Dining Out

Chef James Diack launches ‘La Stalla’

Mar 1, 2018, Author: Hello Joburg

He is certainly on a roll (excuse the pun) Hello Joburgers, and we were beyond excited to hear that The Federal in Melville is getting a facelift, and Chef James Diack will be renaming his Seventh Street eatery as La Stalla “The Stables” and reopening it as a rustic pizzeria in late March 2018!

“Since we opened in Melville in September 2016, we’ve noticed a change in what people are eating, and what they’re spending. And, in today’s fast-moving restaurant industry we have to adapt,” explains James.

“We’ve also seen how successful the food and environment at Il Contadino in Parktown North has been, and so we’re going to make La Stalla a mini version of that.” he adds.

The industrial-chic pizzeria will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 07h00 until 10h00 and serve three meals a day.

For lovers of The Federal’s brunch – don’t despair – a range of farm-fresh breakfasts will be available for R75 each. For lunch and dinner La Stalla guests can choose from a selection of well-priced small plates, a number of wood-fired dishes and pizza options, roasted chicken and fresh salads. Dessert will be gelato, served in cones or bowls.

“The food will be good, soulful, value-for-money and cooked in a similar style to Il Contadino,” says James. “We’re installing a pizza oven and all of the ingredients we cook with will be sourced straight from our farm, Brightside in the Magaliesburg.”


Two of the farm-fresh dishes that will be available from La Stalla – bruschetta with a variety of toppings, and arancini stuffed and dusted with wild-boar bacon.

James will be working in partnership with Il Contadino’s Head Chef, Rausharn Griffin to operate and manage the establishment. Rausharn has worked alongside James since 2014, first at Coobs and later heading up the team at Il Contadino.

“I’m really excited at the opportunity to work as a business partner with James at La Stalla,” Rausharn says. “I’ve learnt so much from Il Contadino and now I’m ready to bring something new to Melville.”

Along with having a pizza oven installed into the space, James is also updating the façade and some of the décor – the trademark reclaimed wood-panelled wall and copper-piping will remain.

For drinks, expect OC Brewery craft beer, a wine list featuring some quirky and affordable boutique wines and some interesting cocktails. “This will be my simplest restaurant to date, and I can’t wait to share the experience with Rausharn, and with Melville,” James concludes.

Find out all the info on their Facebook page @lastallajhb

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