Another successful adventure Sunday under my belt. It’s truly amazing how a good Sunday, can set the tone for a positive start to the week ahead. Finding little hidden gems in Joburg has become a mission of mine. I was told about a place in Craighall called The Royale. As soon as I heard the words “Cuban Inspired” uttered, I responded – SAY NO MORE!! I closed my eyes and had a Dirty Dancing Havana Nights moment.
The Royale is a little Cuban themed paradise in the midst of a concrete jungle. The vibe is right up my ally, from the Latino music filling my ears to the relaxed ambiance of the eatery – it’s safe to say I was living my best life. The pastel colored walls, array of plants, antique crockery and old-fashioned bar make this place so unique. You can either choose to sit indoors or have some time in sun in their courtyard area. We did a bit of both and I must say I loved sitting inside because it made me feel as if I was on holiday. The bar is definitely one of my favorite features within the eatery. It doesn’t look like your typically dingy old bar, it’s a bar I would actually enjoy sitting at.
Speaking of the bar. Cuba is all about that rum. The cocktails are packed with a real punch but are so divine. I restricted myself to two cocktails because I have to remain tame on a Sunday (as you can tell, very tame – asking one of the managers if I could sit on a table to snap a shot – class). I first started off with the Mango Storm Cocktail, it was DEE-LICIOUS. There were bits of dried mango in the cocktail, which made for the perfect snack once I was done. I then had the Long Island Ice Tea and WOWZAS TROUSERS was that yummy. S’s cocktails were rough, I let out a bit of a cough after tasting the one. Needless to say you have to be a bit hardcore to handle some. If cocktails aren’t your jam then they have a fine wine selection and if that’s not your kind of thing either, then we can’t be friends and you shouldn’t be reading this post. Kidding! There are plenty of other options to choose from. While indulging in their fine drinks selection, make sure to line your stomach.
The menu is short and sweet. Nothing OTT, which makes for easy choosing. Being a herbie I was glad to see that there were some options for S and I. I have heard via the grape vine, that there will be more plant based options added to the menu, so I’m holding thumbs. S got the pulled mushroom burger, which he said was pretty darn good. We shared a plate of cauliflower wings, which hit the spot and I opted for the Cuban Sandwich minus the cheese and I can happily say that it was qué rico. The cherry on top of everything was receiving service with a smile. The barmen and waiters are all super friendly and welcoming.
All in all, our experience at The Royale was fabulous and I plan on going back. I’d love to see what the vibe is like during the evenings and preferably go through on a Friday or Saturday night so I can try a few more cocktails and live out my Dirty Dancing moment. If you are looking for a vibey place to spend the afternoon, then I would highly recommend The Royale.
The Royale is open Wednesday to Saturday from 11AM – 12AM and to Sundays from 11AM – 8PM. Addie: 357 Jan Smuts Ave, Craighall Park, Randburg, 2196
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