Venues

roots at Forum Homini

roots at Forum Homini
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  • Location 0116687000
  • Phone Number Letamo Wildlife Estate, Kromdraai, R540 (Off N14), Mogale City, Kromdraai, Krugersdorp, Gauteng
  • email reservations@forumhomini.com
  • Website URL http://www.forumhomini.com/
  • Opening Hours

    Breakfast: Monday to Saturday 8am to 12noon (lasting seating at 9am)

    Lunch: Monday to Sunday 12noon to 3pm (last seating at 1.30pm)

    Dinner: Monday to Saturday 7pm to 10pm (last seating at 7.30pm)

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Cost
R420 per person (six-course tasting menu) R135 (extra with wine)
Ambience
Classic elegance, Contemporary cool
Food
African, Asian, Contemporary fare, Modern
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
500
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Critic's review

Thando Ndabezitha

Food
The menu, which changes seasonally, is carefully designed by Chef Chris Tustian to give guests a culinary wow experience at each bite of the six-course dinner. In the colder months guests can expect to start the meal off with a chicken spring roll or caramelised poached pear. The spring roll is particularly delicious, presented as a combination of roasted sesame, pak choi, pickled yellow pepper sherry vinegar gel, consommé, dehydrated onion, coriander, burnt corn and braised leeks. Another starter follows, with either black ink noodles or salmon.

For mains, although there are set meat dishes (tomato risotto with pan-fried shrimp, or beef short rib, for instance), Tustian and his team are very amenable to making substitutions upon request, and the same goes for any course. Ideally, guests would want to warn the the restaurants ahead of time, but with the menus being presented to patrons upon arrival, and the food obviously being cooked fresh while guests wait, the establishment does accommodate individual preferences and allergies. For example, a duck breast may be swapped with lamb loin and neck and vice versa.

While these courses are mini dishes, the amount of preparation and exquisite presentation that goes into each course makes each dish a gastronomic feat that is satisfying enough to tickle all the taste buds without leaving guests wanting for more. Some of the standout desserts are the coconut panna cotta (comprising compressed pineapple, malibu jelly, plain yoghurt, calamansi gel, and white chocolate snow) and the red wine poached eggs (chocolate ginger ganache, nut disc, vanilla crumble, speculoos ice cream, and pear chips). The sweet dishes, which are presented as elaborate combinations of flavours, are music to the taste buds, ending the meal on an exceedingly high and sweet note.

Drinks
Roots has its own well-stocked cellar with a great variety of some of the best wines. Courses are paired with wines, for instance, a Peacock chenin blanc being recommended to accompany a chicken spring roll starter, or a Meinert La Barry Red being suggested to go with a duck breast dish. The resident sommelier is on hand to explain the various drinks and how they complement each meal. The wine teasers are R135 per person for a six-course meal and R95 per person for a four-course meal. Additional top-ups are R25 per glass.

Service
The staff are professional and efficient when booking and the waitrons are very knowledgeable of the food and restaurant, taking great pride in living up to the high degree of service expected at one of South Africa’s top restaurants.

Ambience
The location is stunning, with a wonderful view from the restaurant deck, a warm and welcoming reception area, as well as an outdoor amphitheater with a fireplace lit at night, where guests can keep themselves warm while taking breaks or smoking in between dishes.

And...
Forum Homini Boutique Hotel is a perfect venue for a wedding or conferences. Also look out for wine tasting seasons, which happen monthly, as well as the champagne tasting evenings.

(September 2016)

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

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  • Food
  • Jodi-Ann Pearton

    Food
    The tasting menu offers the diner an opportunity to experience chef Chris Tustian’s creativity in six small courses, with the option of a wine pairing. The menu is seasonal and changes regularly. An example of a tasting menu includes dishes such a salmon gravlax with burnt orange purée, cauliflower and spring onion purée’s, grapefruit and passion fruit jelly. You’ll find interesting seasonal soups, as well as items like roasted pork belly served with a root vegetable pave, parsnip purée and smoked beetroot gel. It may be followed by assiette of beef, which demonstrates various cooking methods, flavours and textures. A variety of desserts followed by friands and coffee.
    The food has many elements of molecular gastronomy, which can get in the way of the basic components of the plate and detract from some of the key elements, but there’s no question that certain dishes do shine. The meal is also sugar heavy, which, together with sugar heavy wines, can lead to a somewhat overbearing dining experience.

