When it comes to Indian food, you are spoilt for choice in Joburg. From the likes of Thava (I wrote about it here in my Norwood series), Vikram’s in Lonehill and Ahara in Illovo (read here) to Ghazal (Sunninghill), Swad (Melrose Arch) and Dosa Hut in Fordsburg – there are enough options to confuse you!
To help make things easier, here is my review of Swad (it means ‘Taste’ in Hindi). This restaurant has two branches, one in Melrose Arch and the other at the Killarney Mall (they also own Mumbai Masala, a snack and fast food eatery that I reviewed a few weeks ago). Having eaten at both the branches, I can confidently say that the quality of food and service is really good at both restaurants. However, I prefer the Melrose one to Killarney simply because the former has nice outdoors seating and appears brighter and more lively than the latter.
The food at Swad has very South Indian overtones i.e a lot of their curries are inspired by the Southern region of India, with distinct flavours of coconut and tamarind. Having said that, their North Indian dishes such as dal makhni, palak paneer and murg Akbari biryani are equally delicious.
At regular frequencies, Swad organises buffet lunches at both its branches. These buffets are usually theme-based – such as a Biryani Binge, seafood specials, South Indian specialities, etc. K and I happened to go to one such buffet sometime ago. The menu looked so delectable that I was left salivating in anticipation, from a week in advance! Malabar fish curry, chicken ghee roast, sambhar, rasam, medu vadas and a live dosa station – who wouldn’t be excited! K and I really enjoyed the buffet and the cost at R119 per person, was a steal! Details of these special events can be found on their facebook page.
A few weeks after the buffet, I also had the opportunity of organising a private lunch for a group of 25 people. From deciding the menu to the pricing and final organisation, Swad offered seamless service. On the day of the lunch, we had a dedicated team of waiters who ensured that our every need was met. This really blew me away. Good food with great service is hard to come by and Swad excels in both.
Melrose Arch Square
60 Riviera Rd, Killarney,
Cost: R300 for two