Creative cocktails, fabulous food at Tjing Tjing House

Photo by Claire Gunn

TJING TJING House and everything inside the 200-year-old heritage building in Longmarket Street is beautiful – from the delicious casual Japanese food at Tjing Tjing Torii at street level, to the cocktails at the Rooftop Bar, and everything in between; that being Tjing Tjing Momiji and Momji Lounge on the middle floor.

We were invited to sample the new cocktail menu on the rooftop (people, there are a lot of steep stairs to navigate so keep that in mind when choosing your shoes and how you’ll get down later) “curated by bar manager Philip Burrows who has created a twist on some classics. The Tjing Tjing drinks list includes Japanese whiskey, gin and sake as well as an extensive wine list, including Tjing Tjing’s own house wine, made by David & Nadia Wines.”

It was the second-hottest day last week and the luckiest guests were the ones outside getting sprayed by the misters. Inside we sweltered at bit and very quickly got our first cocktail: Murasaki Mojito – fresh mint, lime juice, citrus syrup and soda, with butterfly pea-infused Bacardi Carta Blanca rum, floated to resemble a purple sunset. Each different cocktail comes with its own illustrated coaster.

Next we had Beetle Basil Smashes – Roku gin, basil, thyme, lavender, lemon, shiso, topped with tonic. Things got a little chaotic after that, and although many, many trays of different cocktails were circulated, that’s all my friend Colleen and I got. Karen Dudley and her husband David, who joined us, got Maeki-Neko margaritas (having missed the first two rounds) which they loved – Cazadores Blanco Tequila, lime, grapefruit and yuzu koshō, with a tagaroshi and sea salt rim.

I wasn’t terribly concerned about the absence of drinks because there were even more trays of delicious canapés and even though I’d come from a Christmas-style lunch (gammon makes it so), I tried everything I could. Smoky sweet potato gyoza, sushi, karaage chicken, yakitori, tonkatsu ribs possibly? There was more but in my excitement I neglected to make notes. The funniest part of the entire night was Colleen trying mochi for the first time, which of course I videoed. Let’s just say it’s not for everyone. The mochi doughnuts were a winner though. There’s a fab food menu for the rooftop, so no matter where you end up you’ll be well-fed. I’m a firm fan of Tjing Tjing and its sibling Mochi Mochi; not only is the food amazing but the staff have such a cool vibe, and it won’t send you looking for a loan shark.

Here’s the rest of the story from the press release.

Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar is enveloped in wooden mansards in the old attic space of the building. Its signature Japanese shrine-inspired red bar takes centre stage since Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar opened its doors in 2011. Lounge-style seating is complemented by bar-height tables and indigo fabric wallpaper with embroidered bathing Macaque monkeys. Three kokeshi doll tables subtly infuse layers of personality and Japanese subculture. The Samurai warrior doll represents the past, the Harajuku doll symbolises the present, with the Cyberpunk doll infusing a Japanese futuristic twist.

The bar opens up to an airy outside rooftop terrace and is well known for its current indie and electronic music. Open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 4pm – close, kitchen closes at 10pm. No reservations. Exclusive events can be requested via email [email protected]

Tjing Tjing Torii offers casual Japanese food typically found in yokocho (street food alleys) in a space inspired by the multiple layers of old and modern Japan – a brightly coloured street-food joint with electrifying decor that encapsulates the youthful energy of Tokyo. Torii trades Tuesdays-Saturdays from 12pm to late on a first come, first served basis with the kitchen closing at 10pm.

Tjing Tjing Momiji, a tranquil restaurant on the middle level of the building is open for dinner on Saturdays. A passion for modern Japanese culture and cuisine coupled with the chefs’ (Adri Morel and Nicola Aucamp) creativity and personalities result in a unique and often playful menu. This season Momiji offers their interpretation of a modern sushi omakase menu (see sample), bringing some familiar South African flavours to some dishes and keeping it traditional in others.

Momiji Lounge, adjacent to Momiji restaurant, is a 20-seater lounge and bar area with sunken booths and a long and low couch. No conventional table and chair seating here but the full a la carté menu that is available at Torii and the Rooftop Bar is available. Reservations are taken here and this space can easily be reserved for smaller private groups or parties and food is customised accordingly. Momiji Lounge trades Tuesdays to Saturdays from 4pm to late.

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