Venues

Marble by David Higgs

Marble by David Higgs
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Cost
R230 avg main meal
Ambience
Contemporary cool
Food
Contemporary fare, Modern
Payment
Amex, Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa
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Critic's review

Kate Liquorish

Food

At the heart of the restaurant is a magnificent, custom-made wood-fired grill. It’s the Cadillac of grilling machines: Its signature crankwheels allow you to adjust the height of the cooking surface over the open flames to modulate the temperature, but it’s still down to the chefs to create the magic. It’s a little bit cowboy and wonderfully theatrical, and for Higgs it’s a chance to show South Africans the kinds of marvels you can create with – to put it plainly – a really big braai.

The menu remains the same for both lunch and dinner service. It’s concise and beautifully presented. There’s an element of smoke or fire to every dish, but each take is unique, with no two looking or tasting the same. You’ll find paprika, harissa, chipotle and other well-known smokey components dotted through the dishes, but other fascinations, like smoked eggs, ash butter, burnt orange and dishes like the coal-roasted soup, will have foodies clamouring for more.

The menu showcases a wide range of both fish and meat dishes with a good array of enticing vegetarian options that steer clear of the obvious. Favourites from the starting line-up include fired prawns with lime, honey and sugarcane; hot-smoked trout with green pickles, endive salad and a dill-and-caper yoghurt; and blackened octopus with a crushed paprika potato, candied lemon and a squid-ink dressing.

There’s also a selection of salads that keeps with the smoked and flame-grilled philosophy, from which the Super Salad – a spectacle of fired and marinated cauliflower, iceberg lettuce, edamame, peas, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate, cucumber, mint and a tahini-and-buttermilk dressing – is testament that salads can be pretty damn exciting.

For mains at Marble you’ll choose between an assortment of either Works or Signatures. The Signatures are made up of four sharing dishes for two people, and celebrate David’s take on the true nature of the South African braai: The primal joy of eating together around the open flame. The côte de bœuf, served with bone marrow, thin-cut fries, grilled asparagus and parmesan, is a carnivorous feast, and the fried fish and shellfish for two is a carnival of prawns, calamari, mussels, octopus, linefish, lime rice, braaied greens and a shellfish butter.

The Works are individual dishes celebrating popular and unusual cuts of meat, as well as an assortment of fish and vegetables, flame-grilled to perfection and presented in fine-dining fashion with the most sensational accompaniments. The pork neck, served with grilled pineapple, bok choy, sugar snaps, celeriac remoulade, pork crackling and a jalapeño syrup is a gorgeous fusion of sweet, savoury and spice with Asian undertones. The classic selection of steaks, served with wood-fired vegetables, fries and your choice of sauce, are highly recommended. The sauces are like nothing you’ve experienced before: smoked field mushroom, herb jus, chakalaka and smoked red pepper and chipotle that will have you scraping the last morsels from your plate.

Desserts continue in the same vein, but with hints of childlike abandon. For something playful and light, choose from an assortment of ice-cream sandwiches, all featuring different fillings and biscuits or, for something a little more serious, the burnt strawberries with pistachio crème, ash meringue and kataifi.

Drinks

The floor-to-ceiling glass cellar that separates the restaurant from the bar is a spectacle to behold, and its contents of international and local wines is spellbinding. Marble’s in-house sommelier is ready and waiting to guide you through the list and point you in the right direction. There are also some great options by the glass.

Service

The service is excellent and on point. As Marble has only just opened, waiters aren't yet as well versed in the menus as they could be.

Ambience

Being four floors up, you’ll revel in palatial views across the Johannesburg skyline. The décor is so refined, so beautifully put together, that it’s worth a visit just to experience interior design and décor at their most exceptional. From the bathrooms to the chairs, the light fittings to the antique toothpick boxes, no expense has been spared – and it shows. The ambience is formal, but the bar area allows people to kick back and relax in wingback chairs and on soft leather couches. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic indulgence or a seriously splashy business lunch.

And…

The cocktails at the bar are superb; book early for dinner so you can enjoy an aperitif and soak up the sunset.

