Venues

Licorish Bistro

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  • Phone Number +27117060991
  • Location 432 Nicolway Shopping Centre, Corner of Wedgewood Link and William Nicol Drive, Bryanston, Johannesburg
  • email licorishbistro@gmail.com
  • Website URL http://www.licorish.co.za/
  • Opening Hours

    Monday to Thursday 12noon to 10.30pm; Friday and Saturday 9am to 10.30pm; Sunday 9am to 8.30pm

Cost
R170 avg main meal
Ambience
Classic elegance, Hip & happening
Food
Bistro fare, Cape Malay, Modern, South African
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Thando Ndabezitha

Food
The breakfast menu comprises delightfully surprising dishes such as phuthu cakes (made with the much-loved traditionally Zulu crumbly pap, known as umphokoqo in Xhosa), and snoek-and-cumin frittata. A highly recommended starter is the bobotie spring roll dish. This meal bursts with flavour: the mince is cooked in the traditional Cape Malay style, with a wonderful savoury-sweet flavour that warms the taste buds. With four spring rolls per serving, the portions are generous, and patrons would be strongly advised to opt for just one roll – if they can resist the temptation to not have more. Otherwise, the mains may seem too taxing after such a satisfying fill.

Seared tuna gets a nod, served with a refreshing and zesty salsa, and cooked to perfection with just the right amount of pink still visible on the flesh. Desserts do not disappoint with a nod to local cuisine via milk tart brûlée with caramelised cinnamon sugar. There are also other favourite sweets inspired by cuisines further afield, like coconut panna cotta and apple strudel.

Drinks
The wine list covers quite a wide range of options, with wine also sold by the glass at R45. A wide variety of cocktails is also on offer, including the pear-and-ginger martini and apple-crumble martini. For the health-conscious calorie-counting drinker, there are lovely fruit juice mixes, with a proudly South twist, such as the delightful blend of spanspek, carrot, ginger and red apple.

Service
The waiters are friendly, efficient and professional.

Ambience
The venue is quite warm, intimate and welcoming to the patrons getting after-work drinks or conducting a lunch-time business meeting, or the couple or family going out for dinner. Although the space is not large, it is not overcrowded

And…
A street-food menu is available from noon till 6pm. Try fresh hake with coconut, crispy fried chicken, or the lamb burger.

(September 2016)

Eat Out critics arrive unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

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  • Food
    Licorish Bistro manages to offer something unique that cuts through the noise of the mall. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and keeps quality consistent. The breakfast menu is the brunch lover’s dream: think frittatas, rostis, fritters, French toast, porridge and the heart attack-inducing egg, pork sausage, streaky bacon and tomato combo. The menu has a whole mindblowing section dedicated to street food from around the world. Jerk chicken is served alongside nkomazi chicken curry and stoneground rye. The prawn gatsby is pure heaven and perfect for a quick lunchtime treat. The rest of the menu is diverse and interesting, often putting a unique spin on well-known dishes. The goat’s cheese tempura and the beetroot risotto with goat’s cheese and sunflower seed dukkah get our vote. (Vegetarians aren’t neglected.) The sticky ginger pudding, saffron poached pears and chocolate fondue will also tempt you come dessert time. This restaurant should be a priority visit for the serious diner.

    Wine
    Licorish Bistro steers clear of the traditional wine list. Instead, wine lovers can choose from over 60 wines. Popular wines like Blackwater artisanal wines and Lammershoek tend to stay in supply, while the rest of the selection is often rotated. Wines sell for between R110 and R600.

    Service
    It’s so refreshing to receive good, friendly service. The waiters create the impression that your comfort is a priority and never leave you hanging.

    Ambience
    Mall culture aside, the ambience at Licorish is relaxed and even playful. The great attention to detail makes for a fun visit, with the wooden chandeliers stealing the show. Try to get a seat closer to middle of the restaurant to avoid spillover noise from the adjoining restaurants.
  • Clever and consistently good food, like platters of lamb, fish and beef each served in three guises. Signatures: marrow bones stuffed with snails; seafood laksa; and strawberry crumble with homemade liquorice ice cream. (Eat Out mag 2014)

