Warwick #5: Traditional Meals at the Brook Street Market

If you live in Glenwood and you don’t visit the Markets of Warwick regularly you’re not living your best Durban life. Period. From a haircut, to fruit and veg, and great food, there’s nothing you can’t buy there and at the cheapest prices in town. Around a million people pass through the area each day, shouldn’t you too? Shed your suburban fear and become an urban explorer.

This is the fifth in a ‘weekly’ series of Warwick profiles; chronicling the best spots, services, and stories in the area. Check back each week to learn about a different way to save time and money through a new relationship with Durban’s busy and vibrant transport hub.


Warwick Junction is better known for fast rather than delicious eats, however, if you look there is truly great food be found. The second floor of the Brook Street Market is one of those spots. Overlooking pinafore vendors and the Badsha Peer Shrine, the balcony features a row of traditional Zulu restaurants, preparing quick, filling, and tasty meals to shoppers and commuters. To learn more about these amazing spots- while grabbing an amazing lunch- we chatted with Jabu, of Jabu’s Food Place. Here’s what she had to say about working, cooking, and eating in Warwick.

 


 

GC: How long have you had this restaurant?f

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Jabu: We have been in this spot since 2005. Before we were on the ground floor in tents. But in 2005 the Municipality built these stalls for us to use.

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GC: How has the move worked out for you?
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Jabu: It’s mixed. The rent is low (R1500 per year), however that is supposed to include electricity and we never got that. Though they did provide running water for each restaurant. The security is good- I feel safe here, and I don’t need to rent storage. Yet, we were busier at the ground floor, we were nearer the taxi ranks so the taxi drivers and rider would often come.

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GC: What hours do you keep? What is your busy time?

Jabu: Our customers are people from the community- people who work in Warwick, or people just passing through. We are busiest on Fridays and at the end of the month after everyone has gotten paid. I come in the morning to start cooking at 7:00am, and we stay open till 6:00pm or 6:30pm. So we have customers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Though we serve the same menu for every meal.

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GC: What types of foods do you serve?

Jabu: I cook traditional Zulu foods. Beef and chicken curries, stews, salads, vegetables with rice or pap. Whatever you choose, one large plate costs R30, while a smaller plate costs R25. There is also free squash to drink.

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GC: What is your most popular dish?

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Jabu: I would say the beef curry. Sometimes during the winter I will make samp and tripe. That is also very popular when it’s cold out.

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GC: Have you been affected by rising food costs?

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Jabu: I have noticed the costs of ingredients increasing however we have not yet raised our prices. All of the restaurants here are independent, but we have agreed to all charge the same amount. So if we want to increase prices we need to having a meeting and negotiate together.

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GC: Is there much competition between the restaurants?

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Jabu: Yes, we do all compete with each other and sometimes we get into arguments. But because the prices are all the same the customer can decide who has the best seating or who cooks the best food and choose to eat there.

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