It was the first time I’ve been back to Cyrildene since I lived in Joburg nearly nine years ago. It has changed somewhat, and become more of an established ‘China Town’ or ‘New China Town, as its known, with large gantry pillars at both entrances announcing that you have entered it. I also l lived in Derrick Ave when I was studying at hotel school at the end of the 80ies, so this neighbourhood has a deeper connection to me. The block of flats I lived in with a friend is totally unrecognisable now with the entire area in from of that strip now filled with shops and pavement fresh produce markets. It used to be a Jewish area with kosher shops so it couldn’t be more different now than it was back then.
The fresh produce on sale was in abundance and beautiful. If I lived in Joburg I would shop there all the time. In fact I have never seen such an array of the freshest greens at any market in South Africa before. There were so many plants I had never seen or only heard of, and it’s a complete adventure if you are into sourcing fresh produce.
My biggest regret is that I ran out of time, or rather eating opportunities to stop and have lunch in one of the restaurants. I had done my research though, and The Northern Plate, or Northern Dish was the restaurant I had earmarked to go to had I had the time. Its where I will be going the next time I visit.
I pointed my camera at everything and got somewhat carried away. The area is a little shabby so don’t expect anything glamoroius, but this is as authentic as you are going to get.
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