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Black Bamboo

Black Bamboo
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Cost
R165 - R225 avg main meal; Three-course menu R450; Seven-course menu R550 (with wine pairing R750)
Ambience
Groups, Special occasions, Views
Food
Fine-dining food, Modern
Payment
Amex, Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
No BYO unless wine is 25 years or older, then R20

Critic's review

Hennie Fisher

Food
The current menu’s appetiser section starts with a dish called 63°C Egg. It’s a delicious way to serve a sous vide egg, with tomato prepared three ways: smoked, ragout and roasted, and further enhanced by mustard greens, basil oil, brioche croutons and toasted onion seeds. A surf and turf starter is the most delicious combination of scallops and pork belly with coriander purée, butternut cannelloni, lemon butter emulsion and spicy chorizo. Other wonderful options include lamb shank ragù with a samp croquette and liquorice jus, blackened cod with beetroot mousse, a beetroot tapioca crisp, beetroot dust, goat’s cheese, apple balls and smoked black cherries.

These wonderful flavour creations are the creations of chef Pellie Grobler. Try his duck breast with spicy chocolate, cashew purée, roast and pickled turnip and honey dukkah glaze.

The white chocolate and raspberry dessert is so light and elegant it could easily be served as a palate cleanser. Baked cheesecake with black pepper meringue, apple marshmallow, yoghurt cream cheese and apple ice cream provides further proof of the kitchen’s dexterity.

Drinks
The wine list is a clever combination of the standard division of styles, enhanced by a separate page of ‘rare finds’, which features such delights as the wines of Kevin King, JH Meyer Signature wines and others. Each dish on the menu is expertly matched with a suitable wine.

Service
Dressed in traditional black and white with thin black ties, the waiters are well informed about the menu and even on a busy night remain unwaveringly competent and able.

Ambience
The restaurant is part of a boutique hotel, and there is a certain charm in feeling as if you are dining in the lobby. It is a large open space that can be accessed by lift from the secure underground parking area. In warmer times, there are loads of outside tables to dine under the stars. They recently renovated a private room leading off the main dining room where one will have a view onto their new dedicated pastry kitchen.

And…
Restaurant manager and sommelier Erez Atash will make you feel as if you’re dining in the restaurant of a glamorous Hollywood hotel.

(October 2017)

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay their own way. Read our full editorial policy here.

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  • Diane de Beer

    Food
    Head chef Pellie Grobler prides himself on a turn-around menu of three weeks. In their two-plus years existence, they haven’t repeated a dish – other than their lemon meringue, which is now at version 3.1 and was instituted to embrace an insistent customer.

    The options are either a la carte or a seven-course tasting menu (with or without wine pairing) and the dishes are well-balanced and delicately flavoured. Starters run from Cape curry pickled fish to a fusion of salt-baked carrots beautifully displayed, pan seared scallops with peas and charred green onion to mains of pan-seared kingklip cooked to perfection, teamed with a tiger prawn on lentil puree. Or springbok loin paired with sautéed chickpeas and a bone marrow croquet.

    Wine
    From Neil Ellis Granache, Katvis Pinot Noir, Almenkerk Chardonnay to Craven Pinot Gris and South Hills Sauvignon Blanc, they try to keep it exciting and fresh for their predominantly young clientele.

    Service
    As part of a boutique hotel, the dining is constant and the staff on their toes.

    Ambience
    Both architecture and interiors are contemporary, with huge sculptures by Anton Smit part of the design. Because the dining room feels part of a whole, the experience has a kind of retro hotel feel, which is cool.

    And…
    Their motto is to change Pretoria, one meal at a time, and they’re cooking up a storm.

    (September 2016)

    Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.

