This year’s five finalists of the Boschendal Style Award have taken interior design to the next level, with impressive commitment to thoughtful design and thematic continuity. Whether playful or philosophical, edgy or approachable, our nominees have blown us away with their sheer style this year. Click here to see all 20 of this year’s nominees for the Boschendal Style Award.
Everybody’s talking about this dramatic live-fire restaurant in Rosebank, owned by chef David Higgs and Gary Kyriacou. The design was coordinated by Irene Kyriacou, owner of Oniroco and Reddeco. Fire is an element that’s carried through the whole restaurant – not just in the kitchen, but in the Mervyn Gers wood-fired blue tiles behind the grill, in the wooden end-grains on the welcome desk and in the bar, and in the photographs by Krisjan Rossouw. While the fire is bold, the décor also reflects softer touches, from the intricately moulded cornicing and the ceramic dolos to the Casamento couches with visible thread. A New-York-style bar features an iconic panel in brass verdigris by Damien Grivas. Fittingly, the food celebrates smoke, flames, and the primal joy of eating together around the braai. You’ll find paprika, harissa, chipotle, smoked eggs, ash butter and burnt orange dotted throughout. The côte de bœuf, served with bone marrow, thin-cut fries, grilled asparagus and parmesan, is a carnivorous feast, and the fried fish and shellfish for two is a carnival of prawns, calamari, mussels, octopus, linefish, lime rice, braaied greens and shellfish butter.
This charcoal-focused eatery in Cape Town has a cool look. Moody and dark, the below-ground Church Street space captures the atmosphere of the edgy Frankie Fenner butchery that used to occupy this space, with a glass fridge of hanging meat. The design by Marco Simal of Studio Simal was executed by Carlos La, and Lloyd Stocks of Stocks Projects, with the kitchen design by chef Ash Heeger with Mac Brothers. The aim was to align the look with the food, which is unpretentious and stripped of any unnecessary, frilly elements but still of an exceptional quality. A mix of bar-style seating, glass service counters and lower tables on the kitchen side achieve just that. Dramatic colours, matte wood, glass accents and marble-topped tables complete the look. The focal point is undoubtedly the open kitchen. The food is all about big flavours, using a nose-to-tail philosophy. Think sweet-and-sticky ribs, puffed pigskin crackling, and a pig’s head scrumpet with Szechuan-spiced apple sauce and petals of onion.
Quirky and modern, this eatery is located inside the lofty space of Exclusive Books at Hyde Park Corner. With a vision by CEO Benjamin Trisk and architecture by Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, EB Social Kitchen & Bar serves both function and form. The airy space is a mix between city loft and comfortable bookshop, kitted out with mid-century and art-deco furnishings. Gold, white, blue and white tiles are mismatched to create a bohemian look and feel. Books flow into the restaurant to tie the store and restaurant together. The space also boasts glorious views of Johannesburg’s urban forest. The menu is accessible but elegant, with touches of imagination. Think small plates of charred sourdough with a brandade butter; goose-liver parfait with brioche and sweet-sherry foam; and dishes from the Josper oven, such as a slow-roasted pork rack with roasted apple and onion soubise.
Luke Dale-Roberts’s newest restaurant in the centre of Cape Town brings New-York opulence to mind. With interior and furniture design by Sandalene Dale-Roberts, artwork by Peter Eastman and Mark Rautenbach, and stained glass doors by Anika van der Merwe, the space is uncompromisingly opulent. A bustling open kitchen and beautiful bar welcome you before you move into the dining room. From banquettes to vintage touches like copper lamps, the space has the feeling of a club, with leather and wood used extensively. Artist Peter Eastman created a wall of butterflies, conceptualised by artist Mark Rautenbach, all laser cut from photographs and plans of the other Luke Dale-Roberts restaurants. Two vast skylights allow natural light to pour in. Jewel-coloured stained glass sliding doors separate the dining and bar areas. Chef Wesley Randles presents classic dishes that have been modernised with elegant touches. The signature dinner item is a show-stopping sweet and smoky chicken dish, which arrives on a smoking bed of prickly chestnuts.
Not your average brewery restaurant, this edgy eatery, headed up by our 2016 Nederburg Rising Star, chef Angelo Scirocco, is located inside Mad Giant Brewery at Joburg’s 1Fox Precinct. The design is playful and industrial, with interiors and furniture design by Haldane Martin Iconic Design, artwork and graffiti by Nomad, crockery by Mervyn Gers and uniform design by Daniella Kisten. A giant yeti centrepiece – seven metres of laser-cut yellow steel – is lit from above. Custom-made furniture evokes scaled-up Meccano toys, and giant grey-scale graffiti murals by Nomad add a childlike aesthetic to the space. Signature hues of red and charcoal dominate the dining area, where long beer-hall tables with sandblasted, black-stained table tops, swivel bar stools and distressed leather seating encourage conversation. Angelo uses fresh Asian and local ingredients to create urban street food with an avant-garde twist. Signature dishes include blackcurrant sorbet with blanc mange, plum and liquorice; nasu dengaku with miso and bone marrow; and coal-cooked sweet potato with buffalo milk and pork crackling.
Click here to read more about all the winners of the 2016 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards.