The local celebrity chef may not often be in the kitchen at this flagship restaurant, but his stamp is firmly on the menu here, with a mix of upmarket bistro cuisine and reinvented South African flavours.
The recently trimmed-down menu begins with tapas-style ‘Table Toppers’ built for sharing: the generous portion of fragrant lamb bobotie samoosas is well worth a try. Order one of each of the five dishes and you’ve got a cracking shared starter for a small group. More traditional starters offer a mix of Reuben staples and tweaked bistro classics. The signature chilli-salted squid is there, but so too a beef tartar that's been given an Asian twist with ponzu-cured cucumber and a topping of sous vide egg yolk.
The standard of cooking has been ramped up a notch on this new menu, and it shows on the main courses. Gone is the predictable selection of wood-fired grills – in their place is an inventive range of main courses that will particularly keep meat-lovers happy. The signature pork belly tops the list, but don’t miss out on the veal loin with smoked carrot puree, or line fish with saffron linguine. Vegetarians are left with only one option: a smoked beetroot risotto. The cooking, quality and plating is high across the board here, but then so are the prices.
The ever-charming Head Sommelier, Luvo Ntezo, is amongst the best in the business, and his wine list here is a pleasure. The triple-volume glass-walled wine loft is home to the hotel’s substantial collection, which includes rare wines from exceptional vintages and oddities such as Waterford’s sought-after Library Collection of wines. There’s an excellent selection available by the glass, too. As you’d expect, though, prices are steep across the board.
Efficient, knowledgeable and friendly wait staff deliver superb service, although in such a large space the personal touch can be absent.
It’s a cavernous space that needs a crowd to lend a little atmosphere, but from the stemware to the table settings there’s an upmarket feel throughout.
There’s an excellent cheese offering on the dessert menu; be sure to leave space.
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