Known as the ‘art’ of roasting meat over an open fire,shisanyama or peso has become synonymous with any family get-together or vibrant occasion. At ED LA’SShisanyama, a restaurant nestled in a complex popularly know as ‘Dot Com’ located in Extension 12, the unique taste of sizzling braai meat coated with a secret sauce, accompanied by pap and a cold beer, is how they have grown into Gaborone’s popular shisanyama spot.
When you walk through the barricaded restaurant, you firstly encounter the rich aroma of sizzling meat. Owner Edwin Bothongo says his business was born when he saw a need for an eating outlet. “This complex is surrounded by a couple of bars, yetcustomers have to go to other places to get something to eat. I saw an opportunity to tap into the niche and build a restaurant that is relevant to everyone who comes here,” he says.
The interior style is quite successful in capturing the culture of a shisanyama; wooden chairs and tables clad with beer labels, a shade and large television screen for football afternoons.
Servingdishes such as traditional pap, high grade meat marinated in a secret braai sauce, ED LA’S has a winning formula for anyone looking for a great meal in the ambiance of soulful house music and lovely company, be it after a long day at work or a lazy afternoon during the weekend. “We sell primarily Botswana beef. Our specialty is pork so customers don’t have to travel to Mochudi for a great plate of meat,” expresses Bothongo.Other offerings include boerewors, lamb chops, chicken wings, and newly introduced short ribs served with sides of chakalaka, salsa and spinach.
During weekends, one can expect a full house, with both familiar and unfamiliar faces.The restaurant has grown a large following, and also hosts many local personalities and celebrities. “The response has been good, and we can only encourage Batswana to support us more. Although there have been challenges such as early closing times, we feel we are on the right track. Botswana Tourism should alsosee the potential of this place as a tourist attraction for those who want to experience local meat and culture.”
Socialite Loretta Mekgwe of Gabz FM who frequents the restaurant says: “The owners’ personal touch makes you feel welcome. They make sure you’re comfortable at all times and now with the new renovations one can relax and enjoy Olympics with a group of friends. The meat is unbelievably delicious, great presentation and they braai it for you.”
He says they have hopes of franchising in the near future. “We are currently looking at expanding to areas such as Palapye and Maun. Many Batswana are looking for such places to unwind and have a great meal,”
ED LA’S hosts jazz sessions every last Sunday of each month at Wagga Gardens featuring various local artists.“Customers only need to bring a solid appetite and anticipate to have a good time,” states Bothongo.