All-day Brunch at The Super

Supper in Swaziland anyone?

One time, many years ago, Jono and I drove to Durban to eat the crumbed n fried olives at Cafe 1999. It was worth it. This time no one had to drive.

This time -

We went to Swaziland!
On a luxury bus!
For one night!
For supper!
Cooked by Reuben!
In a glass factory!
And drank (a lot of)
Wine chosen by Neil Pendock!

Very happily the wine Mr Pendock chose is the wine we’d already decided to serve at Mess next yr! SECATEURS! We were much impressed with our new found taste-skills and celebrated by drinking much. We drank this wine out of the reason we were there. Wine glasses. Reuben has made a range of glasses with the Ngwenya Glass Factory. We went into the fire pits and watched the process. It was great to watch but also DANGEROUS.


We sweated and turned pink and drank more champagne to replace our lost liquids.

Tell us what happened next.

It gets a bit , er, blurry, here.
We drank red wine out of red wine glasses
White wine from white wine glasses
Ate amazing food by Reuben
off glass plates.
And talked about food. and wine. and life. and laughed. a lot.


Wow, that sounds amazing.

It was ! Somehow - educated guess: the wine? - things got pretty raucous in the glass factory. We convinced the keyboardist (a kind man in a maroon waistcoat) to drop the Elton John and rock out to The Beatles. Everyone (including Mr Edcon, the distributor of the glassware) threw each other around the dance floor, doing that couples dancing thing that there’s no space for at The Attic, we ran around the factory, we smoked everywhere, I accosted Reuben in his kitchen - I hope to redeem myself someday soon. I have no idea what time we left but the bus trip was hilarious - much laughter, thanks to David Frederik Cope who gave us a running commentary on the mic.


At the hotel we kept the bar open - with me repeatedly begging the barmen to set up the Karaoke system - until…. 4am. Emma sampled their finest brandy & coke (a new experience) , Cameron fell asleep with a cigarette in his mouth, Colin was still going strong right til the end, and I took the wrong keys and walked into “my” room wondering why it smelled like “boy socks”. I then got lost on my way back to the bar - u know how confusing hotel carpets are? i decided to try and remember what the carpet near the lift looked like ….

The next morning we bussed it back to Joburg, a trip that was more than a little wobbly.

It was such, such a lovely weekend. In the most genuine and heart-filled way.

Much thanks to the Source SA team (who confirmed my theory that the more important and clever a person/company is, the more humble and great they usually are. This insight excludes Madonna - anyone over the age of 80 who wears a lilac leotard should not be allowed on MTV).

Name & Shame/ Hoorays & Praise

We are starting a new hobby right here - not The Super, tho that is Super Kewl. No, The new hobby is Name & Shame or Hoorays & Praise. Reviews to follow :)

Oh, and by the way, just thought I would mention: Kathryn White = Kate White. Yes, I am the same person and am often looking at people who say: Oh! Kate! It’s you! Yes, it’s me.

The FoodHall

There are two Jonos in Joburg, and both of them cook. The Jono Hall (not the Jono Mess) had a Breakfast Lunch Supper Experiment recently, where he cooked .. Breakfast Lunch and Supper and ± 20 of us ATE & DRANK for 12 hours. I think I knew less people there than people I did know, but I think people became friends after all that time, all that food, all that togetherness. Kind of like Christmas without the presents or drunk uncle.

The food was incredible - my breakfast fav was an oats and apple and berry crumble pie with yoghurt and honey (and perfect scrambled eggs - a sign that Jono Hall might be a man slut? - a personal theory on boys’ ability to make scrambled eggs being directly related to their ability to have one-night-stands. Discuss in 160 characters or less). For lunch we had rolls with pork belly with a sweet relish and mayo and leafy things, a salad of naartjies and crunchy curry bites where the naartjie juice made the dressing inside your mouth, and roasted-grilled-ed potatoes with mustard seeds, and for supper a sublime prawns feast with saffron, tomato and currants glumph on angel hair pasta. finished off with a bowl of strawbs - :)

Here’s Jono Hall’s v cool blog and recipes. Yums.

And Sam Swaine wrote Lots of nice yums here too.

The Super is opening!

I have been upset for a while about the dearth of pretty-delicious places to shop for food. You Know what i say: Fuck florescent lights and vacuum-packed-chicken-thighs and Woolies and their Christian magazines - were starting a market. It’s called THE SUPER and we think it will be.

The Super is Joburg’s response to famine; the lack of inspiring & generous places to procure our weekly groceries.

Located in the Parkhurst village, our courtyard on 4th opens from 9:00 - 2:00 every Saturday, and a monthly night-market . Our partners are the purveyors of conscious, artisanal, happy food. They range from bakers to butchers and coffee to cupcakes.

Fried food at the substation

We held Mess at the Substation art gallery at WITS. The theme was fried food. Three courses of delicious greasy food that everyone could just tuck into. That’s the beauty of Mess, you get to abandon your cutlery and tear apart pieces of chicken and pick up zucchini chips, all with your hands. Here, you’re allowed to forget everything your mom taught you about food together with the table manners that came with it. Stretch over everyone to get to the platter, ash in the empty bottles on the table, pass food along with your hands, scrape the last bit of sauce up with your finger and God forbid, lick your fingers clean at the end of it all.

Food & Fridges

Long ago, the ancients ate some rotten meat. Some threw up. Others died. They put some salt on it. They could eat the food then. When ice became part of their life, they rejoiced. Hooray. Uncooked out of the fridge meat is bad, it will kill you. And now, many modern years later, we eat bloodless, leeched packs of meat inside very cold shops. A few years ago I spent a month in France WWOOFing (look it up) and at one stage i stayed in a 13th C chateau (sp?) and was flabbergasted at how they left their meat out all day long, all week long, and how fucking awesome and incredible the food was, esp the meat. honestly, they left these slabs of flesh lying around their 13th C kitchen, the dogs were even in the kitchen, and we;d come in after a 3 hour ride and the lady of the house would wash her hands, go over to the meat slabs, lean into the tray and talk to the pieces in baby french and then slip slap the stuff around, using a more brutal sounding language. So now, a few years later in SA, we’re all oo 28 days aged and stuff, but do you know how that happens - the process is gross, the enzymes are having a little party, breaking up all the proteins and stuff, ingesting each other. anyway today, i am like soo Liberal (that’s a capital if you’ve grown up White English South African, a friend recently called me a Pinko… hahahha) and i am looking at all our food today and it’s about 37 degrees and we don’t have a fridge at our new venue and i am thinking: how comfortable do i actually feel about not fridgeing the food? luckily, we have bags and bags and bags of ice and cooked pork belly and some trout and, i think, that the only thing that could possibly go off is the caviar. (does anyone know the answer to it? I mean, it’s an egg… from the far North?) so i put it on a bag of ice. and i’ll let y’all know tomoro how it went down. K


I don’t know.
It makes me want to smash something.
marina aurora


Rike Sitas, sometimes vegetarian and always smart, makes art and a recipe blog for veggies.

This is not vegetarian salami (yurgh).

Read Rike’s post on dinner the other night - beautiful photos - but did she photoshop out the meat?

Beautiful hands hey.


Dear Miss White:

The good thing about getting to 30ish is you don’t need to impress anyone with your dinner-party wine like you did when you were 20ish. That said, there is no point in drinking shit wine - so here are a couple of options on the R45 Rands mark: Glen Carlou Tortoise Hill or Darling Cellars DC Six Tonner. Two vile wines in contrast, that I would not consider drinkable in any civilized society are: Beyerskloof Pinotage or Woolftrap.

To clarify the wine glass wise crack: I’m not saying that everyone should drink wine out of wine glasses, or that they should be matchy matchy. Glugging wine out of a robust tumbler can be very nice, as can miscellaneous sort-of-country-kitchen-shabby-Chic crystal glasses. But surely serving wine in those nasty WINEX frosted-logo mini glasses is just not cool. Go and buy 12 matching R10 tumblers from Wollies. Oh, and that reminds me: after 30 surely we should have more than 4 plates!


