Glory is Melville's answer to a chicken-obsessed hole in the wall
Could Glory be a sign that Melville's back in style?
Is 7th Street in Melville in the midst of a revival? For those who think so, Glory might provide proof.
After years of neglect and some nasty crimes, our old favourites - Xai Xai, Ratz, and the Ant Cafe - have been joined by gutsy newcomers Pablo Eggs-Go-Bar, Mamasan and Glory. The latter is essentially just an unassuming alleyway around the back of an ambitious new hotel-restaurant-bar complex set to open in autumn.
The person behind this venture, and the one cooking in the kitchen, is Nick Scott (previously of The Great Eastern Food Bar, which is still going strong on the other side of Melville).
Scott's plan for the alley was an unobtrusive takeaway hatch with a few tables, some tropical plants, lanterns and neon lights. A tentative, provisional kind of space for locals, not so much a secret as a surprise.
The surprise, however, has been how well people have responded to this charming little place. In the few weeks since it opened, Glory has become a favourite hangout of many in the neighbourhood, sometimes making getting a table a problem.
The menu is cryptic-looking but deceptively simple: essentially serving Vietnamese-ish chicken with fresh, irreverent sides. The best thing to order is the full fried chicken box for two or four people, which comes with all the sides.
The legs and wings arrive first, deep-fried and sticky with a sweet Asian sauce. Next the breasts, crispy and coated, arrive with bao buns, sauces and sides for you to make what amounts to a fancy chicken rounder. Last, it's the thighs, with seaweed.
The effect is an impious feast of red, yellow and pink plastic plates packed with fresh, wholesome, fun food. This is the opposite of what is now obscenely called "clean food".
That the chicken, and almost all the other bits and pieces, are farmed by the restaurant just outside the city, only adds to the pleasure of a community meal with a sense of humour.
sub_head_start 7 things you need to knowsub_head_end
When to go: Sundowners and early dinner, or midnight dinner with drinks
Who to take: 3 hungry friends who like chicken and have a good sense of humour
What not to do: Don't step on Nick Scott's cute Weimaraner puppy (I did)
What to drink: Basil margarita
Who you'll see: People with tattoos, writers, people speaking French, students, locals
How much do you need: The full fried chicken for 4 people is R320, including sides
Address: 10 7th Street, Melville
This article was originally published in The Times.