    Drinks
    The wine offering as a whole is excellent, and the same goes for their wine dinners and functions. It must be said that although the sommelier is certainly very passionate and extremely knowledgeable, the wine pairing is overbearing. Be aware that some of the wines may be excessively sweet, which makes for a heavy, sugar-laden meal. If the wine tasting gets too much, ask for a separate glass or bottle on its own.

    Service
    The lovely and accommodating staff are professional and punctual. Other than a few lagging courses, service is good, and front of house is efficient and helpful.

    Ambience
    The restaurant boasts a truly stunning setting and gorgeous view from the deck. The noise level can get rather high but the appointment of Forum Homini and Roots is outstanding, and overall it is a delight to visit for any occasion.

    And …
    A lot of effort is made for dietary requirements, and the special meals are exceptional.

  • Jodi-Ann Pearton

    Food
    The tasting menu offers the diner an opportunity to experience chef Chris Tustian’s creativity in six small courses, with the option of a wine pairing. The menu is seasonal and changes regularly. An example of a tasting menu includes dishes such a salmon gravlax with burnt orange purée, cauliflower and spring onion purée’s, grapefruit and passion fruit jelly. You’ll find interesting seasonal soups, as well as items like roasted pork belly served with a root vegetable pave, parsnip purée and smoked beetroot gel. It may be followed by assiette of beef, which demonstrates various cooking methods, flavours and textures. A variety of desserts followed by friands and coffee.
    The food has many elements of molecular gastronomy, which can get in the way of the basic components of the plate and detract from some of the key elements, but there’s no question that certain dishes do shine. The meal is also sugar heavy, which, together with sugar heavy wines, can lead to a somewhat overbearing dining experience.

    Drinks
    The wine offering as a whole is excellent, and the same goes for their wine dinners and functions. It must be said that although the sommelier is certainly very passionate and extremely knowledgeable, the wine pairing is overbearing. Be aware that some of the wines may be excessively sweet, which makes for a heavy, sugar-laden meal. If the wine tasting gets too much, ask for a separate glass or bottle on its own.

    Service
    The lovely and accommodating staff are professional and punctual. Other than a few lagging courses, service is good, and front of house is efficient and helpful.

    Ambience
    The restaurant boasts a truly stunning setting and gorgeous view from the deck. The noise level can get rather high but the appointment of Forum Homini and Roots is outstanding, and overall it is a delight to visit for any occasion.

    And …
    A lot of effort is made for dietary requirements, and the special meals are exceptional.
    October 2015

  • Eat Out

    Food 

    Situated on a private game estate in the heart of the Cradle of Humankind, Roots at Forum Homini is a destination restaurant of note. Chef Adriaan Maree specialises in precise, artful food at reasonable prices. Gourmet dishes are served with wine ‘teasers’ to complement each dish, and every plate delivers a delicate artwork, from smooth celeriac accompanying chopped beef tartare to the delicate masala sauce that beautifully matches a serving of Red Roman with crispy skin. This is a man who knows the art of balance, playing with light and perfect flavour combinations. A dish of ‘textures of duck’ was perfectly cooked with wild rice and a touch of bitter radicchio to offset the sweetness of the duck. Dessert includes treats like a delectable smoked honey ice cream, and just when you think the performance is over, coffee arrives with a gorgeous plate of sweet goodies.

    Wine 

    A serious wine list offering a solid variety. The wines are expertly matched with the food, and at very reasonable prices, too.

    Service 

    Attentive and elegant.

    Ambience 

    The hotel – and restaurant – is an architectural masterpiece, set in a poetic landscape and boasting sweeping views. Eating here is an experience.

    And…

    Take note of their monthly wine tasting evenings, when wines of a specific producer are showcased and dishes created to match.

    (August 2014)

  • Gastronomic delights by chef Adriaan Maree with gorgeous views. Plating is beautiful with many dishes featuring three different sauces composed with other items on the plate. A food and wine pairing is the best way to experience it, especially on a Friday evening. Expect foams, jellies and surprises like savoury marshmallows and meringues. The menu changes monthly, but you may order the likes of crab, oyster and peach tea broth; olive-oil-poached tuna and crayfish tortellini; pickled mushroom soup with miso honey; venison with polenta, ravishing red cabbage purée and a touch of coffee. Dessert may include nectarine espuma with salted caramel sorbet or deconstructed lemon meringue with cream cheese ice cream. (EO mag 2014)
  • Food
    New executive chef Adriaan Maree is upholding this establishment’s reputation for preparing gastronomic delights to savour. Breakfast and lunch are a languid four courses, and there are six for dinners and the popular Sunday lunch. Expect dishes such as bouillabaisse of root vegetables; duck from head to toe (breast, confit leg tortellini and foie gras foam); springbok served with a cocoa bean ragout; and chocolate torte with ginger soil and roast fennel ice cream.