Carmen just put me on to this German site which catalogs the uber-cool lives of Berliners and their apartments. It’s all in German so i have no idea what they’re banging on about but i know it makes me jealous: freunde-von-freunden

fvf ist ein Interviewmagazin, das kreativ Schaffende in ihren Arbeits- und Lebensräumen dokumentiert und individuelle Perspektiven und Eindrücke vermittelt.
Wir portraitieren ausgewählte Personen in Ihrer direkten Lebensumgebung, sei es zu Hause, im Studio, im Apartment oder in deren Kiez.
Ein einmaliger und exklusiver Einblick mit professionellen Fotos, Liebe zum Detail, Hintergrundinfos und Geheimtipps durch Text- und Videointerviews.

Why’s jono being such a Hater? Let’s Make Love instead.

What’s with the Hating Jono? It’s a time of love, the end of spring, the start of summer, little yellow ducks have been born and kitties go galavanting all night and only come home when the sky starts shattering up. I am saddened by your Hater post. But no worries, I have read lots of psychology text books and I shall now lead you through a very logical rebuttal to help you find the light again, to see the love, to feel the beat of happiness in your breast.

  1. Bournville. I am taking an educated guess here and reckoning you’ve never tasted it. It’s cocoa and that’s what we care about - not the brand name, not what people think about you if you pitch up with a bar of Cadbury for the post-dinner on the table nibble snack. Just the tastes of chocolate when you press it against the top of your palate to see what its meltability is like. Stop with the 50 Ronts chocolate - save your moneys for flowers that will brighten your life.

  2. Under R45 wine. Just because you bought 2 cases of - wine, costed at R42, and we drank it all and then went back to Haute Cabriere and Diemersfontein (which, let’s be honest, we know should never be drunken with food, unless its a 47 day old steak aged in a specially built cedar wood cabin, hung to the sounds of Eric Clapton’s guitar) doesn’t mean that under R45 is always bad. I am loving that Woolies wine.even though they’ve called it after Owls and Ducks and other non-smart animals, that Organic gets me and the words No Sulphites are manna to a girl who gets sick from even too mcuh garlic.

  3. Wine glasses. This is just plain mean. You know perfectly well that most of your friends have non-matching wine glasses. Hell, I don’t even have wineglasses. I have tumblers. Mismatched ones! Methinks the people who have sets are either a) recently married or b) not having enough parties at their houses.

  4. Chicken Kiev and Polony. I admire your honesty here. The Chicken Kiev is ok - I’m not a fan but i can see the appeal. But the polony: I’m judging you bru - it makes me feel a little bit vom, knowing I have a friend who eats polony. I don’t mind that polony is all that regurgitated body parts (I’m rather fond of the 1/4 Pounder Deluxe and have decided the reason the patty is called 100% beef is because it is 100% beef liver, taste it and see) it’s the rubbery, matt shade of pink of polony that offends me. While we’re being honest, I actually don’t know what it tastes like - but i reckon sausage?

  5. Secrets. I had one recently, it felt like this:

Yes peoples of South Africa - i felt like I had a broccoli girl growing inside my muffin. Wow, that came out all wrong. The muffin is like a cheese version of me, and the broccoli girl is Secret Me inside the Me Muffin . Oh wow. This metaphor isn’t going to work is it.

Awesome, moving right on. Let’s sum this up: Jono, while we admire you telling us your secret snob stuff, we’re promoting Make Love today and i am sure after this you’re going to try chocolate made in a South African factory, be okay when your wineglass doesn’t match and also, in the interest of sharing love, i will try the pink rubbery stuff, but can i have mayo on it please?

Much loves and kisses to all, Kate.


Things I’m hating: that Woolworths basil, creamcheese and sundried tomato dip, wine under R45, Cadbury’s Bournville chocolate, table salt, fresh rosemary, chopped garlic in a tub

Things over 30s shouldn’t have: non-matching wineglasses, wineglasses with logos, wine under R45, chocolate made in RSA, polyester dish cloths, tinned asparagus

Things I shouldn’t like, but do: frozen chicken Kiev, polony, cigarettes, tinned asparagus



I’m so pissed off right now that I’m not Scandinavian. Imagine if Alvar Aalto was your inheritance; instead of National Braai Day and Mistry’s pine bookcases; a famine of beauty.

Check out HEL YES! pop-up restaurant and die with me.



Something even more exciting than the next episode of
Boer soek vrou will be happening in Joburg in plus-minus
3 weeks time, and every Saturday.
[And it’s not Mess. dot dot dot]


aficionado says: “the coolest dining experience I have had in the last year.”

