Our latest nominee for the 2015 Boschendal Style Award is View Restaurant. Perched on a hillside at Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff, this contemporary restaurant offers the best views of Johannesburg. Its urban-chic style, combined with the refined, seasonal cuisine, creates a vivid dining experience. Here’s why View Restaurant deserves its nomination.
The interiors and concept were designed by award-winning, UK-based design agency Blacksheep, which also counts Jamie Oliver as one of its clients. The sleek, modern interiors are inspired by the city’s cutting-edge art, design and fashion scenes, and take full advantage of the hotel’s magnificent hillside location overlooking the city’s northern suburbs. In fact, the main focus of the design was that it had to reflect a sense of its surroundings by celebrating the unique heritage and cosmopolitan culture that Joburg has to offer.
Blacksheep was tasked with reinventing the formal ideas of five-star hotel dining while also considering the expectations of both local and international guests. The team transformed every aspect of the design concept, from the seating and lighting to the menu and staff uniforms.
During their research, Blacksheep tapped into Joburg’s dynamic creative pulse, specifically its contemporary art scene. As a result, executive chef Dirk Gieselmann’s philosophy of sourcing seasonal, local ingredients to produce fresh, modern cuisine is mirrored by the restaurant’s use of local art.
The elegant and elevated dining space boasts a somewhat subtle interior, which was designed to complement rather than detract from the food. The room resembles an art gallery, with the walls painted in inky shades reminiscent of the cityscape at dusk; the tones graduating from deep midnight blue to pale shades of light blue. Gold light fittings add a warm glow, while arched doors open up onto the terrace, affording sweeping views that create a breathtaking backdrop.
The restaurant’s bar is a sleek focal point, the intricate radial stone flooring around it comprising more than 3000 individually cut and hand-laid pieces which were specially brought in by an Italian marble specialist. The bar lends an air of opulence to the space, inviting guests to sit serenely, sipping their sundowners.
A linear slot window gives diners a glimpse into the kitchen, where the chefs showcase the art and creativity behind the food. Local ingredients and flavours are revered, and the emphasis is on sustainably caught seafood and a wide selection of local cap classique sparkling wines. Food, exquisitely styled, is theatrically presented and unveiled as art on a plate. With a menu that changes with the seasons, guests can enjoy dishes such as carrots in different textures with roasted Mozambique prawns and coriander pesto, or miso-marinated monk fish with hot lentil maki, seared calamari and vodka lime sauce.