    Wine
    A fabulous wine list with optional course-matched wines at a cost of R95. It’s highly recommended to complement each dish.

    Service
    Five-star all the way.

    Ambience
    Minimalist African with clever references to its setting at the Cradle of Humankind.

    And...
    Go on a beautiful day for alfresco dining on the deck. (JW, October 2012)

User reviews

  • We were staying in the Cradle of humankind for my birthday weekend and Roots came recommended. A delicious six course meal paired well with 6 local wines. What an amazing way to end my birthday.
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  • Roots is one of the best fine dining restaurants in Johannesburg. As far as value for money goes it is unsurpassed (this is obviously compared to the other fine dining restaurants). It's a little way out so coupling your meal with a nights stay is a good idea (especially if you're going for a special occasion and you and your partner want to try the wine pairing).
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  • Roots is a special restaurant - its situated in a game reserve and is part of the Forum Homini Hotel. While you're driving to the restaurant, you cannot believe that you're in Johannesburg ... its just pure country. At R210 per person for a 5 course Saturday brunch, this is not your every day restaurant ... but it is quite worth it! As you walk towards the restaurant, keep your eyes peeled on the ground ... my hubby missed stepping on a snake by a few centimeters! There are interesting sculptures in the grass, a stunning lounge area with very interesting wall tiles and gorgeous scatter cushions! The waiters are friendly and efficient and I like the quirky decor of the chairs. The food ... wow! We started off with a Yoghurt Panacotta with a chocolate cup, chocolate shavings, fresh kiwi, peach, melon and elderflowers. It was amazing!!!!! So light, refreshing with that indulgence of chocolate. Next up was scrambled eggs, served with Salmon, Peas, truffle oil and Melba Toast. It was yummy. For me the portion could have been smaller. Our next course was Pork and butter bean ragout on toast - the flavours were just out of this world!!!!! Really tasty. We then moved on to dessert - Baklava with spiced ice cream. Scrumptious!!!!!!! By now, I have already shared some of my courses with my hubby .... although I had most of his Baklava. Dessert cannot be missed. Our final course ... what a let down!!! As you can see, every single course has been presented elegantly, creatively and looked amazing. But then you end with ... mini croissants, muffins, scones???? Really???? I've just finished 4 courses of sublime food and now you end me off with a stodgy, unappetizing-looking, every day platter???? I absolutely loved the jam though .. can't remember what it was. I would have switched the 1st course (the yoghurt panacotta) and the last course (croissants/muffins) - OR I would have really loved the last course to be a selection of cheeses with preserved fruit. This is really an experience not to be missed ... the countryside, coupled with a few bucks along the road, the peaceful setting, the divine food, the exquisite decor inside and outside ... and you can even book a chalet for the night.
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  • We have had some very good meals at Roots in the past, but unfortunately last Sunday, 15 of us trekked out to Roots and had the most disappointing meal and wine pairing. The service was mediocre and the food not up to standard. 15 people who won't be returning.

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  • Overall I had a pleasant dining experience here, just thought it was strange that they market their food philosophy as being dedicated to seasonal produce, however I got served asparagus and strawberries in mid-winter! Doesn't seem very seasonal to me.

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  • Their 6 course set menu is very good and reasonably priced. Loved the bread basket, some of the courses weren't completely to my taste, but the duck cannelloni was divine, as was the fillet with aubergine ash. Dessert was fun and the gluhwein ice cream was perfection.

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  • Near perfect! Pricey but well worth it. I felt like a "masterchef" critic. Flavours, colours and textures meticulously fused.

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  • We have not been back to Forum for a while but decided to end our holiday with dinner here. What a wonderful venue and an absolute delight to sit on the terrace watching the sun set before dinner. Staff are mostly friendly and attentive.There is a set 6 course menu with wine pairing and both are reasonably priced. A bread basket with the most innovative breads, including a squid ink loaf is presented to each table. The food was well conceived, innovative and very pretty, congratulations Chef Adriaan Maree. The stand out course was the kabeljou, porcini, roast onion and grapes. Followed by the the quail and foie gras with cauliflower, fennel, earl grey and mango. As was the lamb loin and shoulder terrine with ashes auberge, smoked tomato and walnuts. Desserts need some work, the strawberry espume did not really work with the peanut butter ice cream. Fortunately the wine samplers are small, and for the most part very good interesting choices, except dessert. Both the pre-dessert and dessert were paired with dry wines that were unpleasant and were not matched with the higher sugar in the food.