Warm, comforting, indulgent and wholesome communal eating prepared by people that simply love good food. The Mess is a guerilla (pop up) dining experience that has the cities tongue wagging (and salivating). I had the honour of attending one of Kate and Jono’s long tables, which included a meal of artichoke hearts, rabbit stew and broken figs, drizzled honey and camembert.” says: “good food with a twist of attitude”

The food is an attraction, but even more enticing is the fact that you’re sitting on a street corner in a relatively deserted city, an oasis of good cheer and quirky service […]friendly Kathryn White, who joins you at the table to eat […], and chef-for-a-night Jonathan Cane. Eating there is an experience I’d heartily recommend, with one caveat – don’t go if you have a fear of lung cancer.”

jobusy says: “The food prepared in the pop-up kitchen was so delicious and original (a bit too original for me)”

Watch this space… or rather, don’t. Next time Mess hosts a dinner for twenty or so fans it will be somewhere completely different.”

missmoss lyndall’s list says: things i like right now #10 (in no particular order)

Cam put me onto their blog so I spy on their goings ons every now and then. The food they’re cooking, the fact that they’re educating people with new ingredients and methods, and just the way they pull it all off makes me want to rip my ‘green with envy’ eyeballs out.”

relentlessabundance says:

I love what Kate and Jono are doing in Joburg with their Mess. It’s fun and thought-provoking and human, and looks goddamn delicious.”

superette says: “they’re making some pretty mega food and in such a great way. I especially like their new No Vegetarians and No Menu Plans rules, definitely something I’d like to apply to the Supper Clubs. It also seems like Jo’burgers are way more willing to go along with it than our Cape Town customers who arrive for a West Coast Lobster Supper Club with a shellfish allergy and vegetarian requests… For real realz. It also looks like they’re really good at having a really good time. So Capetonians stop trying to be so damn awesome, check The Mess out and aspire to be like an arsetastic Jo’burger for once in your life.”

Die Beeld: “The Mess is ’n Johannesburgse weergawe van so ’n “ondergrondse” restaurant … bied Kathryn White en Jonathan Cane ’n ete aan, elke keer by ’n ander plek in die stad (dit staan bekend as ’n “pop-up”- restau­rant)”

the foodie says: “based on their blog they appear to be ridiculously talented in the kitchen, naturals behind the camera and also really really really good-looking. It made me hungry. It made me thirsty for red wine. It made me want artichokes. It made me wish I could pull off the retro bicycle with casual v-neck look.”

Men’s Health says: “we’re keen to sit down to dinner at The Mess, a pop-up restaurant that’s attracting attention all over Joburg.”


Food and dates



Not the Date-with-Man date - tho, on that subject, pizza + red wine = always seems to work , but the dates of food. It’s been a hobby that Jono and I have enjoyed for many many years. Look at food, date it, laugh at how clever we are.

Last night I ate:

Penne, cream, fillet, cognac, twig of rosemary, black mushrooms. 1978.

Last week I ate:

Avo Ritz: 1963. This depends on how it is served. A lettuce leaf underneath takes it straight to 1986. Am not actually sure when this strange meal was invented or by who or how or why, but it is apparently another South Africanism [see monkeygland below].

Beef Wellington: Exactly! When last did you eat that? Or, for that matter, smear liver paste on ANYTHING? Yum, am going to get some today for my Low GI nutty toast.

Thai Green Curry (Chicken): 2003. Hahahaha. You see.

Eating the wasabi cos you thought it was avo: 1999 - 2003. (I am hoping for you that it wasn’t any later than that).

Homemade pizza: So 2010.

Bread, olive oil, balsamic/ Hummous and pita: 1992

Ceviche: 2012. You don’t even know you love it yet. Our 4 ceviche recipes (see two versions here) come from The Groucho Grill in South Ken where my brother Drew waitered.

Monkeygland sauce: You have just finished performing in the school play and your folks are taking you out for supper/ you are a baby boomer and you’re taking your kids out for supper after they have just finished performing in the school play [another South African “invention” - who else would mix chutney, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce].

Mexican: am talking ye old Tex-Mex vibe, with melted cheddar on everything. Early 90s.

