Last night I managed to visit Junior; Cape Town’s newest edition to the world of fast food. This is a super exciting project as it’s created and manned by South Africans, who I always like to get behind. Under the grey and gloomy sky, Junior shone like a little beacon of fun and hope on the shiny streets of Cape Town.
There was a queue for a first good 20 minutes during my time there. Luckily, they do provide seating and we were able to chill, have a beer (they serve Citizen, which they also make) and wind down a bit after work. It was great to take in the new takeout’s vibe, appreciating all the effort they had put into branding their napkins, cups and serviettes. People were enthusiastic and keen to give it a go.
The menu is simple, which is great. Makes it much quicker to get one’s food and it all seems to be cooked fresh on the spot. I decided to be my usual greedy self and try a few things. This included the slaw, the cheese fries, a burger and donuts
don’t judge me.
First off: the slaw. I LOVE! It’s made with a fresh, tart vinaigrette and it makes such a nice change from the old fashioned stodgy mayo driven slaw. This is the kind of slaw that you will find yourself craving at 2am when you’re in a pub. Really crunchy and tangy. Next: cheese fries. I’m not a big sauce person, but it was on the menu so I thought I’d give it a whirl. Their fries are fine but nothing spectacular, tastes like anywhere else. The cheese sauce was VERY cheesy but it was also split. I think the cook put the milk in too soon as the flower wasn’t cooked out, which left it slightly grainy.
The burger: made with beautifully, in house baked brioche, a lovely roll. I added a touch of salt to the patty (another thing I don’t usually have a lot of). The flavour was good but they are on the small side and for R40, you wouldn’t rush off for another one. They are a bit bigger than a junior cheese burger from McD’s.
Donuts for dessert. The donuts were pretty tasty, but they are baked not fried so they are healthier tasting. They are made with Orea crumbs, which were great. The icing on the plain one is epic, literally melts in your mouth without the usual sugar crunch that can so often happen from icing sugar+water type icings. (This wasn’t exactly like that but similar, think they added an ingredient or 2 more).
Over all, I enjoyed my food at Junior, however, my understanding is that it’s meant to compete with other take outs and unfortunately, at the price and size, it’s just not worth it. For a double cheese burger and bacon, it’s R70. With chips (R18) and a shake (R40), it came to R125 for one meal! I can pretty much eat for 2, for that price, at Steers or Burger King (and definitely at McDonalds).
You might want to argue that the quality of food is better than those big chains and that’s debatable as it depends what you’re after. Fast food is as much about price as it is about convenience in my world. Otherwise I can just go to Barristers and have a ‘proper’ meal (300g sirloin with chips & veg) for R140.
As it were, I earnestly encourage you to go and try our Junior. It’s awesome that South Africans are trying to do something new and different and the more people who go, the more feedback we can give, the better the service and concept can deliver. The shop is reminds me of take out places in the UK, which was also fun for me.
Find Junior 3 shops up from the Miller’s Thumb or opposite Rafiki’s at the Kloof nek intersection. If you do give them a go, please leave your comments below. I’d love to hear what you thought of it.