Dining Out, Night life

Get ready for a sonic adventure at Jozi’s jazz jewel

Jul 3, 2019, Author: Candice May

At the jazz den tucked into the basement of British-Ghanian architect David Adjaye’s Hallmark House boutique hotel, the marvelous sounds match the splendid sight lines. Truly, there’s nowhere quite like The Marabi Club. 


It’s easy to walk right past the inconspicuous black canopy that leads to The Marabi Club, except on weekends when people queue outside to hear jazz that’s of the groovy, hard-swinging variety. Once you get past the barrel-chested men dressed in black standing outside the metal door, you’re well rewarded. The warm lighting permeates the space, giving it an intimate glow, while face brick walls, a long bar, art-deco furniture and reclaimed wooden window frames amongst many careful details evoke the history of the club’s interior. What’s more, the low stage makes it seem like the greats are playing in your own dining room. 

Aptly named after Marabi, the urban culture that emerged from the slum yards of Joburg’s Doornfontein during the 1920s and 1930s and influenced everything from music to fashion, The Marabi Club is the closest you’ll come to an old-school jazz eatery that harks back to New York’s Harlem Rennaissance. Hot on the heels of its Cape Town rival, Joburg welcomes dynamic young chef, Katlego Mlambo, as The Marabi Club’s new head chef. Katlego was formerly the group sous chef for Luke Dale-Roberts’ group of award-winning Cape Town restaurants, including The Test Kitchen, The Pot Luck Club and The Shortmarket Club. 


Katlego’s extraordinary new menu puts the fun back in Asian fusion, featuring a variety of small sharing plates that feature humble ingredients and marry the buttery, creamy hues of his French training with the fresh, aggressive influences of Asian cuisine. We recommend you round up the troops and head to The Marabi Club for an evening of superb food, potent cocktails and slick service from jauntily dressed waiters. Start at the bar for pre-dinner drinks, such as the superb Skillachi house cocktail made with gin, grapefruit and cinnamon. Before you’re taken through to the restaurant for dinner, make sure you sign the ‘Wall of Fame’ and snap a picture. 

There’s only one way to do dinner at The Marabi Club, and that’s to settle in and work your way through the menu. Dishes like Asian-style oysters, kimchi prawns and fresh burrata with salsa macha (you won’t want to share this one!) will catch your eye immediately, but don’t miss the equally impressive vegetarian options, including the textures of carrots and hay-baked sweet potato. Each dish is beautifully constructed and effortlessly balances sweet, salty, smoky and bitter flavours and creamy, crunchy textures. Whatever you do, save room for dessert – the roasted figs with hazelnuts and cinnamon ice cream is highly addictive and the Marabi KitKat layered with chocolate mousse and almond sponge and served with orange ice cream is a dark chocolate lover’s dream. 


The Marabi Club promises a mix of local and international acts, but you won’t find any information on the exact lineups online. One thing that is guaranteed, however, is that it’s sure to be a wow experience! Dinner reservations are essential and can be made easily on The Marabi Club’s website. 

47 Sivewright Avenue, New Doornfontein 

010 591 2879 

Facebook: @themarabiclub 

Twitter: @themarabiclub 

Instagram: @themarabiclub 

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