Scan the Sandton skyline, and you’ll notice corporates and malls – and where there are office workers, there are hungry people looking for somewhere to spend their lunch break. Just as well, because where there are malls, there are restaurants to be tried. But even if you’re not into mall trawling, Sandton’s eateries are as cosmopolitan as the city itself.
Here’s our roundup of where to grab a bite when you're in the area of Sandton, Johannesburg...
The Big Mouth
There’s lots to love about this Mandela Square restaurant, from the oh-so-slick marble sushi bar to the grilled flavour that is its hallmark. It’s also satisfyingly eclectic, so you can choose from tapas, bowls, sticks and one-pan dishes, with an array of flavours spanning the world from Japan to Mexico. Dessert is non-negotiable – unless the thought of ice cream sandwiches, or Oreos crumbled over Nutella mousse, does nothing for you.
AtholPlace Hotel and Villas
Hotel dining rooms can tend toward the sterile – but not at AtholPlace, where the stunningly tactile décor sets the tone for a warm and intimate evening. Stars of the recently introduced Summer menu from new executive chef Willie Malherbe, include the wonderfully complex chicken and shallot cannelloni, served on a bed of asparagus and baby marrow bursting with green freshness, and the decadent yet light deconstructed apple pie.
Sel et Poivre
Celebrity chef Coco Reinarhz has blended French and African kitchen traditions to come up with a distinctive taste that is all his own. Try the Kudu Loin Wellington for something different, or opt for a more classic duck with orange and ginger sauce.
Consistently voted one of the best eateries in Sandton, the national footprint of this favourite means that even out-of-towners are familiar with its seafood specialties. Although the menu is varied and represents a range of cooking cultures, the traditional Portuguese dishes are widely considered a must.
Knead Bakery & Cafe
A Cape Town export, this is the go-to for carb-lovers in Africa’s richest square mile. Open from 7am for those doing business over breakfast (or simply in need of an early caffeine boost), you’re pretty safe with most of the café’s boldly flavoured fare – but it’s the baked goods that (ahem) really take the cake.
The Butcher Shop and Grill
Another Sandton institution, many would argue that there is no finer place in the city to satisfy your carnivorous cravings. We especially love the fact that you can take the steakhouse experience home by selecting your favourite cut at the butcher’s counter.
Nonna’s Italian Food Bar
One of the newcomers to the Sandton scene, this eatery promises to dish up homemade pastas and build-your-own pizzas as authentic as you would find in any Italian house. Look out for the specialty tea menu, which changes regularly. So, too, does the kitchen’s specialities, which may range from grilled chicken breasts to zucchini fries.
A visit to this café, where the emphasis is firmly on healthy eating, is like a spring clean for your body. Build your own wraps and smoothies, or opt for filling favourites and innovative combinations with a wholesome twist – quinoa sushi salad, anyone?
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