Legends Restaurant at Sun City has mercifully few gimmicks and offers high-quality meat that is well cooked and presented, says Eat Out critic Hennie Fisher.
The menu sets the stage with a number of interesting salads such as salmon and avocado with cucumber spaghetti, radish coins and citrus mirin dressing; prawn and chicken; and walnut, pea, bean and miso salad with brioche toast. Catering for local tastes, starters include a taster of boerewors with smoky barbecue sauce, chakalaka and deep-fried pap. Other starter highlights are ostrich-and-crocodile pie; delicious peri-peri chicken livers that we shared, accompanied by freshly baked bread; and springbok carpaccio with honey-mustard mayo and leaf salad. They even serve a starter called Death by Banting: crispy trimmings of beef rump in a rich banting barbecue sauce with sweet-potato mash.
Mains consist predominantly of a range of steaks, and if you order them without any of the sides or sauces (all charged separately), they arrive magnificently displayed on large, warmed white plates with a crispy garnish of carrot curls. Bastings are not excessive and it is evident that the chefs respect the produce, allowing it to shine without interference. Side dishes include items such as spiced mielies and roasted butternut with almonds and feta, with favourite sauces like the one with crushed peppercorns and Klipdrift.
You might choose grills like lamb loin chops or sticky pork chops (declared delicious by a member in our group), go for a bargain-priced meat platter, or opt for a vegetarian butternut-and-mushroom risotto. We shared only one dessert, the chocolate fondant, which did make the two-hour drive back to Gauteng feel worth the effort, since it was masterfully executed and utterly decadent. The menu also promises delights such as a chocolate cherry bomb Alaska; strawberry bavarois with sablé biscuits; a vanilla and blonde Valhrona crème brûlée; and a cheese board called The Cheese Ensemble.
This is the only element at Legends that could do with a bit more glitz and glamour. There’s nothing wrong with the wine list, but there’s little to get excited about either. It is decidedly middle-of-the-road, and could do with a few interesting names from boutique wineries and not just the stock-standard wines from large estates. A jacked-up sommelier or wine steward and a few excellent wines could turn this restaurant into a memorable experience. For slightly more festive occasions, you could opt for Pongracz Rosé or Boschendal Brut.
The staff are well trained and engaging, and are not shy to say if they don’t know the answer to a particular question. We queried why their website menu stated that one could choose between grass-fed, dry-aged beef or grain-fed wet-aged, and our waiter promptly returned with the answer that the supply of grass-fed beef became increasingly irregular, prompting them to stock only wet-aged beef. You can view all the beef cuts in the ageing room or at the grill station where samples are displayed.
Members of the management team are around but not intrusive, making for service that is professional and competent. Be warned that there is live music that may not be to everyone’s taste; we were seated in a booth quite close to the stage and would have preferred not to compete with an 80s soundtrack.
To help manifest the ‘Legends’ theme, memorabilia and framed posters commemorating all the music stars who visited Sun City over the years decorate the walls. The restaurant itself falls firmly into the space between between New York loft and the backstage area of any large concert hall, with exposed brick walls, cement screed floors, and chandeliers. Tables are placed on elevated seating areas, and a number of built-in booths create a nice flow throughout the space. In addition to the small performers’ stage, there is a bar in one corner, and an open kitchen that looks lively and busy. A few private rooms – the Red Carpet, Green Room or Silver Room – are available for larger groups.
The restaurant provides a welcome break from the frenetic Sun City madness outside, with people on their way to the Valley of the Waves, hanging around slot machines and roulette tables, and generally just aimlessly ambling about. The restaurant has mercifully few gimmicks and offers high-quality meat that is well cooked and presented. Good show, Legends.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read the editorial policy here.