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Food & Wine South Africa

Math Restaurant: more than just a dining experience

Math Restaurant has opened up its doors at Waterfall Corner, Johannesburg and pays tribute to a rich history of entrepreneurship and community engagement that stretches back nearly 50 years.
Puleng Mathabatha, the owner of Math Restaurant. Image supplied
Puleng Mathabatha, the owner of Math Restaurant. Image supplied

Puleng Mathabatha, the owner of Math Restaurant, draws inspiration from his parents' thriving hardware store in Lebowakgomo.

Math Electrical Hardware Store, established in 1974, was more than a business; it was the heart of the township and a place where the community gathered and shared stories.

The name ‘Math,’ once a mystery to Mathabatha, represents the first four letters of his family's surname, symbolising the legacy that now drives his new venture.

The tagline, ‘When We Gather,’ further encapsulates the spirit of Math restaurant, inviting patrons to share in the nostalgia, inspiration, and culinary delight that defines the dining experience.

The restaurant’s architectural design blends contemporary elegance with classic charm, creating a space that is as welcoming as it is visually stunning. The walls are adorned with a large and impactful mural that reflects the core values of Math.

Image supplied
Image supplied

This centrepiece shares stories of resilience, camaraderie, and shared memories, adding depth to the dining experience.

With artistic touches that range from modern interpretations to more traditional forms, the art provides visual interest and shares the inspiration behind the restaurant without overwhelming the space.

Central to the restaurant is a circular communal table where guests can gather, along with various booth-style seating arrangements that encourage connection and conversation.

What's on the menu?

As for the menu, Math offers an exquisite fusion of tradition and innovation, with dishes inspired by Mathabatha’s own culinary journey. The diverse menu caters to the modern African with a diverse palate.

The menu is inspired by everything from the streets of New York City to the humble home-cooked favourites South Africans know and love.

Math Restaurant offers a comprehensive dining experience, catering to guests throughout the day with a varied menu that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Image supplied
Image supplied

"Math Restaurant is about community, legacy, and the shared experiences that bring people together," says Mathabatha.

"It's been a journey that's taken time, dedication, and a deep connection to my family's history. To see Math become a reality is incredibly fulfilling—like seeing the pieces of a long-awaited puzzle finally come together. Just a year ago, I couldn't have imagined that we'd be here, but everything is aligning in a way that feels like it's meant to be. This is more than just a restaurant; it's a living embodiment of our commitment to honouring the past while building a vibrant community. The entire concept is fuelled by the spirit of togetherness and the enduring legacy that my family has created."

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