of options: tacos, waffle and chicken, chicken wrap, lamb on a bed of fluffy mash, tasty wings and chips, shawarmas, BBQ ribs and chips, kebabs and chips as well as meat platters. Did I mention I’m a meat lover?
With burgers being one of the speciality dishes of the Untrained Chefs ZA, I gave it a try.
Instead of an ordinary bun, they went for garlic buns, stacked with lettuce, egg, guacamole, gherkins, a tender beef patty with saucy mushrooms and a delicious secret sauce. The culmination of all those flavours made me a happy foodie.
The set-up at the venue had a rustic barn feel with roped haystacks for seats and well-crafted tree stumps as makeshift mini tables. And big umbrellas to keep us out of the sun.
With my belly full, I was in need for some refreshment and made my way to the drinks stall, where I sampled a few cocktails by the Winetails local group.
A cleansed palate called for more sampling and I ordered the wings and chips, because, well, what would a food market be without some meat?
Why you should visit?
It has a youthful and fun atmosphere. And you can dress up. And families are well catered for, too.
There’s something for every palate. Jumping castles and food stalls that specifically cater to kids guarantee a good time for the little ones.
Be warned, the popcorn with Nutella, cupcakes, Swiss rolls and other treats will turn them into sugar-charged monsters.
At the end of the day, I do feel that the Untrained Chefs ZA need to re-look their name as their dishes surpassed expectations, putting trained chefs to shame.
If you are free on the first Saturday of the month and fancy a sho’t left, Soshanguve’s food market is the place to be at.
You get to enjoy great food, company and music - and it’s all for a charitable cause.