Whether you’re looking for glorious sunsets, cityscapes or bushveld, here’s our guide to finding a table with a great view in Tshwane.
During some renovations a while ago, De Kloof’s large stoep (which feels somewhat like the prow of a ship) was slightly altered to provide more restaurant space. Its elevated position on a hill overlooking the golf course also allows it to take advantage of magical sunset views. The Voortrekker Monument can be seen in the distance and your eye will surely be drawn across to the hills of the Groenkloof Nature Reserve. With chef Phillip Thlako at the helm of the kitchen these days, one can choose between their five-course tasting menu or the normal à la carte menu.
Moonshot sits bang in the centre of a bustling development in Pretoria East, right behind Times Square Casino and Menlyn Maine, and has a magical view of the surrounding area towards Lynnwood. It is a massive space, with the most glorious large window and doors that open and close at the flick of a switch. Moonshot belongs to the owners of Smaak in Hazelwood, and the menu’s variety and pricing will appeal to a younger crowd. There is a separate breakfast and daytime menu and on Friday evenings Moonshot stays open a little later. Try a yummy quesadilla, kudu burger or even simple mac and cheese to appease your hunger.
Tucked in between the Altitude Club and Something’s Cooking by J, both with equally spectacular views, Forti’s Grill and Bar offers a haven away from home. Pop in for a coffee late at night or for one of their spectacular table desserts, created right before your eyes. Lounge in one of their gazebos to take in the view while indulging on a plate of fresh Luderitz oysters or the Italian Feast, a set menu reserved for a minimum of eight people that will make you so full that you may struggle to get back to your car. They have a great beverage and cigar selection to go with the superb view. Forti Mazzone is also always there to ensure that things run smoothly.
Overlooking plush Waterkloof, this is the place to be seen. With delightful live music (mostly jazz), some serious beverages for the connoisseur (ask co-owner Marko Jovancic to create one of his famous smoked cocktails tableside) and cigars, one might find it difficult to get around to eating. The Sky Deck is covered for a bit of protection and privacy, but that does not deter from the fabulous views. You could choose from a well-represented à la carte menu, but there’s also the Gastronomique tasting menu option. If none of that appeals because you’ve sunk too deeply into one of the couches on the stoep, just order from their everyday menu. Sit back with your quartette of tacos and enjoy the flavours of shredded chicken, pulled pork belly, guacamole, sour cream and tomato salsa.
Few views can be more romantic than that from the rooftop of the Brasserie de Paris. Situated right in the middle of the diplomatic suburb of Waterkloof, the rooftop offers a secluded dining experience that looks over the tree canopy of the surrounding suburb. The venue itself would be the delight of any architecture devotee, so if one becomes bored of gazing at the stars you may admire the architectural prowess of the architect Karl Jooste. These days they offer a set menu in addition to the à la carte menu, but if you’re in the mood for an incredible ‘steak and chips’ dinner, choose their chateaubriand.
If you prefer your view to be of city living and high-rise buildings, then the Summit should be your cup of tea. The view is expansive over large sections of Pretoria East, though much of it also includes a stretch of the N1, with features what can only be described as some of the worst traffic in all of Africa. Their menu offerings are interesting and varied, from old-fashioned stalwarts like liver and onions to a Santa Fe baked chicken dish.
Though several storeys up, Carlita’s offers one of the most magical veranda views in all of Pretoria. Its location in The Hills Game Reserve Estate means that there is lots of pretty bushveld around. Beyond that, this cosy Portuguese-themed restaurant’s view stretches from the stoep over a well-maintained lawn, across a smallish dam, right over the last residential suburbs of Pretoria East and towards the west. The result is late afternoons bathed in sunsets. Share a starter platter with sundowner cocktails and end the night with a seafood pasta to ease any pangs of longing for the sea.
Two restaurants – the Magnolia Restaurant and Tiffin’s Bar and Lounge – service the outside patio at the Sheraton, which has an unsurpassed view of Sir Herbert Baker’s majestic Union Buildings. It is always a thrill to pass through the doors onto the patio and be almost at eye level with these larger-than-life government buildings, which dominate the view from almost anywhere in the Sheraton. It makes for a superb setting for after-work drinks on the patio. Menu items include a variety of dishes, from the mushroom risotto to a dish called Calamari Duo, consisting of a calamari steak pan-fried in lemon butter and served on smoked butternut purée with deep-fried squid head. It’s accompanied by turmeric egg noodles and chorizo.