User reviews

  • Always outstanding food at Licorish with a menu that changes from season to season. The service is exceptional and the staff are incredibly knowledgable about the food that is thoughtfully prepared. A gem of Joburg!
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  • I went to Licorish for the first time for lunch with three girl friends. We decided to each choose a different starter and share. Every single dish was beautifully presented and tasted superb and, with a glass of wine each, it cost R100 per person. Only one disappointment in that one item (calamari) was unavailable. Because we had had such a good experience, I decided to surprise my husband on our 25th anniversary. The champagne had been pre-ordered and we were given a special welcome when we arrived. We had the calamari as a starter which was melt in the mouth. Then my husband had the fish taster and I had the fillet taster. A fabulous idea because you try small portions of four different dishes on the menu. Only one word for it - amazing. We rounded off with a dessert taster each. This was quite pricey but it was after all a night to remember... Only one negative comment - sitting next to the huge windows can be quite chilly on a cool night so if you feel the cold wear something warm.
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  • The Licorish experience is all about their tasting plates! You can choose between a fillet, fish or lamb tasting plate and they change up the dishes every few weeks. This evening I had the fillet tasting plate and my meat was cooked to perfection and each serving tasted totally unique. The wine glass portions are hearty but the best part was the dessert. WOW WOW WOW. From a hazelnut milk tart to deep fried Lindt balls with Amarula sauce and finally a warm apple and pear crumble with the most magnificently simple smoked fig ice cream. That ice cream. Heavenly. I need more. And more and more....
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  • Our favourite go- to restaurant! great food for a reasonable price! I love their cocktails too - not at all sweet and fresh! The tasting plates are always delish especially paired with the wine. and the chilli squid is a perfect starter and big enough to share.
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  • What a disappointment
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  • 27th wedding anniversary treat...excellent service and delicious food, not the cheapest spot in town but still represents value for money. We did the fish and beef taster plate option wish were both superb, wine selection is "pick your own" from the rack, very helpful and knowledgable manager to assist if you need steering in the right direction. Pud was delightful, 3rd tasting plate which we shared...liquorish ice cream was stunning as was the strawberry crumble.... Definately go again David Taylor
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  • We had a mix up with Our reservation, but this was sorted out with ease and charm, that's what great service is about. I went back for the lamb shank korma and it did was divine! The relaxed vibrant setting adds to the allure. Great place overall.
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  • Sadly we had not been to Licorish Bistro during the tenure of their late chef, Jacques Fourie who passed away, however had heard very good reports from many friends. We were therefore delighted finally being there and having a delicious dinner from the interesting menu. A warm welcome, good service in spite of it being busy, and we followed their chosen procedure of selecting wines from the range they stock and display in front of the kitchen. We sincerely hope this venue continues to deliver what it certainly is getting right in spite of the sad event, and look forward to returning.
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  • I have been frequenting Licorish since Jacques opened it a few years ago, and it remains the top of my list of restaurants in Joburg. You can be guaranteed delicious, well-conceived fine-dining, with attentive and knowledgeable service, and lots of 'wow factors'. The wine cellar is also an absolute pleasure, both in variety, value and great quality. Previous comments from guests at my table: "The best Mussels, ever, anywhere!", "This tuna is seared so perfectly", "The best steak Ive had in a long time" "I could come here just for the chocolate fondue" "This risotto makes me so happy". If you are a 'foodie' (even if you hate the label) do yourself a favour and go here.
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  • The friendly welcome and perfect table setting makes this restaurant one of our current favourite restaurants in Bryanston. Reservations are recommended as can be expected the reason for this is the exceptional dining experience.
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  • Superb restaurant- one of Jozi's finest! Creative and deliciious menu. No boring choices here! Superb preSentation. Excellent, professional , friendly service. A winner!
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  • My partner and I are at Licorish Bistro at least once a week. The food is impeccable, the service is so amazing and the ambience is great. They Basil Martini is so refreshing. Their trio of salmon as a starter is great as well as their Chef's Tasting Plates are amazing, which lets you taste different flavours of either lamb, seafood, venison or beef. Weekends is also our favourate time to go for brunch. They make the most amazing buttermilk pancakes...

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  • My absolute favourite haunt at the moment! Chilli salt squid is to die for as is the coconut risotto with jerk salmon. Not a fan of their wraps such as the Prawn Gatsby and I was slightly annoyed by the waiter who made us choose a side order we had to pay extra for (and didn't really want anyway) but made it seem like it came with the main meal. Overall though, delicious! Will keep going back.

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  • Very over-rated I think. We tried the 3 sample platters which at R175 were accompanied by three droplets of [Zevenwacht - very average] wine tasters which barely tantalised the taste buds. I was pre-warned to avoid the Kudu steak as being barely starter size. No return for me, thanks.

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  • Food is in one word 'delicious', ambience is great, the service was a bit cold and distant, although it was efficient. However, I have to say, their ginger sticky pudding is absolutely divine, especially for a sweet tooth. One of the best puddings I've ever had at a restaurant, will go back just for that.

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  • As a former Capetonian , I must say that Gauteng does not have much to offer in terms of restaurants.

    This was such a delightful surprise. The presentation, although simple, was beautiful and modern.

