Book well in advance, especially for weekend dining and, once you secure a booking, you can look forward to a dazzling dining experience that’s well worth the wait and bill.
Gather here to enjoy a long lunch or dinner over sumptuous wine and beautifully presented food that’s as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate. The quail starter – partially deboned then pan-fried in herbs and white wine and served with a bourbon-poached pear and rosemary-orange syrup – is a must. Next, a scrumptious red-wine-braised oxtail, served with perfectly cooked mushrooms, parmesan and parsley risotto, steamed broccoli and bordelaise sauce. It makes for an exceptional main. Then, to end off, go with a classic vanilla bean crème brûlée, served with still-hot popcorn and glorious salted caramel ice cream.
The drinks list is a delight for gin, cognac, whisky and wine-lovers, particularly, with some of the finest (and rarest) choices of these tipples available. There’s a great variety of wines, with a focus on featuring some of the best estates in the world.
Service impresses – from making the booking and receiving a follow-up confirmation call from the restaurant to the hospitality and paying the bill, which comes with delicious dark chocolates. You might not even be fully aware who your waiter is, specifically, as there are a number of people, including managers, taking care of you and anticipating your every need, graciously and unobtrusively.
Stunning portraits and objets d’art impress, making an already swish setting that much more visually interesting. The music is also alluring, appealing to a variety of tastes – from old-school R&B to contemporary Afro-pop.
Sit-down-and-eat meetings that are about both business and pleasure. (TN)
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.
The standard a la carte menu offers a nice selection of modern items that should appeal to a broad clientele, ranging from cold starters featuring 4 different carpaccio dishes, 2 tartare items, salmon tian and fresh oysters. Hot starters include a delicious foie gras duo, and it is also worthwhile to ask about their daily specials. Their strategy of employing creative young people in the kitchen pays off in items that straddle the area between familiar and comforting and just slightly different from the norm, as in the most delicious smoked pork belly croquettes with berry sauce, or jalapeño poppers with tangy cheese filling.
Mains include a variety of steaks, oxtail, lamb shank, pork belly and many others. The chargrilled fillet with green Bordelaise sauce and a cauliflower and potato mash were cooked to perfection and utterly delicious. Other specials of the day included kudu fillet with grilled baby leeks and potato fondant, and angel fish with a buttery lemon sauce.
Desserts similarly offer something for everyone, from a perfectly executed crème brûlée with blood orange sorbet or an elegant pear and almond tart to a simple bowl with two scoops of sorbet. The rainbow-layered cheesecake with bubblegum ice cream, candy floss, rock candy, candied popcorn and G&T jelly is a creation from the Brooklyn branch of Kream – sit back in awe at this tasty and fun this dessert.
Their signature cocktail, known as a Lanique Royale, celebrates the owner’s Turkish roots with a splash of Turkish rose petal liqueur in sparkling wine. The wine list is straightforward but smart. Opt for a glass of MCC (Pongrácz or Graham Beck) or delight in their well-chosen selection of still wines by the glass such as Hermanuspietersfontein’s Kaalvoetmeisie or La Vierge’s The Affair Pinot Noir. Of course, there is a big selection of French Champagnes, but the lesser-known local wines that will appeal to an adventurous and experimental clientele. Try Nitida ‘Coronata Integration’ Chenin Blanc, Lemberg Hárslevelű and many others.
All staff, from management to waiters, were exceptionally elegant and well-turned out. There is a clear, well-established hierarchy of service staff to look after the large number of guests, with owner Tufan Yerebakan and his GM Romon de Comarmond also playing an active part in ensuring that everything runs smoothly. A lovely selection of ciabatta, Portuguese rolls or health bread with four separate spreads (herb & garlic, plain, beef biltong and tapenade) appeared as soon as we were seated, and small touches such as a specially designed stand on which handbags can rest out of harm’s way helps one to feel looked after. Considering that Kream can seat up to 300 guests, and is often filled to capacity, staff are on their feet the whole time, but look after their guests with what appears to be great enjoyment. This is a destination mall, where people come to shop or window shop, so clientele from all walks of life may try to get a bite to eat. Even though Kream maintains a slight air of formality, they certainly to not discriminate against the odd pair of shorts or a weary shopper who may just want to recover their shopping energy.
Restaurant glamour takes on new meaning here and the double-volume restaurant features several signature items associated with Kream. The floor-to-ceiling windows convey a sense of being in a very glamorous international restaurant, as do the 70s silver glass light fittings, and the impressive staircase leading to the second level. Upstairs, the restaurant has a large area that can seat up to 70 guests, between a dispensing bar and cloakrooms and a large balcony with gorgeous views of Johannesburg to the South. Although this branch of Kream also features a variety of artworks by various artists, it somehow manages to convey a more relaxed atmosphere. Downstairs outside areas overlook the water features of The Mall of Africa, as well as the impressive piazza and Waterfall City Park, while there are numerous private rooms or intimate areas that can be closed off with floor to ceiling curtains for added privacy.
The brand is expanding and all sorts of new developments are in the pipeline. The most immediate development to look forward to is the opening of a high-end restaurant called Nomad which will open on the other side of the mall, and which will serve modern food with more than a nod to Turkish cooking styles and techniques. Anyone who has been to Istanbul knows the city is abuzz with modern eateries that somehow still manage to acknowledge and celebrate traditional Turkish cooking. This new venture, which is slated to open in November, will add to the cosmopolitan flair of the Mall of Africa, which is well-designed and spacious, as befits a mall that wishes to attract luxury brands.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay their own way. Read our full editorial policy here.