Fusion: Oh, help me. I used to do restaurant reviews but after my 400th menu with the main items being “wasabi-encrusted salmon” vs “black cherries with duck” I quit. Duck should only go with sour/citrus (in my humble opinion) and a black cherry is not sour enough. I’d say Fusion started in 2000, but I only moved to Joburg in 2000 and previous homes (Knysna - French country) , Plett (Fresh fish) and East London (See above for the delightful Tex Mex) so I am probably wrong on this. On the subject of fusion, Tuna + Watercress is still yum, altho it seems we have eaten all the good pieces and the little slabs we do get now are totally tasteless (and at sushi restaurants, often too cold for the flavour to come thru).

PS: If you would like to eat the last of the tuna in the world (I am not judging, I tried to eat the last of the salmon and now i choose trout because farmed salmon doesn’t have enough muscle-blood-oxygen-flavour in it) then don’t watch The Cove. If you ever wanted to be a Marine Biologist, don’t watch The Cove. If you ever want to be happy with your wardrobe don’t watch The Devil Wears Prada, The Divorce or Gossip Girl.

A CONVERSATION about dates:

Follow Lisa’s response and additions on relentlessabundance:

Roasted vegetables. 1992. Especially roast garlic. And chocolate brownies.

Stacks. 1993. (Well – 1983 for some – see below…)

Nut loaf. So 1972. So American. So vegetarian.

Cherry pie. 1990. Kyle Maclachlan, Twin Peaks. Swoon.

Stuffed mushrooms. 1985. Revived in 1997. Garlic, breadcrumbs, blue cheese. Easier than our mothers made out.

Pear and blue cheese salad. 1998.

Sushi. 2000. Nigiri and california rolls and sashimi and home made maki rolls with bits of sushi rice all over the mat.

Sushi. 2001. Inside out rolls and more sashimi.

Sushi post-2002. Rainbow rolls. Rainbow nation rolls. Ponzu sauce and 7-spice.

Sushi post-2009. Japanese salad.

(Sushi is kind of indomitable, and will be til we fish out the oceans entirely.)

I’m so with Kate and Jono on early 90′s Tex-Mex. Though chilli poppers and frozen margaritas were quite 2001 in my book.

2012: They say ceviche. I’m with that. But I’d also predict: Okonomiyaki. And in general, Japanese without the fish. Daikon and pickled ginger and nori in unexpected places. Yes please.



Has the “Foodie” Backlash Begun?
Suck It, Foodies


The working concept at the moment is BEAUTIFUL / UGLY. A reference to the book, and inspiration from Pieter Heyneke, our aim is to continue exploring food that challenges. Black squid-ink pasta with chorizo and capers; pizzas with big fat squiggly mushrooms, oozy poached eggs and asparagus, and snails with Gorgonzola. And a big strawberry tart by Karin Botta.

This week we popped up in Saxonwold, in a home. Weird at first but wonderful after half an hour (and 3 bottles of wine). Internationally it seems most pop-ups are in homes. We liked it warm and friendly; not sure my neighbors agreed.

Food & Laughs

It’s been almost a month of no Thursday nights entertaining for others, and Thursday nights for both of us doing Thursday night Joburg things. I’ve always loved Thursdays - app i was born on a Thurs, but i also remember that my first horseriding lessons happened then (a big shout out to Why Not, a 12ft demon pony), my first (as of 14 yrs) watching live music experiences and other Thursday night escapades not fit for print.

And because of South Africa’s rather odd (read fn crazy) past, others also heart the Thursday : Thursday was Maid’s Night Off - bonus for Apartheid sufferers all over the country. (Maid’s Night Off was a headline made by Spur to advertise their Thurs specials, inviting all the Anglo-Saxons & Afrikaners to come n tuck into a big juicy T bone. Crazy.)

Herewith (i like that word in emails, i like it a lot) pictures of people having a nice time on a Thurs.

Much love,
K, Kate, K8, Katie, K80, Kathryn


After vacating our last beautiful space, with thanks to our benefactors, we relied on the kindness of CO-OP (DOKTER AND MISSES & WHATIFTHEWORLD in collaboration with OPEN) on Juta to host our street dinner.


