I arrived at Pariah State Belgravia, the heart of Shamwari Complex, on a warm Thursday night. The air was tense with anticipation, and the energy of the night felt promising, as people started to trickle into the restaurant.
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The building itself was stylishly decorated with hues of brown and red. Getting cozy at our table, with the lush grass around us and the night sky above us, was an easy task. The seating areas were remarkably spacious, and patrons could enjoy privacy under a blanket of stars, especially those seated at the outside tables.
There was a beehive of activity around the bar area, full of patrons and red shirts that belonged to the waiters. Seeing a flurry of activity by the bar is usually a good thing to see, but there were gaps by the doors where having hosts ready to greet and seat patrons would have been ideal.
On the other hand, I was impressed by the comprehensive Drinks Menu which included prices, something you do not see quite often. I was appreciative when they agreed to make a red cappuccino, even after the café was closed; this showed a level of flexibility and accommodation.
The waiters were not particularly friendly, but drinks were served promptly. The Food Menu was not particularly creative, but I have never been disappointed by their pizzas and their prices are fair.
When the live music started playing, the tables began to fill up and the restaurant became very busy. The crowd was cosmopolitan but older, with patrons mostly in their 30s and 40s.
The soft ambience became electric once the overhead lights were switched off and replaced by spotlights dancing in each corner of the room.
However, what lit the place on fire was when the live band kicked into full gear. There was Bridgez on drums, St. Emmo as DJ, and Wowrae on marimba. There was music for people of all age groups and backgrounds. The vibe was a vibe.
As the night sauntered on, more and more people found themselves standing and dancing to the rhythmic beats of afro-infused music, namely amapiano and western pop. I was one of those people.
In conclusion, I would recommend Pariah State Belgravia, particularly on Thursdays. The place is clean and beautiful. After a long day at work, this a great place to get a cold beer or a sizzling cocktail, especially for those who are more mature, value privacy, and prefer something more mellow.