Makers Landing launches restaurant residency programme

Makers Landing is excited to introduce the next iteration of a retail food business with a pop-up restaurant concept which invites rising stars to take up residency in a bigger restaurant space, giving them an opportunity to get a taste of running a full-scale restaurant. First to take up the opportunity in the 100spm space is Emazulwini’s Mmabatho Molefe, one of South Africa’s most promising young chefs, who will move from her current 10-seater restaurant at Makers Landing into the 40-seater pop-up space designed in collaboration with Clout/SA, a design programme that facilitates collaboration between design makers and the hospitality sector. Interior design specialist, Walter Train, was the design lead on the project and was mentored by Clout/SA.

The award-winning Zulu-inspired restaurant which opened in 2020 and celebrates Nguni cuisine with a menu that is a tribute to the owner/chef Mmabatho’s roots, and her mother who inspires how she cooks. “We have been privileged to launch in a pop-up space in Makers Landing which is fully equipped with everything from a kitchen to tables, crockery and equipment. We just need to bring the food and alcohol,” Molefe said.

Molefe plans to unveil a new menu, “I am calling it ‘A letter from home’. The events of previous months have been overwhelming, in a good way, and we needed a break. I spent time with my parents Sindi and Sipho in KwaZulu-Natal and Johannesburg, re-discovering who I am and I emerged feeling refreshed.” Her cooking, which uses offal and indigenous ingredients, will now also include a vegetarian menu, and she promises that a few old favourites will make an appearance. Mmabatho’s new culinary venture is set to open to the public in November 2022. Bookings are open and available on the Dineplan website.

“We’re happy to be launching this new pop-up space with one of our own taking up the first residency to further her business. It’s been a privilege to watch Mmabatho and her restaurant grow to being recognised as an industry leader in the traditional African food space, and her passion for food and the food community is very much a shared value between her business and Makers Landing, a food incubation hub that holds its roots in helping to break down barriers to entry within the local food industry,” said Alex Kabalin, V&A Waterfront Retail Executive.

“The opening of the Makers Landing pop up kitchen is the next evolution on providing a platform for growing food businesses to scale up, as we build a community around food as a passion point and cultural connector. We hope to be a space where authentic South African food and its diversity, is shared and businesses are mentored.”