News

25 South African restaurants you must experience before you die, according to new guide book

1001 restaurants“People with appetite know that great food does not always come on thick tablecloths,” says Observer restaurant critic Jay Rayner in the foreword of the new book, 1001 restaurants you must experience before you die. The international guide, compiled by Jenny Linford, with help from experts in many regions around the world, pulls together a particularly wide-ranging selection of restaurants. The contributors, explains Jenny, were asked to suggest “‘iconic’ restaurants… ranging from humble but much-loved gems to luxurious havens of fine dining.” And our very own editor-in-chief, Anelde Greeff, was one of the experts for Africa.

We’re dying to try the roasted eggplant with black garlic yoghurt at Ottolenghi’s restaurant in London, the truffle burned soup bread from Ultraviolet in Shanghai and the carbonara at Roscioli in Rome. (We’re a little more hesitant about the herring in a fur coat from Palkin in Russia and the sheep’s trotter soup from Borsa in Istanbul, but we’re open to discussion on these points.) Wondering which South African restaurants made the cut? Here are the iconic restaurants and their signature dishes* to add to your bucket list right away.

Johannesburg

DW Eleven-13 (Dunkeld West) – roasted chicken with braised lettuce

DW Eleven-13. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

DW Eleven-13. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Five Hundred (Sandton) – pork with Jerusalem artichokes and pear-honey chutney

Five Hundred

The chef’s table at Five Hundred. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Roots (Krugersdorp) – springbok with cocoa bean ragout

Wandie’s Place (Soweto) –mngqusho (samp and beans), morogo (wild spinach), mogodu (tripe) and chakalaka

Limpopo

Singita Lebombo Lodge (Kruger National Park) – horseradish and grape risotto with crisp-skin salmon

KwaZulu-Natal

Café Bloom (Midlands) – fresh foods straight from the garden

The exterior at Cafe Bloom. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The exterior at Cafe Bloom. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Capsicum (Durban) – hot sugar bean curry or mutton bunny chow

Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse (Drakensberg) – chocolate and ginger soufflé

Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse. Photo courtesy of the establishment.

Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse. Photo courtesy of the establishment.

Cape Town

Carne SA (City Bowl) – La Fiorentina beef

Harbour House (Kalk Bay) – seafood ceviche

Harbour House. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Harbour House. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

La Colombe (Constantia Nek) – umami broth with sea fog

Mzoli’s Place (Gugulethu) – flame-grilled marinated sausage

Panama Jacks (V&A Waterfront) – seafood platter

The Test Kitchen (Woodstock) – wild mushroom and duck liver with morel-glazed sweetbreads

The Test Kitchen

The Test Kitchen. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Winelands

Babel (Franschhoek) – Lamb shank marinated in harissa and buttermilk

Fyndraai (Franschhoek) – wild rosemary-crusted rack of Karoo lamb

Jordan Restaurant (Stellenbosch) – mussels en papilotte

Jordan Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Jordan Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Makaron (Stellenbosch) – 45-minute oysters

Overture (Stellenbosch) – pork fillet with organic carrots and confit garlic

Overture Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Overture Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Pierneef à La Motte (Franschhoek) – Cape bokkom salad with wild garlic vinaigrette

The Tasting Room (Franschhoek) – surprise menu of African seasonal foods

The Tasting Room's interior. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Tasting Room’s interior. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Garden Route

île de Pain (Knysna) – speciality breads and pastries

Mariana’s (Stanford) – chicken pie

West Coast

Die Strandloper (Langebaan) – flame-grilled snoek with potatoes and sweet potatoes

Die Strandloper. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Die Strandloper. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Oep ve Koep (Paternoster) – Maasbanker bokkom with pear and shoreline herbs

Find the full list in 1001 Restaurants you must experience before you die, edited by Jenny Linford (a Quintessence book, published by Cassel Illustrated).

*Please note that some signature dishes may have changed since publication.

37 Comments

Leave a comment

Featured restaurants

Eatout