Sun International’s multi-billion rand development, Time Square, in Menlyn opened to the public on Saturday, 1 April 2017. With it came the realisation of J’Something’s lifelong dream to open his own restaurant.
The construction of Time Square was fast tracked to bring forward the opening of the casino and restaurant hub by six months. Something’s Cooking by J’Something, located on the upper tier of the ambitious Time Square complex, is where food and entertainment combine, where signature dishes created by J’Something himself will be served in an effervescent friendly setting. Each item on the menu, reminiscent of his childhood and favourite foods has been designed by him – and he plans to change it every three months. When his schedule allows, his guests will get to see him cook, host, serve and perhaps even sing!
The Mi Casa front man has had a longstanding love affair with food, inspired by his own mom’s love of cooking. His passion for food has seen him headline the Good Food & Wine Show, broadcast two cooking shows to over 12 million people, and cook alongside award winning chefs.
J’Something emphasises that he wants his guests to feel at home when they visit his restaurant, from where cooking sessions with J’Something alongside a special guest will be live streamed from time to time. “My restaurant is all about fun and I am so excited about the live streaming ability; it is such a cool thing. I really want my guests to feel like they were entertained on all fronts, from the food and the music, to the service. I want them to feel that the time that they spend with us was memorable,” he says.
J’Something has been intricately involved in bringing his dream restaurant to fruition, from the interior look and feel, to the menu.“With it being my first restaurant, creating the menu has been a kind of selfish thing. I want people to get a window into what I love to cook, what I have been exposed to and what I love to eat. I have had the privilege of designing pretty much all of the dishes together with Time Square’s culinary team including Sun International’s Group Executive Chef Ronald Ramsamy; Executive Sous Chef, Adrian Vaughn; Chef de Cuisine, Ramon Gouws, and Sun International’s Group Executive Pastry Chef, Sean Mann. Through this vibrant collaboration, we have been able to bring my ideas to life and elevate the dishes to the level we wanted to achieve”
The phrase “Afro-guese’ has been bandied about when describing the menu. J’Something explains that it had even been considered as the name for the restaurant.
“It really sums up the mix of cultures which have influenced my style of cooking. The ‘Afro-guese’ is also kind of who I am; a blend of the African culture and the Portuguese culture. We have taken that and made it the main theme of the restaurant, giving some innovative twists to traditional Portuguese dishes and taking South African food and portraying them in a different way. It really is my story on a plate.”
Something’s Cooking by J’Something is one of 18 restaurants and bars, each unique in concept and character, that will be available to explore at Time Square.
Time Square represents Sun International’s largest investment in a casino development in 15 years. The next phase, construction of a state of the art, 8 500 seat Arena, will be complete in November this year, followed by phase three, The Maslow Time Square hotel in March 2018. The only venue of its kind in Pretoria, the arena will play host to international and local concerts, exhibitions and lifestyle events. The hotel will offer new concept in hospitality, being a 238 room specialist business hotel, offering standard to premium accommodation.