Lucky Tsotsi , the very name sounds like an oxymoron. You see back home in South Africa ‘Tsotsi’ means thug or gangster. So you can imagine my surprise to find an eatery in Sydney with that name that wasn’t actually dodgy!
Isn’t it peculiar how we (and by we I mean South Africans), no matter how far away we are from the Motherland, always tend to unknowingly gravitate towards other South Africans or any resemblance of South African-ess (yes it’s a word, I just made it up 😉
I don’t believe in luck, nothing is coincidence, so walking down Oxford Street in Sydney it was not by chance that we came across Lucky Tsotsi’s Shebeen, it was meant to be.
Hesitantly my cousin opened the door because after all, I was in Australia, shouldn’t I be eating kangaroo or something (that came later *wink*) and not food from home?
As soon as the door opened, sounds of Just Jinjer with heavenly wafts of comforting South African food invited us in.
One look at the menu, my eyes darted euphorically from malva pudding, koeksisters, milk tart (I always check dessert out first, ok? don’t judge) to samoosas, boerie rolls and bunny chow! If not for me, then for my Aussie cousin, we simply had to dine at Lucky Tsotsi’s Shebeen tonight!
We settled for Boerie Roll Sliders (which just means mini boerewors rolls), Bunny Chow and a slice of Milktart to share.
I was thoroughly impressed by their vast selection of South African imported alcoholic beverages. Every type of Castle lager, bottle and canned, to Red Heart Rum and good old Klippies.
Mandoza’s Kalagata had the patrons vibing away, whilst I checked out the trendy modern Afro-chic decor on the tables, brightly coloured wallpaper, vintage castle beer posters on the walls and the toilets were even aptly named Indoda (Zulu for a man) and Umfazi (Zulu for a woman).
After tucking into our Boeries, and bunny chow I was even more pleasantly surprised to learn that the chefs were all Nepalese but trained by a South African. As the owner’s father (who was not present) just so happened to be a Johannesburger.
They were right on the money with the flavours and spices of each dish. My only teensy weensy little winge would be that true bunny chow is not served out of a round bun, but a hollowed half a loaf of bread.
We took our melktert to go as we were well stuffed beyond recognition.
Before leaving, the gregarious waitron let me play barmaid and hold my favourite drink, Klippies and Coke whilst he snapped a pic.
With a smile and a wave and good old chappies bubblegum (instead of mints), we were on our merry way.
What a great little piece of home right in the heart of Sydney. I think I might just go back before I leave.
Thank you for an enjoyable evening out Lucky Tsotsi!
You can find them here:
Phone: 028 354 1306
Lucky Tsotsi Glossary
Boerewors – means sausage
Milktart – A traditional South African custard tart
Samoosas – deep fried phyllo pastry triangles usually filled with spicy minced beef, chicken or veggies
Bunny Chow – a hollowed out half a loaft of bread filled with spicy meat curry
Malva Pudding – A traditional South African sponge pudding