An unforgettable Sunday lunch at SunExhibits Centre at GrandWest set the scene for the announcement of South Africa’s top culinary talent at the 2015 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards. Here are South Africa’s current Top 10 restaurants.
1. The Test Kitchen (Woodstock, Cape Town)
Celebrated chef Luke-Dale Roberts delivers once-in-a-lifetime experiences with his modern fine dining. “Creativity, talent, innovation, and oh, the food! This is what places The Test Kitchen at the forefront of South African dining.” – Chief judge Abigail Donnelly.
2. La Colombe (Constantia, Cape Town)
Eat Out S.Pellegrino Chef of the Year Scot Kirton is dishing up outstanding food with character and confidence. Based at a new venue on Silvermist Wine Estate, this restaurant shot up to number two this year with dishes like seated tuna tataki served in a tiny tuna can, and ginger curd, cashew cake and mango sorbet for pud.
3. The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français (Franschhoek)
Executive chef Margot Janse is an artist who enthralls diners with her bold, creative experiments in local flavour. “Margot is one of our most accomplished, confident chefs. Her food, which pays respect to a sense of place, leaves the diner enraptured.” – Chief judge Abigail Donnelly
4. Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel (Constantia, Cape Town)
Executive chef Peter Tempelhoff combines local produce and brave flavours to produce truly refined plates. “Greenhouse impresses with its well thought-out menu, fantastic presentation and absolutely amazing food.” – Judge Siba Mtongana
5. Five Hundred at The Saxon Hotel (Sandton, Johannesburg) – now closed
Having served exquisite dishes that were both elegant and a touch whimsical, chef David Higgs left a lasting impression.
6. The Restaurant at Waterkloof (Somerset West)
A newcomer to the Eat Out Top 10, chef Gregory Czarnecki produces seasonal food that’s beautifully balanced and plated. Applying French technique, he creates fare as light and ethereal his glasshouse lair in the mountains of the Helderberg.
7. Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient (Elandsfontein, Pretoria)
Chantel Dartnall is a chef in her element, serving precise, personal food that is creatively plated and brimming with flavour. Expect to be blown away by the sheer drama of the meal.
8. Terroir (Stellenbosch)
Michael Broughton’s menu overflows with sincerity and generosity, leading to an unforgettable dining experience. “Every plate demonstrates the precision and attention to detail which Michael and his team aspire.” – Judge Jackie Cameron
9. The Pot Luck Club (Woodstock, Cape Town)
Chefs Luke Dale-Roberts and Wesley Randles take the diner on a remarkable adventure of flavour and texture. The descriptions on the tapas menu are understated, barely hinting at the magical dishes to come. “Fresh, modern, and perfectly in tune with its edgy environment.” – Judge Benny Masekwameng
10. Jordan Restaurant (Stellenbosch)
Chef George Jardine’s fantastic seasonal menus deliver personality, authenticity, and memorable flavour combinations. “I love the refreshing, tranquil experience that is Jordan.” – Judge Siba Mtongana
In addition to the Top 10, Eat Out recognised the following with special awards:
S.Pellegrino Chef of the Year: Scot Kirton of La Colombe
Service Excellence Award: The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français (Franschhoek)
Nederburg Rising Star: Carmen Muller of The Tasting Centre at Rupert & Rothschild (Franschhoek)
Wine Service Award: Lloyd Jusa at Five Hundred at The Saxon (Sandton, Johannesburg) – now closed
Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award (in association with Novus Holdings): Liz McGrath
Boschendal Style Award: Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel (Constantia, Cape Town)
Woolworths TASTE Eat Out Bursary: Charlton de Ruiter