Forget the fussy foams and overpriced plates of food you can’t pronounce. Our round up of fine dining restaurants take cheffing to the next level, with food that’s as accessible as it is enjoyable – and just perfect if you’re planning an occasion to remember.
Cube Tasting Kitchen
Don’t be fooled – Cube might be described as a tasting kitchen, but with 10 courses on offer – each more delicious than the last – it’s best to come hungry. Chef Dario DÁngeli lets diners live out their MasterChef obsession by creating a theatre of cooking right in front of them, and the menu changes monthly. Not a place you can tire of quickly.
Johannesburg is justifiably proud of DW Eleven-13 chef Martinus Ferreira, as the one of the only sons of the city to appear on the list of South Africa’s top chefs. Marthinus’ talent is easily summed up in one word: complexity. So, whether you’re challenging your taste buds with something like pork belly served with slaphakskeentjies, pureed apple, smoked potatoes and pork jus, or indulging in lemon and thyme ice cream with poppy seed sponge, white chocolate and lemon curd, you’re bound to experience myriad flavour explosions.
View Restaurant’s sister eatery at the Four Seasons Westcliff, Flames, is perhaps a little better known – but this is the option to try if you’re in the mood for food that’s a bit more experimental. Start off with poached quail eggs, served with baby onions cooked to melting point and bolstered with thyme, followed by pork belly or Karoo lamb – or treat yourself to a five-course tasting menu. And there is, of course, that view…
Not strictly a Johannesburg venue, Chantel Dartnell’s heavily awarded cuisine is well worth the drive to Elandsfontein. Dartnell’s latest work of art is her ‘Celebrations’ menu, which lets her do what she does best with dishes like quail, bouillabaisse and trout.
Luke Dale Roberts X The Saxon
With another of South Africa’s cuisine scene luminaries at the helm, Luke Dale-Roberts’ Saxon offering is a little less playful than The Test Kitchen – but you’ll recognise his obsession with outstanding ingredients and interesting combinations. On the menu? Unexpected flavours like springbok loin with cherry and pinenut salsa and almond cream, or koeksuster mousse complemented by lime wax and milk sorbet.
Roots Restaurant at Forum Homini
Another venue where a drive is inevitable, but worthwhile. While the setting is nothing short of spectacular, Roots’ ever changing menu is just as impressive. Save space for several courses of gastronomical magic, ranging from the likes of beef fillet with Parmesan custard truffle crumble and garlic snails to the hazelnut meringue; no less a work of art when served with salted fennel shards, brûlée orange segments and hazelnut and black rice crumble.
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The Gentlemen’s Arthouse
There is absolutely nothing ordinary about this ‘by appointment only’ venue, from its setting in a century-old building to its entertainment (think burlesque) and its offerings of palate teasers like corn popped in truffle oil, or starters of sesame hand rolls filled with biltong pate and fig salsa.