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Priva Gastrolounge

  • Location 0123464849
  • Phone Number 2nd Floor, Waterkloof Heights Shopping Centre,103 Club Ave, Waterkloof Heights, Pretoria
  • email info@privalounge.co.za
  • Website URL www.privalounge.com
  • Opening Hours

    Mondays closed; Tuesday to Saturday 4pm to 2am (Sundowners from 4pm); Sundays closed

Cost
R200 avg main meal per person; R450 for five-course tasting menu (R750 with wine pairing)
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
The favourite here is the pork belly, which is all about the apple braised meat with a honey-soy based sauce served with a delicate smoked pumpkin puree. Or, on another spectrum, the comfort chic of shredded oxtail served on sundried tomato flavoured couscous topped with finely sliced potato skin crisps. You could go a la carte, splurging on one of their gourmet tasting menu options or select from their cigar lounge or fly deck menus, often mini versions of their fine dining items. It’s all about the time of day, the kind of visit and your appetite.

Drinks
They’re chuffed with their wine selection and you will have fun exploring a walk-in temperature controlled cellar which instantly allows you to handpick a wine. As sommelier, amongst other duties, Marko Jovancic will advise on the smart option, conjure up his own twist on speciality cocktails or take you through their impressive single malt list. Their aim is to be exclusive and, while they have a lavish local selection, their international samples are not to be sniffed at.

Service
With grace, Marko and Angie Jovancic supervise their cheery staff, who are attentive and informed about their cuisine.

Ambience
This has become a hot spot for the in crowd, but it is a mixed group with different demands – from relaxing with a whisky and a cigar in their controlled cigar lounge, to dining on the balcony on a long summer’s night, to selecting one of their private dining rooms for a special celebration. There are more options. The design is contemporary and smart with a regular jazz trio, The Three Gees, providing seriously laid-back sounds.

And…
This is for adults. It has an age restriction of 25 (management’s discretion) and, if you’re keen for extra privacy, you might be given a key to allow private parking and a secret entrance.

(September 2016)

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

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Alida Ryder

    Food
    It’s hard to visit Priva without a good dose of expectation: This is due to the fact that one of the few “celebrities” on the Pretoria food scene, Fortunato Mazzone, is co-owner. Many regard Ritrovo as the benchmark of Italian cuisine in the capital. So when visiting Priva, you expect excellence. The menu is well planned and includes interesting flavour combinations and lots of texture. Every dish also comes with a wine recommendation. For starters, the sea bass with saffron sour cream, squid ink pasta, fennel and smoked maldon salt, or the duck breast, perfectly cooked with apple, sweet potato, cranberry and cardamom, make for delicious introductions to their fine dining menu. For mains, the lamb rack with brandy, mustard and edamame is an excellent choice for meat eaters, while the textures of cauliflower with rocket, cocoa nibs (an unusual but delicious addition), walnuts, gorgonzola and coconut make for an interesting and delectable vegetarian meal. But it’s their lounge menu that excites. There are very few establishments in Pretoria where you can have a drink and excellent bar snacks, and this is where Priva excels. The herbed calamari with cayenne aioli is crunchy and incredibly flavoursome and could easily be eaten by the bucket-load. The beef burger is juicy and comes served on a delicious brioche-style bun with sweet potato fries. The deboned, chargrilled chicken carries that distinctive smokey flavour, but unfortunately didn’t have much peri-peri flavour as promised. In fact, it tasted like it was simply seasoned with salt before being cooked. If you have a sweet tooth, you simply must save room for their excellent desserts. The smoked milk chocolate parfait with white chocolate créme, white chocolate brownie, lemon gel and dark chocolate ganache is absolutely delicious. The same goes for the chocolate fondant with its perfectly oozy centre, served with a thin crisp of meringue and tart berry sorbet.

    Drinks
    Priva offers an extensive list of excellent wines from many different wine farms, as well as a long list of whiskeys, tequilas and other spirits.

    Service
    The service was friendly and efficient, if a little condescending at times. (A member of our table asked for the carbs to be left off her plate as she is banting and the manager’s response was quite cheeky. In the same vein, when she didn’t order dessert but then had a small taste of my dessert, the waitress said, “Oh, I thought you’re not having dessert because you are on a diet.”)

    Ambience
    The ambience is very sultry and sexy. The interiors are beautiful, if a little disconnected. The private dining rooms and areas are great for functions, and the outside terrace with plush leather couches is the perfect place to unwind with a drink.

    And…
    Priva has the potential to be a fantastic late-night spot for Pretoria.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Alida Ryder

    Food
    It’s hard to visit Priva without a good dose of expectation: This is due to the fact that one of the few “celebrities” on the Pretoria food scene, Fortunato Mazzone, is co-owner. Many regard Ritrovo as the benchmark of Italian cuisine in the capital. So when visiting Priva, you expect excellence. The menu is well planned and includes interesting flavour combinations and lots of texture. Every dish also comes with a wine recommendation. For starters, the sea bass with saffron sour cream, squid ink pasta, fennel and smoked maldon salt, or the duck breast, perfectly cooked with apple, sweet potato, cranberry and cardamom, make for delicious introductions to their fine dining menu. For mains, the lamb rack with brandy, mustard and edamame is an excellent choice for meat eaters, while the textures of cauliflower with rocket, cocoa nibs (an unusual but delicious addition), walnuts, gorgonzola and coconut make for an interesting and delectable vegetarian meal. But it’s their lounge menu that excites. There are very few establishments in Pretoria where you can have a drink and excellent bar snacks, and this is where Priva excels. The herbed calamari with cayenne aioli is crunchy and incredibly flavoursome and could easily be eaten by the bucket-load. The beef burger is juicy and comes served on a delicious brioche-style bun with sweet potato fries. The deboned, chargrilled chicken carries that distinctive smokey flavour, but unfortunately didn’t have much peri-peri flavour as promised. In fact, it tasted like it was simply seasoned with salt before being cooked. If you have a sweet tooth, you simply must save room for their excellent desserts. The smoked milk chocolate parfait with white chocolate créme, white chocolate brownie, lemon gel and dark chocolate ganache is absolutely delicious. The same goes for the chocolate fondant with its perfectly oozy centre, served with a thin crisp of meringue and tart berry sorbet.

