Natasha Sideris, creator of tashas cafe is one of South Africa’s true success stories.
tashas cafe has become synonymous with great food, great service and an atmosphere that draws the crème de la crème of South African society. We spent a little time with the person that has changed the South African cafe culture.
Tell us how you started tashas?
I started tashas in 2005. I saw the gap in the market for a cafe that serves fresh food made with the best ingredients. I realised that customers only had the option of a traditional coffee shop or restaurant. There was nothing in between. So I wanted to create a cool cosmopolitan environment that serves great food.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
I would have to say my late father, Harry.
Favourite items on your tashas menu?
That’s quite a difficult question...mmm.....okay! The Salmon Burger, the Quesadillas and in our health breakfast it would have to be The Granny Smith.
You were overseas for a while. What was your favourite place and why?
I loved St Tropez the most. The South of France has incredible markets with the most amazing produce. The restaurants focus on serving the best ingredients in the simplest way...think fresh artichokes, crudité baskets, fresh fish and mussels served with the best rosé.
If you could eat anywhere in the world, where would it be and what would you order?
I once went on a tour in Italy to St Francis in Assisi. There was a restaurant near the Cathedral that served the most authentically delicious homemade pasta with napolitana sauce...it was to die for. I still think about that meal.
Your 3 favourite international restaurants and your favourite dishes at each?
In Istanbul I loved the kebabs with yoghurt, brinjals and roasted tomatoes. In Greece it is definitely the crab claws from ‘Nammos Beach’ and in St Tropez the mouth-watering artichokes from ‘Le Club 55 on Pampelonne Beach’.
Best in Jhb for:
Lunch- Koi in Rosebank
Movies- Hyde Park
Fish- Fishmonger Illovo
What are your passions in life?
Creating the tashas experience, spending time with friends and family....and most of all I love discovering new flavours and researching the tashas menus.
Tell us about your love for interior design?
I love beautiful things and I believe that design is crucial in terms of retail success. It’s a natural progression for me to include design in everything that I do in the stores, from the food, to the interiors to the retail range that we will be launching next year. I love interiors and I have a weakness for furniture, especially chairs. If I could be in any other profession it would be Design.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of getting into the restaurant business?
One would have to understand that this kind of work is hard and a lot of personal sacrifices need to be made in order to be successful.
Your favourite chefs?
Gordon Ramsay and Neil Perry.
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