Time-starved Joburgers craving home-cooked food need The Leopard at 44 Stanley on speed dial. Swing past Andrea Burgener and Nick Gordon’s kitchen to pick up a chicken curry or killer mac ‘n’ cheese, or have it delivered straight to your front door. And that’s an order!
IN LATE NINETIES
Joburg, if you hung around Melville and Auckland Park, you might have noticed an intriguing restaurant called Superbonbon in nearby Richmond. I remember being fascinated by the name, did a bit of sleuthing and found out that they served a bowl of Coco Pops and milk (complete with a “prize”) for dessert, which appealed hugely to my 23-year-old self. Sadly, I never got to eat there, but always harboured a fair amount of admiration for anyone who would do such a fabulous thing.
That person was Andrea Burgener, who went on to open Deluxe in Parktown North, which later moved to Milpark’s 44 Stanley lifestyle centre. Andrea’s next project was The Leopard in Melville, which opened in 2011. Named for the eponymous Italian novel by Italian count Giuseppi di Lampedusa, The Leopard was beloved by diners looking for delicious, unpretentious food in a relaxed setting.
Andrea and her husband, Nick Gordon, decided to close The Leopard last year and then reincarnate it back at 44 Stanley as The Leopard Kitchen & Deli, which focuses on producing excellent-quality readymade meals, supplying responsibly sourced meat and dairy, interesting deli items and homemade cakes and biscuits. Their vision was the “restaurant at home”, which perfectly describes their philosophy: no frills or fanfare, just good, honest food. There’s also a small sit-down breakfast and lunch menu, as well as takeaway meals that service many a desk-bound office worker looking for sustenance. Think meatballs, chicken curry, chicken pie, mac and cheese, ricotta-and-spinach malfatti (similar to gnocchi dumplings, but made with ricotta and spinach), and quasi Mozambican peri-peri brinjal.
WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE CHANGE, ANDREA IS CANDID.
Running a full-service restaurant at night made it difficult to spend time together as a family (Andrea and Nick have three children – Jim, Holly and Tom) and there had been safety issues in their neighbourhood. “We weren’t eating together as a family,” she says, “the nights I was off, Nick was at the restaurant, and vice versa. It was like we were single parents! We’d have separate conversations with the kids, and they’d have these in-jokes with each other. I was feeling quite left out. Now we’re so happy to be home at the same time that supper is sometimes a bit late because we’re chatting over a gin and tonic. Our children are like Spanish children, eating so late, but their school hours don’t coincide!”
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CHRISTMAS STEP BY STEP
If you’re the kind of traditionalist who insists on old-school starters, two roasts (glazed gammon, obvs), duck-fat potatoes, gravy perfection and the ultimate jelly and “custard”, then Hannah Lewry has all your work cut out for you, right here. Because if ever there was a time of year to flaunt your cooking skills, this is it
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A few ingredients left to infuse for two days and you can add a few home-made gifts to your festive repertoire this year, says Jeanne Calitz
FOOD HERO Brandy custard
Creamy, flecked with vanilla and now spiked with everyone’s favourite festive spirit, the TASTE team is all over Woolies’ new brandy custard. But how will we make the most of this fresh punnet of ingenuity?
A NEW KIND OF MAGIC
Break a few rules this Christmas, ('cos it's been that kinda year) and make new traditions with Abigail Donnelly’s inspired modern menu
In which Jonathan Ancer makes peace with the most embarrassing meal of his life, after learning that his food phobia has become family-table folklore
South Africa lost an icon earlier this year, when food editor and author Dorah Sitole passed away. Mogau Seshoene remembers the woman who inspired, advised and cheered for a generation of young black chefs
THANKS FOR sharing
Best way to do Christmas on a budget? Pot luck, you guys! Make some menu “suggestions”, says Khanya Mzongwana, set up a buffet table and ask everyone to bring a shareable dish that costs less than R50 per person. Think of it as food-nerd secret Santa
ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS
These are all the cakes, tarts, puddings, biscuits and treats you need for your Christmas countdown, courtesy of Abigail Donnelly
STEP BY STEP Christmas fairy-cake biscuits
For the kids and the kids at heart, these buttery, rainbow sprinkled biccies offer pure, unadulterated joy in the making and eating
The last carb
When her favourite veg, the humble potato, is all dressed up in a rich, cheesy tartiflette, Sam Woulidge knows it will bring peace to the holiday table
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France’s president has an ace up his sleeve as he seeks a second term
Georgia On Our Minds, Again
The Southern state will be the stage for more high-stakes political drama
Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wages war on COVID-19 at home while building ties with the UAE and guarding against Iran
Fur Tries to SHED Its Image, Again
The industry is betting a new certification program will win back consumers worried over animal welfare
THE SECOND COMING OF NUCLEAR POWER
As the demand for energy rises, MINIATURIZED nuclear power plants could be a climate-friendly new source. Critics aren’t so sure
The New Web Vs. the Old Web
Meet Web3, which could replace the Big Tech powers, or be co-opted by them
Trips Worth the Wait
As we begin a new year and the pandemic continues to rage on, travel is more complicated than ever.
Cheap, Focused, Mobile—and Not a Bank
How Silicon Valley is winning the money of young consumers
Q&A : Daniel Lamarre
The feds are starting to allocate billions of dollars to pull CO2 from the air. They’ve got a lot of work to do