A BUY and braai restaurant and pub in Walmer township has received national recognition by being chosen as one of the top 12 tshisa nyamas in the country to compete for the first-ever Nando's Tshisa Nyama Championship later this month.
Chilleks Place is the only establishment from the Eastern Cape chosen to compete and only one of three from outside Gauteng.
"It's not rocket science, really, it's just a braai and drinks place where people can relax," owner Siyabulela Dandala said.
"The difference is ours is semi up-market. We also cook fantastic African cuisine like stews and other traditional meals," Dandala said.
The business was started two-and-a-half years ago and his original plan was to also include a car wash, but this was not possible logistically.
Chilleks employs 14 Walmer township residents on a permanent and casual basis and was started with R350000 funding from development financier the Eastern Cape Development Corporation.
ECDC senior account manager Wayne Mahoney said Dandala's idea of "establishing a high-end restaurant with a township vibe inside the township" assured a loyal client base.
"Dandala invested about R50000 of his own funds in the business, which we believe is key to the success of the business," Mahoney said.
The Nando's Tshisa Nyama Championship will be held at Bahama Bar in KwaThema, Springs, Gauteng, later this month where the grill masters will compete for the main prize of R25000.