    One can tell that the chef uses only fresh, top quality ingredients. He has a great palette and obviously great knowledge of ingredients and combinations.

    We were served by Lango, who was well presented, friendly and knew what the dishes were and how they were prepared, not a common trait in waiters here.

    This Bistro gave me hope for the growth of culinary art in Gauteng. Well done
     

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  • On recommendation from friends, my wife and I visited Licorish last might, and we were immensely impressed! Excellent, fast service (without feeling rushed), even in a full restaurant, compliments the menu and personal attention from executive chef Jacques Fourie.
    We enjoyed the duck salad and crayfish for starters, and rib eye with bearnaise sause and fillet with Kalahari truffle crust and dessert trios tremendously! Hailing from the Northern Cape, I was especially impressed with the truffles on offer.
    No printed wine list, but you can select your bottle from the great selection in the open cellar, with advice and assistance from the chef!
    All in all a sublime experience and a guaranteed return to another Jozi bistro at the top of South-African standard!

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  • Excellent. At last we have a 5 star restaurant in Joburg. The fillet trio special is a must and the strawberry crumble with licorish ice cream is to die for. Definitely my favorite restaurant.

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  • Took family to celebrate daughter's birthday on 25 April. Ordered drinks and then ordered mains. Mains took a long time and owner apologised although we never complained. Had a delicious meal with good wine and company. At end of evening owner apologised again for poor service and said that the meal was paid for and that he hoped to see us again and provide the service they stand for. Thank you Jacques we will be back - appreciate your commitment to excellent service.

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  • The food was amazing - great combination of flavours. I am part of a supper club and we have been all over JHB and have been to hundreds of eating places - this one just blew us away. Well done to the chef, we will be back.

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  • We went to Licorish Bistro on 15 March 2013, with high expectations. Admittedly, I'd been trawling the menu online for the entire week leading up to my birthday and had a good idea of our order before we sat down. We booked a table for 2 in advance. Our waitress was knowledgeable and friendly without being over-familiar. Her recommendations were honest and she knew all about the specials. Our food was absolutely outstanding and left our mouths watering with each bite. The portion sizes were just right. The fillet with Kalahari truffle crust for mains and the dessert of strawberry crumble and licorish ice cream come highly recommended. We took our own wine and paid reasonable corkage. A fine dining experience worth every cent. We'll be back. I can only criticize the location of a mall but the ambience and service more than makes up for location.

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  • Had dinner last night at Licorish with my husband and all I can say is wow. From the very friendly and competent waitress, the managers who went out of their way to suggest wine pairings to the gorgeous food. All of it delicious. My new favourite place.

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  • The food was exceptional, the tastiest steak in town. The wine selection is vast. This is officially my favourite hang-out.

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  • Had a lovely Sunday lunch at Licorish. I ordered the chickpea fritter starter, which was absolutely delicious. My husband had the mustard fillet roll, a very generous portion. The Belgium chocolate fondue was also a hit. Although I loved the strawberries, I didn't like the cake at all. It's too crumbly and stays behind in the chocolate. Overall a pleasant experience! I will go back to try some of the other (vegetarian) options.

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  • I really enjoy this restaurant. The beef with truffles etc. was supberb. Highly recommended.

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  • Treated myself and the family to Sunday lunch at Licorish - what a great meal. Between the 6 of us, we covered much of the menu - every item was a hit! Highly memorable food, great service and very accomodating to our needs. See you again...

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  • Had dinner tonight at Licorish. The food was amazing, the service exceptional. Really enjoyed the culinary experience.

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  • Jacques has opened another fabulous restaurant, the menu is delicious, simple and very well priced, well done everyone! We will be back again

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  • The Taster Plates (one beef and one seafood) are delectable and beautifully showcase the high standard of the food at Licorish. R150 per plate each featuring 3 tasters. Excellent!

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  • When I visited on 28 July, the menu was exciting (very interesting variety with fresh and quirky twists and turns) and the food promised to be excellent. I was not disappointed!

    Service was a bit tardy and the waiter committed a few no-nos (I suspect he was new to the trade) but the food was superb. In any case, I prefer great food and slightly shoddy service over the inverse!

    I would love to go back and try the other food and the prices were very reasonable as well. This place definitely scored a "I'm coming back soon" from me! Well done to the chef and the owner - I hope you always keep the menu as exciting and inspiring as it currently is.

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  • Great food. Eaten at Licorish 3 times and loved the food. Some service issues but can be fixed with training. Please serve a finger bowl with your delicious chicken wings! Good Luck, see you soon.

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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Parking
  • StreetSmart affliated
  • Takeaways
  • Wheelchair

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