Walking through the front doors of the newly renovated Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar is like stepping into a colourful, futuristic, yet elegant and sophisticated Anime.
Located on Longmarket Street, just off the never-ending hustle and bustle of Loop and Long Street, Tjing Tjing and its exciting additions will definitely remain a firm city favourite.
The bar’s popular attic and rooftop setting, the new Tjing Tjing Momiji and the relaunch of Tjing Tjing Torii all treat guests to a little slice of Tokyo.
On the ground floor, Tjing Tjing Torii has a captivating youthful energy with its neon lights, cosy bar and casual, modern dining experience. The menu includes traditional Japanese brunch, tamago, bento boxes, ramen and classic Japanese confections.
Located Between Tjing Tjing Torii and the Rooftop Bar, the Tjing Tjing Momiji and Momiji Lounge complete the venue’s vibe with a sophisticated dining experience, inspired by the structure, ceremony and meticulousness of a Japanese kaiseki menu.
The reservations-only Momiji Lounge offers a wide variety of speciality spirits, cocktails, Japanese whisky, premium sake (which is a definite must-have) and a wine list that complements the food perfectly.
All this paired with the rooftop bar, known for their bespoke cocktails and cool-kid playlist offerings, the overall Tjing Tjing experience is A-grade.
We spoke to Tjing Tjing’s Head Chef Christi Semczyzyn and Sous Chef Adri Louw about the renovation experience the new menu and what guests can look forward to at the new and improved Tjing Tjing. Check the quickfire Q&A session below.
What drew you to Japanese cuisine?
Christi: I’ve always been interested in Asian cuisine, and as I learnt more about it and was exposed to it more, I realised the simplicity of Japanese food is something I’m obsessed with. When Adri joined us, she jumped in and showed us all the interesting things she could do with Japanese confection and pastry.
What can we look forward to on the summer kaiseki menu?
We are in the final phase of menu planning and can’t reveal all our secrets yet, but the fantastic variety of fruits and vegetables available locally, mostly sourced from our own vegetable gardens, feature heavily on the menu. Ingredients in their prime are meticulously prepared and presented in a simple, elegant way.
Do you infuse local and other elements and flavours to the traditional Japanese dishes?
The Japanese kaiseki menu relies heavily on local, seasonal produce. Rather than importing ingredients and often compromising on quality, we experiment with local alternatives to put our own spin on traditional Japanese dishes.
What are the most exciting options on the new dessert menu?
Adri: The local palate often finds the texture of glutinous rice-based desserts challenging. I’m really excited to introduce people to mochi, but in a way that makes it a little more familiar and accessible.
How would you describe the experience of crafting the menu together?
Christi: We almost feel like we’ve started reading each other’s minds at times. We’re often on the exact same page when we start pooling ideas, or something Adri says will spark an idea that I’ll run with or vice versa. We also reign each other in when an idea starts to stray from our original concept and remind each other what our goal for a dish is.
Did you get a new kitchen with the renovation?
We expanded the kitchen and worked on a better layout with a great flow for service. Some new equipment and a bigger team gives us the chance to do more and hopefully be more streamlined.
Photography: Kleinjan Groenewald