The traumatic and completely unexpected experience of making food for people during the first phase of Mess has brought me/us to a point of, without any hyperbole, a COMPLETE and fundamental re-evaluation of my relationship with food. This re-evaluation has also, in my personal body and life been forced by an awareness that I am an emotional eater (and probably feeder too). Having puked 4 weeks ago while dancing, sober and stuffed from diner, I was acutely aware that 5 years of carbohydrate-smashing and plus-minus 20 kilograms had brought me only thousands of rands less in my account and a 36-38 pants size.

The quandary is: I cant just stop eating, but no longer find any pleasure in food; and cant stop cooking because the 6 months of Mess bookings show me that people are clearly interested in what we are doing.

Mess will now move into a second phase of exploration. The first was characterized a generous naivety - cook large portions made from healthy ingredients, passion and ideas about old-fashioned rustication. This approach has left me hungerless and nauseated. Phase 2 will begin by with a re-evaluation of principles I have frankly taken for granted, perhaps because I was drunk on my own arrogant Epicureanism. The forthcoming Messes will reflect our disenchantment and seek to: (1) reflect on our personal confusion at serving a cooking for others and the relationships formed in this process; (2) explore what it means for us and others to pay for food; (3) evaluate whether we/I should be eating so much; (4) interrogate the bias we have towards romanticized notions of whole food, organics etc; (5) explore people’s excitement to participate in our experiment.

Closed for a European Summer/African Winter

You know how the Europe peoples go on holiday for a month or two.

Mess is on holiday.

I know it seems illogical in these exciting times, but we’ll be popping up in September, when it’s Spring. And we’re booked out for September too. This isn’t such a “oooo” moment - there are 4 sittings a month, with 16 people per sitting.

In the meantime there are some things we’ve discovered.


  1. No Vegetarians. Sorry guys, but if we want to fry crostini in bacon fat, you (v) will need a separate pan (washed) with separate oil. We’ll have a full veg night in the futures, but not now. It’s also the anxious, often underfed look of the vegetarian’s eyes that put me into a spin. I know you’re hungry, I know you’re paying R200 for much much less than the others. I know it’s not fair that you are being the good one, while the rest of us are chewing up with the world with our yen for meat. It’s not fair. But such is your choice.

  2. No Menu plans. EVER> I know it’s your Special Day, but it’s too confusing. Joburg being an industry place, there have been quite a few peoples who can’t bear the surprise (you can put the word CTRL in there somewhere. Bear the surprise. It’s worth it.

  3. No water. We DON’T SERVE WATER. Bring WATER. POUR IT.


  1. Joburg people are pretty amazing. We never quite know who will b sitting down. And how much they will laugh, eat, chat, sing, dance, cry or speech (many a Birthday). It’s great to know that the city is wide and diverse and sometimes baffling and that, when breaking bread, friendships can be made.

  2. The reaction to new food. Good on you guys!! My fav is the rabbit reaction. Being the hardcore type who has a rabbit tattoo (and a butterfly - Belle du Jour would not call me a Scary Bitch) i particularly like to watch people’s faces when they see bunny in a bowl. Then there is the open mouthed horror of the giant cooked … salami , sitting cut, atop lentils. Hahahhaha.

  3. The security guys. So far, our biggest fans. About five on any given night, these guys make sure no tsotsis (or cops) bust into our glass bowl. We make sure they get all the leftovers. I give them a rundown on what the food is and when i return they give me feedback on what they liked and what they didn’t. Top Dish: Steak Tartare. 2nd fav. White Chocolate Cake with fresh figs. ( The other night I had to march back across the road and stand, hand on hips, and say: “Give it back”. The man sheepishly - no argument, i can be very strict - wriggled his hand into a nearby window frame and extracted …. one of our knives. they don;t make bone crockery like they used to and Rumble’s set can cut into ANYTHING. I would also steal it. )

So in summary (hahahhaha) email me on and I will let you know when we’re next popping up.

If you got my number in a newsletter that went out - BAD TIMING, I know :( - I apologise for not answering my phone, but - really! - I’m at the Wild Coast, at an old 40s holiday beachside hotel resort thing (it even has a broken trampoline) and I will be back and I will answer your email. Soon.

K80 xx