Being ‘woke’ at Fridays’ in Blue Hills: But the food can be better

Vula Mthimkhulu

I get the sense that Fridays, a lounging restaurant type of an establishment in Blue Hills Shopping Center, Midrand, can be huge. It’s the music, low volumed deep house, in the background of a Katzyswannabe ambience, which gives me the ideas. And off-course, there’s the curious name of the place, Fridays.

But I’m there on a Saturday evening. And I’m not about to seat out the mellow environment to discover what might become. I’m in the company of a 14 year old beloved daughter. We landed here by mistake, I guess, in our search for something above Spur but not Katzys, to have a heart-to-heart father and daughter conversation.

The Blue Hills Shopping Centre beckoned because there is nothing like it in this vicinity. It has got that calm, out of town like, image and effect. For some reason, it reminds me of a shopping centre I visited in Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape, back in the days, the Rhodes University days. It could be the the serenity of the Blue Hills surrounds that’s misleading me – the other side of R55 to be precise. It’s got nthoane – that thing. And off-course we were here earlier in the day doing the Shopping Centre Census thing – watch this space.

In truth, the Doppio Zero outlet was a big factor too. On arrival, Fridays’ invite won us over. But Ocean Basket, one of three restaurants that line up the other end of the neighbourhood shopping centre may have played a role. We set out to see how that Ocean Basket is like when we realised Fridays’ inviting setting. It called us because it had a couple of occupied tables whilst the tables at Ocean Basket and the other restaurant, Caramellos, were empty, making their settings a bit cold. And so we followed the others.

It’s my deployment of the word ‘lit’ which wins the day for Fridays. I said the place is lit when compared to the others. Did you just say ‘lit’, charges my daughter as she collapses into laughter and follows me onto a table located on a shopping centre front with makeshift covers. And so a large part of our conversation delves into Generation Z lingo. I find out the meaning of reinvented words like ‘savage’ which I understand to be a boss, ‘ibhoza’ to be more precise. I’m now ‘woke’, I guess.

And I’m wiser today. A14 year old is no ‘baby girl’ no more but a teenager. Thanks to Fridays for that realisation.

I might be back here to explore how huge this place can be. But I must protest. The food could have been way better for the price we paid. That Lamb Shank wasn’t good enough and that burger, the patty in particular, says my daughter, tasted like an Omelette. “And I don’t like Omelette,” she protested. And so she had one bite and no more. And I thought, I should ask you dear reader, what’s up with burgers that taste like Omelettes?

Vula Mthimkhulu is a freelance writer. This article was first published in SATopShops.

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