(August 2016)

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

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User reviews

  • First thing's first the service and overall feel of this restaurant was incredible. From the hostesses to the waiters you are truly made to feel special. However the food left a sour taste in my mouth. For a starter I had the Kudu which was excellent, the different flavours complimented each other tremendously which had me looking forward to my main course. After much deliberation I decided to go with the Giant prawns as the waiter gushed about it ( no doubt it was because of the R690 it would add to our bill). When it arrived it was plated beautifully and I quickly tucked in with much excitement however, I was thoroughly disappointed as the prawns were over done and the paella rice that accompanied the dish tasted burnt. While these were definitely giant Mozambican prawns they were flavored and prepared very poorly. I genuinely believe that given the chance even an Ocean Basket could have prepared these prawns better, it was definitely not worth the price and I would stay away from that dish in the future. For desert I had the cheesecake which was delightfully delicious and the texture was nothing short of perfect. Overall I would not rate the food I had experienced very high as the prawns ruined the meal for me however, if I do return it would be for the amazing service and even better cheesecake.
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  • Think I might be the first person on this site to praise Marble. Food was unbeliveable, service was great and ambience was warm. Sounds like they were terrible when they opened up, but they sure as hell sorted out their act. Can definitely recommend it! Just make sure the credit card is paid off before you go.
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  • Marble restaurant. The best of the meal were the bread basket. The black octopus had no taste, spices and no flavor, we're tough and I had to add salt and pepper. The main coarse had no taste, spices or any flavour. We eat out often in upper market restaurant and this was the most tasteless meal ever. Will not return.
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  • Took friends out to dinner to what is supposed to be the best new place on the block. Finding the venue was difficult. Parking is a royal mess. The food was well below average and 3out of 4 guests descibed their meal as tasteless. This was not worth the trouble. If something drastic doesn't change then Marble will be closed soon. It definitely is not worth a second visit. It is embarrasing to have to apologise to your guests about the poor quality of the food at an expensive venue like this.
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  • I had been wanting try Marble ble for weeks, and eventually did so last week. Very disappointing. Parking is a shamble. Yes these is parking across the road, but no signage directing to it, and no indication that there are two.... I drove around the block 3 times. Al the concierge in front of the building did was point across the street. No map of the parking facilities on your website. The restaurant was fairly empty, waiters standing around chatting among themselves. Our waiter's shirt was damaged on the front ( I initially thought it was embroidered,but not) , he wasn't shaved closely. High prices not warranted and not aligned with the quality of the food. Plus two of our meat dishes had been ordered as medium and came as rare. Won't be back and won't recommend it . Really not a great customer experience
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  • This is the worst restaurant I have eaten at. The food is soo over priced and tastes terrible. It is an absolute rip-off.
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  • Totally overrated Food tasteless and prices exorbitant Definitely not value for money The only plus is the good wine selection which is also over priced Will definitely not go back
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  • There's no denying Marble is ecstatically beautiful. Inside and out. Ours was a walk-in visit to Marble on a scorching Saturday afternoon. We did not have a full-on meal, but enjoyed crisp, refreshing cocktails (served in the most gorgeous glasses) alongside a tiny platter for nibbles. This little platter consisted of bacon-dusted popcorn, salty crackling, deep-fried biltong, and lukewarm olives. (Why they had to heat the olives I honestly can't fathom.) Sadly, the eats on this little platter were all so salty, it leaves my mouth watery just thinking of it now – and not in a good way. An odd intro to David Higgs's new place, I must admit. Mixed feelings.
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  • My experience at Marble this week was one of the most disappointing I have had in Johannesburg. I booked a while ago for a birthday dinner. I was sure we were in for a treat. I could not have been more wrong. To start with they could not find our reservation, despite confirming it that morning. I understand that happens and eventually that was resolved. We waited a good while to be served, which, as it was busy, I can also understand. There was loads of confusion on the floor between the wait staff. We must have had at least 3 other table's food, come to our table, together with wine that we did not order, but which the waiter insisted belonged to us. ALL before our own waiter came to take our order. Perhaps we should have taken the wine - it might have helped. When our waiter did arrive to take our order, he was so busy giving orders to waiters at the tables around us, I was amazed he even managed to take our order down correctly. That was the first real shocker of the evening. The starter course was the best part of the evening - we had the prawns, kudu and trout.For mains, my companions had the rib-eye steak, which they said was good, if slightly overdone. I had the Wood Fried Beets. I know it's difficult to introduce flavour into vegetarian meals, but I honestly could not tell what I was eating (other than the Beetroot). The worst part was the ball of buratta cheese which was under the stack of beets. It was fridge cold and hard, so any flavour there would have been was never going to be there. I still don't understand how