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User reviews

  • Excellent food. Well prepared! They didn't have a few wines when we were their but offered a complimentary bottle after our third. Hoole wasn't availible
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  • I would recommend the Black Bamboo to anyone who is looking for something special. They responded speedily to our emails and the chef went out of his way to to accommodate our every wish. Our group was treated like royalty. The service was excellent and the food, absolutely delicious.
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  • Best food experience in a very long time. Congratulations on a superb restaurant! The setting, service an ambiance all contribute to an experience congruent to any 5 star restaurant in the world.
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  • The atmosphere that we experience each and every time is "like coming home" - warm and inviting. Staff excellent. Food, as always and experience - outstanding.
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  • It is the second time in 2 weeks I have gone to this gem of a place, this time to celebrate the arrival of special visitors. Again we were spoiled for choice as Chef Grobler and his team catered for our every need. Whe had a brilliant lunch and we actually were able to enjoy the outside area. Sound of flowing water made this lunch a satisfying lingering experience, one where we all could pretty much just have remained seated and have a siesta. Food was great, service attentive and linnen crisp and white. Good wine selection and knowledgable waitrons. Happy
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  • Dear Chef Grobler and Team, Visited your establishment on Tuesday and I have been tortured by dreams of the Steak-Tartare Amuse Bouche and of that of my Tuna starter. Oh my word I enjoyed both tremendously. Thank you Ben for also taking the time to show us the rest of the establishment.
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  • What can one say?.....Everything was just perfect! Will definately eat there again!
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  • What an experience. We arrived at 6pm and were one of the last tables out... Savouring the experience as much as possible.The staff were professional, friendly and attentive without being overbearing. The decor was beautiful and elegant, with a cosy atmosphere. We ate a variety of dishes from each course between the four of us. Each dish was gorgeous to look at, and the combinations on the plate a taste explosion! You can clearly see the effort, love and thought that went into each and every component. We are huge fans!! Thank you Pellie and team... You are definitely one of the front runners on the SA culinary forefront
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  • The Chef made time to greet us personally. It was a wonderful experience. Black Bamboo will definitely see us again. Thank you for the wonderful experience.
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  • My date and I had a truly amazing evening at Black Bamboo, the chef took the time to come and chat to us twice, explaining what wines would be best paired with the food and describing enthusiastically the amazing food he had decided should be placed on the menu that evening. I cannot wait to go back to Black Bamboo...
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  • Our waiter, Ben-John was great even althuogh it was his first night on the job! The somelier, Erez, is knowledgeable and passionate. The food was excellent, between the four of us, we tasted at least half of the menu. There was some sureptitious plate-licking on all of the dishes. We had the surg-and-turf and chicken starters; the chicken and kingklip mains, and the cheesecake and salted caramel puds.I've never been one for de-contructed desserts, and whilst I've eaten at SA's top 5 restaurants, Black Bamboo far outstrips these all these restaurants . The wines are from heaven
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  • Being a first time visitor to Black Bamboo, it has definitely got me as a returning customer. Our host Ezra, was amazing and his description and knowledge of each dish is fantastic, but still does not do the chefs work justice. The starters were all fresh and their puree mixtures were a great choice. The mains were juicy and succulent. AMAZING!! Dessert was good, not too sweet but the the mains were definitely the winner of the evening. We will definitely be returning to try out their 7 course tasting menu. Ben also provided us with an amazing service the entire night.
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  • From the moment that you park your car to the moment you leave again, is a memorable experience. Perfect food, perfect service, food looked amazing and tasted perfect,
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  • I literally love everything about the Black Bamboo - the service is impeccable, the staff are friendly and efficient and the food is extremely tasty, with plenty of colour and texture in every dish. I highly recommend this restaurant and I cannot wait to return.
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  • What a fantastic culinary experience! You will find the different flavors and visual appeal of every unique dish inspiring. Friendly staff and service excellent. The ambiance contributed to a very relaxed but elegant setting. We couldn’t get over how skillfully done it all was.
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  • First time to Black Bamboo.....what an experience! We reviewed the menu and wine list...which are both interesting and something to look forward to....however....we decided on the 7-course option, with wine paring....relatively expensive....but more than worth it.....they amazed us with dishes worthy of being fit for a king.
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  • You know we always look for good things too far,whereas they are right under our noses. Listen, calling this place a restaurant would really be an understatement. Firstly the warm welcome we received, the service, the ambiance. You don't always have to look too far to be surrounded by tranquility,serenity and peace,especially where food and wine are concerned. This place is all one needs for some time out and to get away from the busy life. The food went down so good with the wine. The desert,never had such a beautiful mouth watering Lemon Meringue ever,theirs is the best and I would definitely go back for their Springbok Loin. I loved and enjoyed every minute I spent there. What an AMAZING experience it was. The Black Bamboo is definitely the best restaurant we have been to in South Africa
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  • What a fantastic cullinary experience! You will find the different flavours and visual appeal of every unique dish inspiring. Friendly staff and service excellent. The ambience contributed to a very relaxed but elegant setting. We couldn’t get over how skillfully done it all was.
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  • Terribly disappointed. Waited forever to get an available date that suited us and we where so excited, but in the end a complete letdown. Didn't receive a warm welcome at arrival but as we where a few minutes early we didn't think to much of it...but this was clearly an indication of the rest of the service and the below average food. The waiter was not at all attentive and we need to remind him not to forget about us. We chose the 6 course tasting menu , 3 cold starters (lighly seard tuna was the only starter that was any good), forth starter was vegetarian and Was the worst, baby carrots that where so sweet we could barely eat it. The a pallet cleanser, tasted more like dishwashing detergent. Only one main course, pasta with the moste dry tasteless chicken breast ever. The whole table was not impressed with only one main and then to top it is was a small dry breast. Dessert was good and we could see effort and thought was put into this dish. We will not be returning to Black Bamboo. A tasting menu should be an offering of the best on the menu or the best the chef has on offer, the freshest and in season ingredients... Not worth the money or wait.
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  • The Black Bamboo @ The Menlyn boutique hotel is a beautiful space in which to relax and indulge. Excellent service, professional staff. The food is a perfect blend of flavors,beautifully presented. The seared tuna melted in the mouth. The wine pairing is spot on with each dish, it really does add to the taste experience. The sea bass was excellent, Hubby loved it. The Beef Fillet perfectly medium and the mushroom purée... wow. Pavlova light and fresh flavors. Gorgeous Anton Smit sculptures placed around the hotel. We will be back. What a treat.
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  • As part of our choice for restaurant week, my boyfriend and I enjoyed date night at the elegant Black Bamboo. I love how secluded this hotel is yet so accessible. Our servers Bridgette and Ferez ensured that the fine dining standards of the restaurant were upheld through out our dining experience. Our food was delicious and served with finesse. Thank you for the impeccable service and outstanding dishes. Can't wait to return!
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Breakfast
  • Child friendly
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Smoking
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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