South Africa’s Culinary Community Mourns Closure Of Emazulwini Restaurant

South Africa’s Culinary Community Mourns Closure Of Emazulwini Restaurant

Emazulwini, one of South Africa’s cherished dining destinations, is set to bid farewell as its doors close on Sunday, February 25th.

Founded by chef Mmabatho Molefe, Emazulwini epitomizes a modern take on Zulu-inspired cuisine, showcasing the rich flavors of Nguni cuisine and South African ingredients.

Established in 2020 at the V&A Waterfront’s Makers Landing, Emazulwini emerged after Molefe faced job loss in the restaurant industry amidst the pandemic.

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Reflecting on the restaurant’s inception, Molefe shared, “Makers Landing is a platform to promote local cuisine and small businesses. My mentor supported me in setting up the restaurant to share my story as a young black Zulu woman.”

Drawing from her upbringing, Molefe added, “Food has always been about family and community for me. Every dish served at Emazulwini is a narrative of my interpretation of Zulu cuisine, and I hope patrons embrace it for its authenticity.”

Despite its brief tenure, Emazulwini has made a profound impact on the culinary landscape. Winning the African Restaurant of the Year title at the 4th annual Luxe Restaurant Awards in 2022 and Molefe’s recognition as a “hospitality pioneer” on The World’s 50 Best’s 50 Next list underscore the restaurant’s influence.

Announcing the closure on Instagram, Molefe expressed gratitude for the journey, citing growth, collaborations, and the opportunity to serve patrons as highlights. As the curtains close, Emazulwini plans to commemorate its legacy with a special collaboration lineup for its final Sunday lunch.

As Emazulwini bids farewell, it leaves behind a legacy of culinary innovation and cultural celebration, inspiring a new generation of chefs and diners alike.

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