- 30 October 2015
Kate Liquorish rounds up some new and exciting places to wine and dine in Joburg.
The National (Parktown North)
Started by the same people who brought us Coobs in Parkhurst, this is a much smaller, but just as unique, bar-cum-restaurant. The bar is at the centre of it all and divides the space into 2 areas: the casual drinkers/diners and the sit down patrons. There’s a TV on the bar-side for sports fans but, as this place is already overflowing with popularity in its opening month, there’s little chance of a quiet night of Rugby-watching.
The wine list is extensive and different with great options by the glass (Pappagaai White by Adi Baadenhorst, Eenzaamheid Cinsault, Fist of Fancy Pinot Noir). Food is casual but delish, with a few of Coobs’ signatures on offer.
Ace and Pearl (357 Jan Smuts)
A boutique wine bar that is just out of-this-world-fabulous! Finally, there’s a place for serious winos to go in Joburg.Terrence and Derryn Arpen have opened a boutique wine bar that offers the most sensationally different choices in wine: think JH Meyer, Mount Abora, Beaumont, Safaraan, Silvervis and many more! They even have ‘Meet-The-Maker’ evenings where you can sit and chat to the winemakers from these boutique houses, but without any of the laborious presentations. The food is tapas-style in nature, with a French/Italian story throughout: watermelon and feta salad, foie gras parfait and duck rillettes set the scene amongst other sensational nibbles.
The Generator: (Parkmore)
It’s in the same hood as Thomas Maxwell and Eatery JHB, but is a funkier, more laidback addition to the block; giving people the option of a casual and hip place to wine and dine. They’ve got 4 craft beers on tap, namely: Aces, Steph Weiss, Black Jack and Fiery Dragon as well as Castle Lite for those who prefer a lighter SAB.
Their wine list is simple and unpretentious. The music is classic with old records and nice swing beats in the mix and, paired with the cool décor and interior, really sets the tone for after work drinks or to get your weekend started. Food comprises of ‘build your own’-themed sandwiches, burgers, wraps and salads, where the world is your oyster in terms of choice and variety.
Pulp Fiction: (Melville)
Pulp Fiction is a new and fabulous, restaurant dichotomy: the venue design is that of a retro diner with oversized faux, red, leather chairs, graffiti covering the walls and hard rock playing in the background, while the menu is what chef Chad Caselli calls ‘Fusion Fine-Dining’. He and his team wanted to create a relaxed and eccentric atmosphere where people can enjoy the finer things in life without feeling the need for pomp and ceremony.
The menu is made up of dishes like ‘Bangkok Dangerous’ – slow-cooked, Asian-style pork belly, and their signature ‘A Duckwork Orange’ – a decadent take on the classic; served with flambéed foie gras, a bacon and orange croquet, orange gel, orange crisps and seasonal veg – wow! They also have a great list of quirky cocktails and fabulous, happy hour specials from 4pm-7pm.
27 boxes: The Countess (Melville)
This place is just awesome and is going to be a massive hit. They are still waiting for their liquor licence to come through (it should be approved by the end of November) but nonetheless, they have their very own, award-winning master of mixology behind the bar making magnificent, virgin cocktails OR you can bring your own spirits (yes, you heard right) and they’ll charge you a nominal fee to make the cocktails using their signature, homemade, syrups, bitters and juices (call ahead to book a table.)
You can take your own wine and champagne free of charge in the meantime too. They have an amazing barrister brewing bespoke teas and coffees to your design using delicious, freshly roasted beans and their very own smoker that churns out the most decadent smoked brisket and sticky pork ribs, all served with a choice of their homemade pickles and sauces. And, the cherry on top: their must-try milkshakes made using homemade syrups and only the best ingredients - give the salted caramel and popcorn one a bash!
They call it ‘a meeting place by day and spirited lounge by night’ – one thing’s for sure: it’s trendy, and unapologetically so. They’re attracting the young, hip and fanciful with their loud décor and music; think lots of glitz and gold set against bright royal blue.
It’s tapas-style dining meets a nightclub, with a seriously eclectic mix of influences: barbeque baby-back ribs, Japanese-inspired tiger prawns, sliders and meze platters to name a few. Go to see and be seen, but be prepared to pay serious dollar, as the tapas start at R60 and an SAB beer will set you back about R40.
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- Kate Liquorish