Food24 eats at Tradewinds at the Hilton

A review that will make you want to go to this hotel restaurant.

25 Mar 2013

 There is a tradition that holds that hotel restaurants are best avoided. After all, so the argument goes, the primary function of a hotel restaurant is to churn out breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, seven days a week, for the captive market that is the in-house guest. The demands of mass catering, especially in a larger hotel, simply don’t permit meeting the needs of the non-resident.

This assumption is no longer valid. Here in Jozi, a number of higher-end hostelries have extended casual dining to patios, decks and terraces, all aimed at the local lunch and after-work crowd.

The Hilton Sandton is one of them. The new and enthusiastic team of executive chef Shaiful Kassim and F&B manager Kudzayi Nheweyembwa have overseen the revamp of the Terrace at Tradewinds, complete with new furniture, designer heaters to ward off the autumn chill, and an open kitchen. 

The terrace itself is covered, but extends to an area of natural shade under a large acacia, complete with weaver nests.


The location is perfect for nearby business people and the passing trade, for whom a pedestrian gate off Rivonia Road provides a convenient entrance.  The idea is to provide a casual, al fresco dining space, with a menu to match.


The menu includes the ubiquitous soups, pasta, thin crust pizza, wraps and sandwiches, and a selection from the grill. What distinguishes this establishment from others is the use of fresh, locally sourced ingredients. A variety of salads are on offer (the Caesar salad was particularly good) and for ethical eaters, organic options (sourced from Badgeleur Organics) include the venison carpaccio and beef fillet. The burgers were excellent (as might be expected from any Hilton) and the spicy seafood wrap, showcasing Kassim’s Malaysian origins, was especially good.

Kassim comes to Johannesburg after a stint in the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort and Spa and prior to that, stints with Jerry Bastian and Gordon Ramsay. On a return visit, the grilled kingklip and Cobb salad made for a satisfying lunch under the acacia.

Consistent with the theme of lightness and freshness, desserts are low calorie (well, as low calorie as lemon tart and chocolate mousse can be) and the perfect end to a good meal. Attachment to a hotel is no longer the drawback it may have been.

Perfect for

You’ll like this if you like an eatery that offers good value, stylish food that is flavoursome but not pretentious, in casual but elegant surroundings. You’ll like this too if you’re tired of the Baron and want something more than a watering hole for lunch or dinner, or your next Friday drinks party.

Tradewinds was reviewed by Father of Like Father Like Son.


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