“I am doing what I love with people that love what I do.”
These were the words of house band Mi Casa’s front man and now restaurant owner, Joao da Fonseca, better known as J’Something, when he finally sat down for a quick chat with Saturday Citizen after hosting a dinner at his newly opened restaurant in Times Square Casino in Menlyn.
The multi-talented star warmly welcomed his guests as they seated for a specially-prepared 10-course meal while sharing personal stories of his mouth-watering dishes at Something’s Cooking By J’Something, a unique restaurant which opened in April.
Growing up with parents in the food and hospitality industry, the singer said he was offered one of the three signature restaurants by Sun International-owned Times Square.
But at the time they had no idea who his father was, he said. His father, who died last year, had been with the company for over 20 years, running many of the group’s properties, he said.
“I had returned from Portugal two weeks after my father passed away when I got called for a meeting. I got emotional in the meeting, asking the executives if they knew who my father was. Half of them had worked with my father. When they made the offer I thought it was too good to be true,” he said.
“I told my mom and she told me how I was concieved in a Sun International hotel. To be honest, every time I am here I can feel my dad’s presence.”
Da Fonseca’s unique traditional dishes were prepared with a dash of international influences, each with a unique story.
“The beef rib is cooked for 18 hours and marinated in Coca-Cola barbecue sauce that started off as a joke but actually worked,” he said, describing one of the scrumptious starters.
His signature “collaborative” menu will change every three months.
He collaborated with award-winning jazz artist Hugh Masikela on his current menu.
“I collaborated with him on three dishes that represent who he is.
For the next three months I will have Black Coffee and introduce three new dishes that represent him and his interests.
That will keep going with friends in the industry,” he said.
Juggling life in the kitchen, music and being a husband, the 28-year-old said he was fortunate to get support from those he loves.