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Fine dining in a spectacular setting: What to expect from the new chef at Four Season's View Restaurant in Joburg

Clare Anderson says this "incredible culinary journey" is certainly worth a visit for special occasions.

by: Clare Anderson | 19 Oct 2017

If the view of the thousands of flowering jacaranda trees isn't enough to lure you up to the Four Seasons, there is a new chef in the kitchen and the amazing food on offer will ensure you can feast away whilst taking in the sea of purple below you.

Farrel Hirsch has recently been appointed as chef of the Four Seasons Hotel (The Westcliff) flagship eatery, View Restaurant and he is very eager to show the discerning diners of Jozi, just what he is capable of.

ALSO READ: Farrel Hirsch – formerly of The Test Kitchen now cooking up a storm at View restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff in Joburg

From the moment I stepped into the limousine at the reception and was driven up the hill towards the entrance of the restaurant, I was transported into a world where I truly felt like I was in a parallel (very luxurious) universe. Glamorously dressed hostesses opened the limo door and ushered me into the chic bar with a beautiful backdrop of the Jozi urban forest.

The slick, urban chic restaurant has now been split into exceptional offerings - Pre View, a social, vibrant, sharing plate menu, and View - the more sophisticated dining experience.  

As it was the opening night of the restaurant, we were fortunate enough to try out dishes from both menus and both were truly beautiful presented and incredibly flavoursome. Farrel aims to change the menu weekly, giving him the opportunity to showcase the freshest local and seasonal produce - so, expect to see seasonal offerings at all times.

The casual, sharing-plate offering of Pre View was the first stop. Wok-fried calamari tentacles tossed in Shaoxing and palm sugar glaze (R110) was an absolute treat and had all at the table licking their fingers, whilst the ginger smoked beef fillet in a Szechuan pepper sauce with sweet potato crisps (R155) was a hit with the meat eaters and surprise hit was the 48-hour fermented tofu served with legumes, herb salad, pickled mushrooms and onions (R90). Plates work well to share between two and portions are generous.

The Four Seasons has always been a benchmark for fine dining in Johannesburg and standards are as high as ever at the more slightly more sophisticated, View restaurant. The emphasis at View is to take guests on a culinary journey through set menus and wine pairings. We partook in the tasting menu that had been carefully curated for the evening, but all the options that we had are also on offer on the a la carte menu.

We started with seared scallops served with cauliflower gremolata, green apple, raisins, black current gel and a caper noisette (R290). A work of art that made for a taste sensation in every mouthful. The wagyu beef main with sweetbreads, shitake mushrooms, chestnuts, anise puree, braai'ed asparagus and a port jus (R400) was cooked to perfection and another taste adventure. The dessert of vanilla brûlée, honey comb, milk and lavender sorbet, honey tuile, mange blanc and honey pearls was the perfect amount of sweetness to end of an incredible culinary journey. 

The wine list is extensive and offers some of the Cape's more exclusive offerings as well as from around the world. It is also possible to request the sommelier to do a wine pairing with the tasting menu.

The prices at View are not for the faint-hearted, but remember that this is truly fine dining in a spectacular setting. The new chef aims to ensure that patrons continue to enjoy the luxury and elegance of The Four Seasons Johannesburg whilst building out on the stellar dining experience created by his predecessor. We certainly were not disappointed, and for very special occasions, it is certainly worth a visit.


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