Anwar Arends, 23, and his fiancée Gabriella Bissolati, 23, are the owners of The Hood Kitchen in Rocklands and launched their new restaurant and takeaways three weeks ago.
Open from Friday to Sunday, the couple says they are big on themes, so they have Gourmet weekends, and a fun “Wine and Dine” experience, but moenie worry nie, alles is strictly halaal.
“Our concept is hood, but bringing gourmet foods to our community,” says Anwar.
“We wanted to break away from the normal take-aways with the gatsbies and fish and chips. We have to go far (out of the area) for a decent restaurant, so we thought why not bring it home?”
The gourmet menu has vegan, chicken and beef dishes and speciality burgers.
“We’re not just a business but a movement and we’re versatile. We also do social development with youth,” says Gabriella.
“Our gourmet is slowly expanding and we’re involving local businesses to empower themselves and our economy.”
Anwar is the main chef, with the assistance of his father, while Gabriella focuses on the desserts, and together the duo makes a mean team in the kitchen.
The starters include South African-style nachos, soups, tortillas and subs.
The Wine and Dine evenings is a three-course gourmet meal with a twist.
“For the Wine and Dine evenings, we cater for 10 people maximum for the time being.
“The aim of the night is social interaction, so we have performances by local artists such as rappers, singers, poets and dancers,” Anwar says.
They also have games and challenges to break the ice and get everyone in a lekker mood.
“One of the games is truth or chilli. We ask a question and everyone has to give an answer. The wrong answer results in the individual eating a chilli,” Gabriella says.
"It’s a fun way for people to interact and they enjoy it.”
Anwar says one of their new vegan burgers will be named after a local artist, but won’t let the cat out of the bag yet.
“This burger is as unique as this artist is,” he says mysteriously.