Ozzy’s Kitchen, Sandton
9:00 - 16:00 Mon to Thurs
10:00 - 16:00 & 18:30 - 22:00 Fri
12:00 - 16:00 & 18:30 - 22:00 Sat
12:00 - 16:00 Sun
Price Range (p/p)
When a restaurant is hyped up a lot I tend to steer clear for a while and take my time about getting there. Such was the case with Ozzy’s Kitchen. Which is why my first foray to this Jozi hot spot only happened after 7 months of living in Johannesburg. Run by Ozzy Osman who honed his chef skills in the Masterchef SA kitchen, I was filled with anticipation.
It was a Saturday afternoon in January with some time to kill in Sandton that we decided to venture over. No reservation, but we were going to live dangerously. Lady luck was on our side, because we arrived at 3pm and were able to choose a table. It was not busy but not exactly quiet either. And it filled up a bit more after that. We soon learned that lady luck was not just on our side but had been graciously escorting us as well because after receiving our starters and putting in our mains order we learned that they stop serving at 4pm in order to prep for dinner at 6pm. And dinner I was later to learn is typically fully booked, and had we pitched without a reservation we would have had a long wait ahead.
The location of the restaurant is in Wynberg, an industrial area in Sandton. We went in the afternoon but I imagine it’s not a great spot at night. They do have secure parking around the back of the restaurant though. The restaurant itelf is part of a block with an art gallery upstairs and what looked like offices adjoining. The space is warehouse chic with concrete floors, brick walls and large cavernous spaciousness. It’s slick, but lacks the intimacy you may want for a romantic setting. But what it lacks in elegance it makes up for in a menu infused with bold presentation, flavour and creativity.
We opted to share the Bang Bang Shrimp starter. A wise choice as this dish came with 9 decent size tempura prawns(the menu said 6) on a bed of slaw with a sriracha sauce. The flavours of this dish was faultless and could happily suffice as a main meal for me in future. While waiting for our starter, we were offered a slate of pita bread wedges with hummus and a kidney bean paté. I must admit that while beautifully presented, I wasn’t overly wowed with either of the spreads, finding both a bit lacking in flavour.
After the December holidays, following an onslaught of braaing and family get-togethers which included more braaing I was a bit “meated out”. So where I normally would have tried a steak as a measure of skill, I opted for their signature Mozambican peri-peri chicken instead. The chicken was moist and tender and the sauce was something else, tangy, hot and spicy. I chose the roasted veggies on the side instead of chips and can I just say at the risk of sounding like I’m gushing, Ozzy’s skills are apparent when such a simple side is elevated so you can see the care and thought that went into its preparation. The roast veggies were freshly cut, not out of a freezer bag, and so perfectly done and seasoned it almost deserved its own place on the menu. We also tried the Moroccon Burger – a Brioche Bun, Lamb Patty, Tzatziki, Mint Sauce & Crumbled Feta. Hubby thoroughly enjoyed this but my chicken beat it hands down.
The menu includes breakfast, pasta, salads, grills and seafood. In the week they’re open till 4pm and serve a lighter menu. On weekends they’re open till late with their “Casual Fine Dining” menu, and that’s the menu you want to go for. Prices are not so outlandish as I was led to believe. My half chicken was R90 and the Burger was R89. Some menu items are quite pricey but most are on par with other restaurants of it’s type. I did find the kids menu a little pricey. Considering how small children eat, Fish Nuggets for R79 is a bit steep. Mocktails and drinks were reasonably priced. I loved that they have a kids area which I did not expect. And it’s quite large with big windows you can watch the kids through and emblazoned with colouful graffiti. Service was good, efficient, friendly and not invasive. There’s a bunch of menu items that look interesting that I still want to try so Ozzy’s will definitely be a do-again for me.