It may look unremarkable from the street, but this completely unpretentious and absolutely authentic tapas restaurant and bar from Est Est Alea – located next door to the fine dining restaurant – is one of the best in the city. They say that life without tapas is like a heart without love … and we couldn’t agree more!
During al fresco season, B Side dusts off its outdoor furniture and spills onto leafy 4th Avenue in Parktown North. When a table frees up outside (the restaurant doesn’t take bookings), order a G&T and sample as many small plates as you can. First, snack on the crowd-pleasing patatas bravas served with aioli; crunchy squid heads done in salt and vinegar; blackened chicken strips served with sriracha mayo; and trio of sliders consisting of beef and mustard, chicken and avo, and fish and pickle. These moreish ‘bar snacks’ are ridiculously well priced at R40 to R90 a pop considering how generous the portions are.
Next, grab your chopsticks and get stuck into some divine dim sum. Served in bamboo baskets, these delicate steamed buns come with fillings such as vegetable, chicken and pork. Then there’s our favourite part: The ‘Mediterrasian’ tapas. We love the beef kkochi with sriracha and sesame that are grilled to tender and juicy perfection; the beautifully sweet tempura line fish in a featherlight batter with rice vinaigrette and kewpie mayo; the crispy, umami seared salmon in a mustard, nori and sesame crust; and the fiery duck with broccoli, nuts and radish that has just the right amount of crispy skin and melted fat.
That’s not all – B Side is famous for its mushroom tortellini, which we can confidently say is one of the best pasta dishes in Joburg. The dainty showstoppers are stuffed with a mixture of Parmesan and exotic mushrooms and served in a sinfully buttery sauce. We highly recommend this hidden gem for group dining for your fussiest friends as there are cheap options, small options and vegetarian options. Plus, you’re well within your right to say, “I’m not sharing; it’s too small.” You can thank us later!
Shop 5, Parknorth Heights, 17 4th Avenue, Parktown North
082 422 8158