“So can I ask for a doggie bag? Do you mind?” I stared at Marian aghast. “This is The One&Only” I hissed. “Denzel Washington eats here nowadays…” (The seafood platter if you must know is his favourite… but don’t tell anyone, we have to be discreet – we really had to wheedle this information out of the waiter).
But such is the quality of food at Reuben’s - as well as the relaxed feel in the restaurant, that it’s the kind of place you can ask for a doggie bag, despite it being a restaurant in a 6-star hotel and host to the rich and famous. So this I tell you at the beginning of this review… Reuben’s promise of a family restaurant delivering quality South African fare was not an empty one and you can go there with your nearest and dearest and not be too concerned about phony airs and graces.
The setting is rather vast and quite dark (dare I say a bit like the previous tenant) dark furniture, dark carpets, high ceilings… but if the restaurant is full of diners and staff bustling around it creates the necessary vibe to fill the space and makes for a very enjoyable dining experience. The entrance is very impressively decorated with a floor to ceiling glass “cellar of wine”. Service was very efficient (and I know they knew I was coming) but the staff all seemed very knowledgeable and super-friendly. You can tell Reuben has put his personality into this aspect of the restaurant as well.
The fight over who was going to have the pork belly of the two of us was won by Marian who pulled the “birthday card” – plus I fancy my good looks too much to get into any argument with her over pork belly. So I had to settle for the butterflied Mozambican prawns (6 HUGE ones for R195) served with mushroom-soy purée, jalapeno, Pernod-leek risotto cakes, lemon garlic butter. The risotto cakes were rather bland and a bit stodgy. Nice idea though.
The pork belly was sublime. Crisp pork belly with Chilli, ginger caramel, pickled cabbage, orange, pommes purée, at R145 it comes with tons of crackling and breathtakingly presented. Art on a plate.
I started with the Tuna carpaccio at R85 served with avocado purée, yellow chilli and lime dressing, herb salad, garlic, onion chips.
Marian started with the chilli salted squid at R85 with mint, coriander, basil and sprout salad with lime mayonnaise – she definitely got the best of Reuben on the night. I’d highly recommend this dish as a starter. Just the right amount of tang to wake up your taste buds.
The waiter literally forced us to have the malva pudding (R65) – which was served with cream AND ice cream. Nice touch guys.
We rolled out of there very happy and content and guess what… I even got a taster of the pork belly. No sign of Denzel though…
Reuben's at The One&Only was reviewed by Cath Shone, follow her on twitter.