    Drinks
    Priva offers an extensive list of excellent wines from many different wine farms, as well as a long list of whiskeys, tequilas and other spirits.

    Service
    The service was friendly and efficient, if a little condescending at times. (A member of our table asked for the carbs to be left off her plate as she is banting and the manager’s response was quite cheeky. In the same vein, when she didn’t order dessert but then had a small taste of my dessert, the waitress said, “Oh, I thought you’re not having dessert because you are on a diet.”)

    Ambience
    The ambience is very sultry and sexy. The interiors are beautiful, if a little disconnected. The private dining rooms and areas are great for functions, and the outside terrace with plush leather couches is the perfect place to unwind with a drink.

    And…
    Priva has the potential to be a fantastic late-night spot for Pretoria.

    October 2015

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Diane de Beer

    One of Tshwane’s favourite food sons, Fortunato Mazzone (Forti) recently opened a new fine dining venue with partners Tufan Yerebakan and Piero Cupido situated directly above his flagship Italian restaurant, Ritrovo. And Priva Gastrolounge is all about meeting your every need, finds Diane de Beer.

    In addition to the regular dining room space, the exclusive restaurant offers a semi-private dining room for up to 20 guests and a deluxe private dining room for 12 VIPs. The outdoor terrace can seat up to 60 people and will be spectacular in summer with vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see. Priva promises a chic encounter, with live jazz bands; a walk-in cigar humidor and a luxurious cigar lounge with a state-of-the-art extraction section; champagne and oyster bar; and a tiny perfumery on the way to a toilet break.

    The food
    With executive chef Morgan Kloss assisted by pastry genius Minette Smith (formerly of Five Hundred at The Saxon and creator of one of the desserts at the 2013 Eat Out Restaurant Awards), there’s an excitement about the food that’s worth talking about. They offer different menus with many dishes available as tasting portion sizes. The smartly named Priva Amplified menu stars dishes ranging from lamb, chickpea, apple, polenta and sweet onion (R190) to duck with thyme, port, red cabbage and baby spinach (R200), both of which are magnificent. The meat in both instances is tender and rich with complementary combinations of starch and vegetables.

    Favourites on the Priva savoury tasting menu are kabeljou exquisitely combined with white anchovy, nasturtium, and avocado (R80); an exotic mushroom, angostura, Jim Beam, crème fraîche and cashew creation (R40), which is a mad mix with different tastes working in tandem; and the foie gras, gooseberry, pork cheek and chilli dish (R100) that celebrates strong flavours in a subtle way.

    Minette Smith ups the dessert game with playful yet delicate sugar explosions of different tastes and textures. Green tea ice cream is paired with white chocolate crémeux, pistachio dust and 30-second sponge (R65), and passion fruit chips with yogurt panna cotta, passion fruit curd, cumquat preserve, orange meringue and passion fruit bubbles (R65).

    For those popping in late with only a snack in mind, Priva’s kitchen is open from 6pm to 2am from Tuesday to Saturday. The late-night lounge menu includes buttermilk-fried chicken (R85), tempura prawns with chilli mayo (R80) and deliciously decadent duck liver parfait with pear and melba toast (R60).

    The range is huge, depending on your needs, but they’re sticklers for quality and they want to tick all the boxes when it comes to excellence. These are early days, but it feels as if Priva is on the right track.

    The drinks
    You’ll find anything you need, whether it’s single malts and spirits, or something from the extensive wine list. A walk in their temperature-controlled cellar allows you to handpick a bottle to accompany your dinner. In addition to their permanent wine list (which could make choosing tough) they have special one-offs to experiment with, as well as 11 serious contenders in the MCC range. It’s all been beautifully put together. (They serve by-the-glass orders in carafes, which measure a quarter bottle.)

    The service
    You would expect service to sparkle and it does, with many people keeping a watchful eye without being too intrusive.

    The ambience
    Priva has been in the planning stage for many years. The spectacular views – a rare thing in this city – will keep the terrace pumping in the warmer months. The interiors are underplayed, but their luxurious quality is highlighted by the artists featured on the wall, including the likes of William Kentridge. A trio of jazz musos might softly be strumming their instruments to one side while a few smart waitresses wait, ready to step in when necessary. From the onyx backdrop in the bathrooms to the shimmering grey curtains that filter the lights for semi-private dining, everything has been given all the care it deserves.

    And
    Priva is for adults with an age restriction of 25. If you’re going incognito, you might be given the password for private parking and access to the secret entrance.

    (December 2014)

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food

User reviews

  • Simply amazing! Easily the coolest restaurant in Gauteng! Few places manage to execute fine dining with live music. The tasting dishes are The Best idea and have allowed me to sample pretty much the entire menu in the 3 times I've been there! My favorites? Everything!!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • We opted for the five course set dinner. The food was absolutely great, and every time explained by the chef or the manager. The combination of tastes and textures was amazing. The highlight was probably the different oyster presentations. The service was impeccable and not intrusive. The wine list and single malt whisky list is extensive. Certainly one of my best culinary experiences in South Africa.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Halaal friendly
  • Licensed
  • Live entertainment
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Vegetarian
  • WiFi

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