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Black Bamboo

  • Location 084 508 9752
  • Phone Number Menlyn Boutique, 209 Tugela Road, Ashlea Gardens, Pretoria, South Africa
  • email info@theblackbamboo.co.za
  • Website URL www.theblackbamboo.co.za
  • Opening Hours

    Breakfast: Monday to Sunday 7am to 11am

    Lunch: Monday to Sunday 12noon to 3pm

    Dinner: Monday to Saturday 6pm to 10pm

Cost
R165 - R195 avg main meal; Three-course menu R380; Seven-course menu R550 (with wine pairing R650)
Ambience
Contemporary cool
Food
Fine-dining food, International
Payment
Amex, Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa
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Critic's review

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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  • Alida Ryder

    Food
    This gem, situated in the leafy suburb of Ashlea Gardens in Pretoria, is a must-visit. With his fine dining cuisine, chef Pellie Grobler has taken on the task of changing the restaurant scene in Pretoria. What he is doing at Black Bamboo is quite risky, but so necessary in a city driven by mall-culture.

    His menu takes you on a journey of flavour and texture, but don’t get too used to the dishes – the menu changes every three weeks. This is something more conservative patrons might not like, but it keeps both the establishment and the diner on their toes and gives you another reason to visit them regularly.

    If you’re lucky enough to find the smoked egg on the menu, be sure to order it. A delicately smoked egg yolk is nestled in wilted spinach, sautéed wild mushrooms and paper-thin radish shavings, and is served with toasted seed bread and garlic butter.
    The braised lamb shank has become such a favourite that they’ve decided to keep it on the menu for a little while longer. A melt-in-your-mouth braised lamb shank is wrapped in phyllo pastry and baked until crisp and golden. It’s served with pea purée, sweet potato mash and a deep, dark Guinness-and-lamb jus.

    To end your meal, the lemon meringue with its thin pastry case, brûlée lemon tart, black-pepper meringue and basil crumble is absolutely delectable. There’s something quite inspiring about dining at a restaurant with this amount of potential. With a little tweaking and time, this restaurant could change the food scene in Pretoria and set the benchmark for fine dining in the capital.

    Drinks
    The wine list is quite comprehensive, with a good selection of wines per style and a sprinkling of small boutique wineries. They have taken the time to pair a wine with every dish and their pairings are excellent.

    Ambience
    The restaurant is beautifully laid out with contemporary furnishings. During the warmer months, dining on the deck is a treat, as the garden is dotted with stunning art pieces.

    Service
    Staff are friendly, knowledgeable and very attentive – sometimes perhaps a little too attentive. Passion for what they do is palpable and it’s clear that their first priority is to make sure your time there is memorable.

    And…
    They also offer a few excellent dessert cocktails for patrons who want something sweet to finish their meal but don’t feel like ordering a traditional dessert.

    (July 2015)

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User reviews

  • 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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  • Insofar as dining out in Gauteng is concerned, labelling "Black Bamboo" a "restaurant" is a bit like describing Michael Phelps as a "swimmer". From a simple categorization point of view, it's probably correct. If you have however had the pleasure of experiencing the level of brilliance in action (That is both Mr Phelps and the Black Bamboo), you'd know that there is so much more to Black Bamboo than a "restaurant." You see, the thing is this; Black Bamboo don't create (the word "make" wouldn't be accurate as anyone can "make" food) dishes. The create culinary experiences. From the manner in which you are received, greeted with a glass of bubbly and seated at the table amidst the perfectly designed contemporary looking Menlyn Boutique Hotel, you pretty much know that you're in for a dining experience far removed from the norm. Once seated and having made a wine selection, you embark on the adventure that is encapsulated in the menu. Nothwithstanding the fact that the casual description on the menu belies the perfect combination of flavours and beautifully presented dishes which will make its way out of the kitchen towards you, should elect to direct your index finger towards its description on the menu, the text will pretty much leave you salivating. My wife and I decided to give the springbok loin and salmon a respective go. In a word the experience was "phenomenal". Each item was so incredibly delicately prepared and added genuine depth of flavour to the dish. The food not only looked amazing, but one was left with the idea that each item and its placement on the plate had received extremely careful thought. I wouldn't be surprised if the kitchen was littered with tweezers, spirit levels, protractors and the like. I'm not sure that the level of perfection could be achieved by any less painstaking attention to detail. The springbok which I'd carefully preserved n my freezer and intended preparing for my in-laws in my Weber over the weekend, suddenly seemed far less exciting... Dessert blew our mind! Quite clearly, I've been misled my whole life and now for the first time know what lemon meringue should taste like. Thyme in lemon meringue? Are you kidding me? What level of genius does it take to know that these type of things will leave your palate dazed in a post taste-explosion frenzy? Go see Michael Phelps swim post-Rio. You won't be disappointed. If you can't, make a reservation at Black Bamboo and determine whether you should still label it a "restaurant". I highly doubt it....
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  • Thank you so much for making our date night the best one we have had. The food was amazing and the ambiance was romantic. The service was great. The waiter really knew his wines (we did the pairing with every meal). It is the kind of food that you will not easily forget! We will definitely be going there more often. Thank you so much.
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  • We love dining out, where ever we travel its always based around food, We have been blessed to eat at some of the worlds best restaurant and There is a couple of meals that will stay with me forever , The tuna dish from la colombe, snail porrage form the fat duck , the millionaires nest eggs from mosaic ,Mole madre form pujol and the springbok loin form Black Bamboo, How this restaurant is not in the top 10 of south Africa boggles my mind, We had a fantastic experience, the service was super attentive without being intrusive , the wine list was the most interesting we had anywhere in South Africa, The food was mind blowing, the scallops starter , springbok loin main and chocolate mousse with smoked yoghurt was amazing . We could not stop talking about it even on the way home. A true dining experience!! we will be back often.
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  • MISREPRESENTATION WHICH COST US THOUSANDS -I don't care how good the food is - the service is shocking! We contacted Black Bamboo to make a reservation for a Saturday night for my 26th birthday. The reservation was confirmed by them. Thereafter I booked 3 rooms in the Menlyn Hotel which cost me over R5100.00. In addition, I booked 4 massages at the Menlyn spa. After booking and paying for massages and the accommodation we were telephonically contacted by the owner of Black Bamboo and told that the person we made the reservation with misinformed us and that there is no place at Black Bamboo for the night we booked for. After explaining to the owner how much money it cost me to book at the hotel and spa the owner said it was "unfortunate" and was totally unsympathetic! I don't care how good the food is - the service is shocking! We would have never incurred the accommodation and spa costs had we known there was no place at Black Bamboo!
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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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