Soi, a Thai-Viet restaurant located in 7th street in Melville, was our first dining experience in South Africa, and it was all in all one of our best. This was truly first class dining, and if you visit Johannesburg dining at Soi is highly recommended.
Melville is a safe part of Johannesburg, but not the easiest to find for tourists, as it is a part slightly off the beaten track. Once there, however, you find a good number of nice bars and restaurants. It is charming part of Johannesburg, but it has no wow-factor to speak of.
Soi has a charming interior and atmosphere, and plays on clearly on a Vietnamese communist theme, with red banners with yellow stars on the walls. The tables and chairs in dark wood are located on different levels. It was Saturday, and packed with people and this was clearly a favourite hang out for the many in the area. We got a table for six on the upper level.
Soi is a very affordable place to eat. On the menu the appetizers, soups, and salads are priced at 25-35 ZAR, main course 40-80 ZAR, and desserts are priced at 20-25 ZAR. Even the wines are very affordable. And the quality is excellent.
Staff and service: BBBBB-
It was a busy night, and the staff was under a high pressure. Our waiter did, however, his best to give us the needed service. He was at times very difficult to get hold of, but the food was served with no delay.
The food: BBBBB
The food was mouthwateringly good. We started by ordering the Asia Combo (right) at 137 ZAR for 4. It was a combination of appetizers, crispy fried vegetable spring roll, prawn spring roll, crystal vegetable, crystal prawn spring roll and chicken satay on skewers, served with the most interesting sauces. It was a wonderful selection of tastes and textures, the crispiest, the crunchiest, and soft. The tastes were exquisite, and I particularly loved one of the dipping sauces made from peanuts and coconut milk. Yum, yum!!
Then the main course were served. I had ordered the garlic and Pepper Prawns, stir-fried prawns with garlic and pepper - no chili. I were in no mood for strong tastes, and avoided the chili. This was a great choice. The prawns were perfectly fried, in a well balanced sweet and salt sauce, with distinct pepper and garlic aromas, without being overpowering.
The others chose Saigon Barbeque Duck served with 5 spice and chef's BBQ sauce, and Thai Style Duck in Red Wine Duck in red wine sauce Thai style - no chili. Both these dishes had rich and smooth sauces bursting with flavour. Both dishes were priced at around 65 ZAR. Another dish ordered was the
Overall rating: BBBBB- (4,65 points)
Soi is not the easiest place to find, but when you have, you are in for a great experience. Highly recommendable in Johannesburg!!
Corner of 7th Street& 3rd Avenue
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