Urban Playground Chefs School Diner in Maitland

Winona Griggs

Urban Playground: A Street-Food Diner (+ Chefs School) in Maitland

Guess what? Maitland is now a food lover’s paradise!

Cool and trendy, the corner of a business park in Maitland has been transformed into a hip and happening diner. The place is adorned with vibrant street art, giving it an edgy vibe that skaters would love. And if you’re a fan of 80s music, you’re in for a treat! From the moment you step inside, you’ll be grooving to the awesome tunes.

What’s on the menu, you ask? Well, this place is all about street food from around the world. It’s a foodie’s dream come true! And the best part? You don’t have to worry about fancy tables and chairs. No, no! You get to sit on cool wooden benches in the courtyard. There’s enough space for 24 people, or maybe even 36 if everyone squeezes in. And don’t worry about the heat – the courtyard is shaded by beautiful plants and cozy bamboo coverings.

If you prefer a more upfront view of the kitchen action, you can choose to sit at the chill-out counter right by the street. You’ll feel like a VIP as you watch the chefs prepare your meal right in front of you. Oh, and did I mention the amazing view of Table Mountain from here? It’s like a little escape from the urban jungle!

Come and have fun while you learn

Urban Playground came into existence during the pandemic as a result of the brilliant minds of Peter and Debbie Ayub, along with their son, Byron. Located above their Sense of Taste Chef School, the restaurant space downstairs became available in November 2020. That’s when they had the idea to transform it into a playground for their culinary students to gain hands-on experience, while also injecting some creativity and excitement into the process. According to Debbie, “Maitland is undergoing a transformation, much like Woodstock. Our restaurant brings a touch of elegance to Maitland!”

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Discovering street food from around the world

Step into Urban Playground and prepare to be surprised. Unlike your typical diner, we don’t serve your standard burgers and chicken wings. Our chef, Peter, draws inspiration from all over the world, creating a menu that features a diverse range of flavors and dishes.

Imagine indulging in Polish kielbasa, a savory beer-braised sausage, or savoring Portuguese espetada, succulent beef-fillet skewers. Want something with a kick? Try our masala steak or vindaloo bunny chow. And if you’re in the mood for some Asian cuisine, we have options like Asian pork belly and escargot ravioli that will satisfy your cravings.

But that’s not all. Our wood-fired oven produces hand-stretched artisanal pizzas and Lebanese flatbreads that are simply irresistible. And for our vegan and vegetarian friends, we have an array of options, including a mouthwatering vegan jaffle filled with a whole grilled brown mushroom.

Giving Back

Hey there! Let me tell you about this awesome place called Urban Playground in Maitland, Cape Town. It’s not just a regular restaurant, but a place filled with energy and flavor. The Ayub family who runs it has made it a real community hub.

One of the great things about Urban Playground is that they have a feeding programme as part of the school curriculum. Even during the pandemic, they continued to feed 1,500 people every week. Isn’t that amazing?

They also have a four-year internship programme where they upskill three young people from the local community. These young folks get a chef-school qualification at the end of the programme. How cool is that?

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If you’re planning to visit Urban Playground, it’s a good idea to book in advance because they have only 34 seats and they fill up quickly. During the day, there’s plenty of street parking available, and in the evenings and on weekends, you can park inside the complex.

Are you a fan of BYOB? Well, Urban Playground has got you covered! You can bring your own booze with no corkage charge. Cheers to that!

They are open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am to 10pm. You can get in touch with them at 082 337 6240 or send an email to chef@urbanplayground.capetown.

So, if you’re looking for a place that’s not just about food but also about community and making a positive impact, Urban Playground is the place to be. It’s where flavor meets purpose!

And if you want to find Urban Playground, just head to the corner of Coronation Road and Van Wyk Street in Maitland, Cape Town. You won’t be disappointed!

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