Sous chef Tyrone Mothei describes the menu as fusion with Asian, Italian and Thai influences and flavours. Start off your meal with three light salads – the shaved vegetable salad with beetroot, carrots and chia seeds comes with a perfectly poached runny egg, which has a crispy batter. There’s a Thai-inspired soup with mussels, line fish, prawns, Asian sausage and udon noodles. The Kudu carpaccio is served with grilled zucchini, artichoke and roasted hazelnuts – just the right flavours to prepare your appetite for mains. Also worth trying is the apple-and-fennel cured salmon with lime, buttermilk, rye toast and rooibos vinaigrette.
All steaks are prepared with herb butter and seasoning – patrons have a choice of various cuts of Chalmar grain-fed beef, Black Angus grass-fed beef, Wagyu and lamb. They come served with a side salad and a sauce of your choice. For an extra charge you can select two queen prawns or Angus beef boerewors as toppings for your steak. Sides also include fried black rice, basmati rice, crushed potatoes, thick-cut fries and garden vegetables, which are season-dependent.
Lovers of seafood will enjoy the dry spice-rubbed sea bass with couscous and citrus salad, and kingklip with almond, zucchini, brinjal, olive, tomato and salsa vierge. The soft shell crab with avocado, cilantro, grapefruit, sushi rice and togarashi spice is a palate-pleaser.
For what appears to be a small menu, all printed on one page, there is a fair amount of choice, including a burger and vegetarian options such as the butternut risotto and the chargrilled cauliflower with ricotta cheese, creamy polenta and roasted tomato. Particularly interesting on the burger menu is the charcoal steam bun with Asian spiced shredded pork, pak choy, miso mayonnaise and a small side salad of pickled cabbage.
And, for dessert, choose from a selection of classics such as the chocolate fondant, banoffee cheese cake, mascarpone panna cotta, sorbets, ice cream and a cheese board.
The drinks menu is filled with page after page of wines, bubbly, champagne, spirits, cocktails and more. There’s a wide range from local to international to fit your budget.
Service is a little on the slow side but the view of Johannesburg takes the sting away.
This is a very relaxed setting where no one seems to be in a rush. You’ll find businessmen meeting over breakfast, ladies enjoying a quiet lunch, groups celebrating birthdays and couples sharing a romantic moment over dinner.
Book a table for their Saturday and Sunday brunch buffets. Also ask about their beer pairing with the artisan braai menu.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.
The Flames restaurant at the Four Seasons at the Westcliff is not only about the food; this is a full-package experience. Upon arrival your car gets chauffeured away and you get warmly transported up to the restaurant, with an incredible view overlooking the beautiful city of Johannesburg.
The seasonal menu is very concise, but has just enough options to make you wonder for a little while. If you have to choose only one item, the Korean pork belly is it! The pork is cooked to perfection and the flavours are perfectly balanced. It cannot be faulted. The Karoo lamb chops come highly recommended, too, although the mint jus is a little shy. If you’re a starter person then do try the springbok carpaccio. It’s mouthwatering, and everything just works: the truffle oil is the highlight, the artichokes come through ever so nicely, and the roasted walnuts add a wonderful crunch to the dish.
But the reason to go more than one time is the double-chocolate fondant. Ladies and gentlemen, this is one of the dishes of my year. Served with roasted banana ice cream, banana marshmallow and chocolate crumble on top, it’s a perfect fondant that, with one pierce, oozes with the most delicious chocolate. Dig your spoon a little deeper and be surprised by some peanut butter. Yes.
This is not a cheap night out, but it can be justified when you take in the whole experience. They have an extensive list of both local and international wines. The cheapest bottle of red wine is the DeMorgenzon, which came in at R395. If you’re looking for an experience and a spoil then you will find plenty of options.
Service is sleek and faultless. Philani, the waiter, is filled with knowledge of the menu, and has lots to recommend. We are also greeted with a warm welcome by the manager on duty, which always enriches the experience.
As far as location goes, you can’t really fault Flames. The whole ambience is out of this world and really does justify the price you may pay.
This is a place to go spoil yourself. Enjoy the moment.
Eat Out critics arrive unannounced and pay their way in full. Read our editorial policy here.