Fast Fine at Hello Tomato

Pizza, Pasta, Frozen Custard... well, Hello Tomato.

Hello Tomato Entrance, Kyalami Corner

Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

South Africans have been in for a treat from November 2015 with a trendy brand of food outlets that mash-up the traditional take-away concept with a family restaurant.

Hello Tomato is fast becoming one of the most popular eateries and the only "Fast Fine" (fast food married to fine dining) franchise in the country.

The name is so inviting and is probably why many families choose to either dine at any one of the three stores or take-away the huge portions to enjoy in the comfort of their home.

Over the past two years, the store in Bryanston at Riverside Shopping Centre has been such a success that two more stores were opened at Mall of Africa in Midrand and Kyalami Corner in Kyalami.

The Kyalami Corner branch where we dined at last night, has a unique atmosphere as the store is located on the corner outside one of the entrances to the shopping centre.

The vibe of the people driving in to the centre together with the customers who are walking around the centre, gives it a sidewalk café feel to it.

Make no mistake, this is no sidewalk café nor a little take-away. All the crockery is well branded and wrapped as if in a restaurant, and the presentation of the meals as well as the service from the staff, is of a fine dining establishment.

Hello Tomato Crockery, Kyalami Corner

Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

The bright colours of the logo and the frozen custard stand bring out the richness, making the entire dining experience at Hello Tomato, such a pleasure. 

With so many choices on the menu, and many vegetarian options as well, there is something for everyone.

For starters to soothe our throats we chose to try the Bubblegum and Caramel Fudge Hand Spun Shakes (Frozen Custard Double Thick, Malted Milk Shakes). The creamy shakes served in glass jars were an excellent start to the meal and had us licking our lips.

Bubblegum and Caramel Fudge Hand Spun Shakes

Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

After much debate we decided on the family sized pizza with half Vegetarian (Mushroom, Olive, Grilled Baby Marrow, Mixed Peppers & Basil Pesto) and half Popeye's Pick (Spinach, Butternut, Olive & Feta). It must be noted that the family size or rather company size as it is called, is fit for 4 - 5 people. The pizza has a total of 16 pieces which are each about a side plate size. The thin well baked crust almost had us thinking that it had come out of a wood fired oven but the owner, Tony, explained that it was so good because of their process as well as the way they prepare the pizza and bake it in their electric ovens.

Family Sized Pizza, Half Vegetarian and Half Popeye's Pick

Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

When we initially saw the menu we thought that we would try two dishes, not knowing that one would be more than enough, so we chose a Br'avo (Rocket, Sundried Tomato, Feta, Avocado & Almonds, in a creamy tomato sauce) standard pasta. The penne was cooked to perfection as we don't like ours too hard or too soft, and that's exactly how the chef made it. The sauce together with the chopped up almonds, added a crunchy spicy taste to the dish which has now raised the bar for us on pasta dishes.

Br'avo Standard Pasta

Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

It's not often that you get these types of dishes, especially a Gourmet pasta as a take-away but Hello Tomato has definitely found a niche.

Besides the unique main meals, they have a unique treat too. Frozen custard is served with four flavours: Banana Banana, Choc OD, Tiramisooo!; and a personal favourite, Peppermint Crisp Pud (Vanilla Custard, Tennis Biscuits, Caramel, Peppermint Crisp, & Dessert Cream), which we had to have.

The custard is a superb change from the usual ice-cream or frozen yoghurt and the flavour that we chose had every element of the original peppermint crisp pudding to make it an authentic South African treat.

Peppermint Crisp Pud Frozen Custard

Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

Be sure to pop in to one of the stores and take your family or your company and enjoy fast fine at its best.

Keep a look out on Hello Tomato's social media pages for specials like the Twosday special which starts in the middle of February - two pizzas/ pastas for the price of one. 

Click Here for more about Hello Tomato


Ziyaad Plaatjes is the Co-Founder of

He is a Bachelor of Commerce Honours graduate and has been running businesses since the age of 13. Ziyaad is a registered Financial Advisor, but has taken on many roles in various industries over the years. With his entrepreneurial skills and vast knowledge he assists individuals and businesses to grow and achieve their goals.  

Find him at: Instagram: @ziyaad_86 / @ilovezacom Twitter: @ziyaad86 / @ilovezacom Facebook:  LinkedIn: Ziyaad Plaatjes / YouTube:  SoundCloud: E-mail:

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