it could have been plated like that. The meal was tasteless and disappointing. I ended up leaving half of it. We decided to persevere in an attempt to resurrect the evening. We decided to try the “Four local cheeses, pickles and preserves” for dessert. While we were trying to order, our waiter was leaning over me, calling instructions to the people serving food at the table next to ours. I eventually had to sit back and wait until he was finished to give him the order. Again I really can’t account for this level of service and am still completely taken aback. The final insult came when he delivered the cheese board, and simply walked away to continue his discussion with the next door table. We asked him if he could please tell us what the cheeses on the board were. Rather than come back and stand next to the table to talk to us, he called out names while he was moving around the next door table. Given the noise in the restaurant and the distance from the next door table to ours, there was no way we would have been able to hear him. I have never experienced anything like it. We gave up trying , so I still don’t know what we ended up eating, but it was mediocre at best. This was meant to be a treat and it turned out to be the biggest disappointment. Perhaps it was an off-night, given the reviews above, but based on this experience, I could not recommend this restaurant.
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  • A beautiful venue marred by really mediocre food. Undercooked chicken and overcooked fish. Congealed and over-salted sauce garnishes. Such a disappointment
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  • Fire Enthusiasts… Food Enthusiasts…. and MARBLE Enthusiasts we have become... A THEATRE OF EXPERIENCE… INDEED My brother and I have been on this let’s check out new places to hang out and have glorious food while we catch up tip… So we checked out Marble restaurant last Sunday and to say we were pleasantly surprised would be a total understatement. We were in awe from the moment we walked in. The design and décor is something out of this world, the art is phenomenal and you can tell every piece was picked with flair, sophistication and an air of glam. But because the amazing views, champagne and ambiance aren’t what make a restaurant a restaurant… We had to get to the food. So when they say Marble offers you not just a plate of food… But a theater of experience they aren’t exaggerating. I could go on about everything we tried, what an orgasmic journey our taste buds took but I doubt I would do any of the dishes we had justice. The best thing to do is to experience the impeccable food and world class service for yourself. www.nomnomnomty.com http://marble.restaurant/
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  • Marble is tough to rate with stars, so thankfully I get to use words to explain why; I rated the ambiance 5 stars because the bar side has such an incredible feel to it that it has left a branded impression on me. I felt like I was teleported to a 5 star rooftop bar in Hong Kong or New York; a spacious, tastefully furnished space of brown leathers, shades of grey fabrics, hints of brass and a gorgeous marble bar that stretches across the length of the room that leads to a balcony with a view of a setting sun or city lights (depending on what time you go). Trendy, sophisticated yet still relaxed, I sat drinking my carefully selected G&T that I had fun deliberating over with a barman who clearly knew his stuff, with my husband and friends slightly distracted by the most sexy scent that they have diffusing through the air (I still need to find out what it is-I need it!). The ambiance changed when moved over to our table on the 'restaurant side' that felt very much like a large hotel restaurant with a vast amount of lovely marble tables, perhaps too much of a contrast from the dim moody lighting in the bar, but I assume the brighter lighting is so you can see and appreciate the beautiful presentation of the food. I sat through the meal missing the bar area, and almost wishing we had opted to stay there and order from the bar menu. That being said, the open fire and chefs busy at work is always nice to see but I would recommend asking for a table closest to the action if you want to benefit from it. The service I gave 3 stars because although it was great from the door, to the bar to our table, it felt like our waiter was trying to turn our table ASAP, poor guy was probably trying to be efficient and 'at our service' but being asked every few minutes if our bread (which they bring when you sit down and is quite possibly the most delicious restaurant bread on the planet) could be cleared, then our starters (which we wanted to enjoy and savour), one eventually gives in and hands over the plates with that feeling of ; 'I could have used an extra taste'. The food-4 stars, the last star got dropped because of the blackened octopus starter that was surprisingly very rubbery but worth the extra chewing effort for the taste. My fillet was perfection and delicious and we skipped dessert although the selection looked yummy, we were too full. There is also a beautiful glass wine cellar housing a large variety of wines to suit a variety of meals and palates. A tad over priced and I say this only because I have been 'wowed' for the same price but no regrets, the experience made it worth it. I'll be back (many times) and I'm heading straight for the bar!
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  • Absolutely amazing views and beautifully decorated. The service was fantastic and our waiter offered insightful comments as to the choice of wine. It is most certainly not your average "braaivleis". The Aubergine starter with hummus is exquisite, the prawns tasted like they were caught that morning. The meat was fabulous and very well prepared. Look out for the smoked pepper and chipotle sauce served with the Rib-eye, it's mind blowing. I was doubtful to try a desert (most of the choices are flame-grilled fruit), but the pineapple was a refreshing finish to the meal. Definitely my new go-to for special occasions!
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Beer served
  • Booking required
  • Dinner
  • Fireplace
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food

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