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  • Last year we were invited by our best friends to celebrate the wife's 50th birthday. Seven of us were seated at the table and looked forward to an amazing five-course lunch with wine pairing.

    What a massive disappointment! It took about 35 minutes to receive the first glass of wine, presented by a wine steward who did not know his wines or have the confidence to interact with the guests. The wine tastings merely wet the tip of the tongue - they were so meagre and could not possibly be paired with the courses as they either arrived too early or too late and were always too humble. We have been to many food-wine pairings over the years and this was just ridiculous.

    The food was hardly edible. The portion sizes varied per course and verged towards the too small a serving. The food was so cold on a few occasions the sauces had congealed! Some of the food was raw and had to be sent back.

    We were eventually dying of thirst and trying to order a bottle of wine was one of the most difficult experiences. My wife eventually got up from the table, grabbed a staff member and demanded a bottle and would not let him go until it was delivered to the table. Ordering and receiving soft drinks and water were also a huge challenge.

    When the bill arrived, we were very embarrassed. Our host settled the hugely over priced account and we decided there and then we would not be returning. The value to cost ration was the worst we had ever experienced.

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  • Set is a delightful environment, Roots at the Forum Homini Boutique Hotel enjoys a fantastic reputation for culinary excellence. After looking forward to experiencing a wonderful evening of first class food and wine I can't express how disappointed I was at how poorly the restaurant lived up to both my expectations and the general hype surrounding this restaurant.

    My wife and I endured the Weltevrede Tasting Evening in March, a six-course menu with wine paired to each course. The menu featured Asian salmon tatare (sic), parsley and petit pois soup, a truly dreadful hamhoc (sic) and fois gras terrine, springbok 'two ways' - one of which was so grossly over-seasoned that I was still tasting it hours later, a very disappointing apricot soufflé and to finish marinated Manchego cheese which the chef gaily told us to hushed reverence is an 'Italian Goat's Cheese' when in fact Manchego is a Spanish ewe's milk cheese - a truly appalling mistake for a professional to make.

    The wine pairings were disastrous, they actually detracted from an already uninspired and ill-thought out menu although there was one notable exception -the Bedrock Black Syrah served with the springbok, a shining light of deliciousness is a sea of mediocrity.

    I like service to be unobtrusive - there is a time and place for a boisterous and over-friendly waiter who wants to be your new BFF but Roots is not that place. Success! Well, not really. I think I would have rather had an over-friendly waiter than the one we had, rarely seen, under-attentive to the extent of not being present at all.

    I rarely complain in restaurants - if I have a bad experience I tend not to return - but we had so been looking forward to this experience that I did. My initial complaint was handled very well by the Duty Manager. Sadly she introduced me to the General Manager who fared less well. After listening to my complaint he asked me to put it in writing - what is the point of that when one has spent half an hour iterating the problem face to face? Nevertheless, I did and promptly received an email telling me how (they) 'value any form of feedback immensely' and promising to discuss the matters raised with the relevant parties and provide feedback to me personally. More than two weeks later, not a peep. One can only assume they don't value feedback at all and are simply content to trade on the past glories that Roots can claim.

    All told, I cannot recommend Roots. It really isn't worth the bother.

    We were so looking forward to the promise of good food, good wine and a beautiful environment. Sadly, we were in for a crushing disappointment with the food and wine - it is a beautiful setting though.

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  • Was referred to Roots by a colleague that had a memorable dinner there. We went for the breakfast. Was impressed when asked during booking if we had any dietary requirements, to which I responded that my wife does not eat red meat.

    The food was very disappointing - quite frankly only one dish was something I could not have done myself at home. We were again asked at the table if we had any dietary requirements (why ask again) and we repeated. This simple lead to the meat being left out of my wife's dish without any alternative offered. We had to ask twice for juice to be served. Won't go back.

    Deon van Zyl

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  • Most dissapointed! 5 of us went there for the "gourmet" breakfast brunch on boxing day and I was horribly dissapointed. The portions were horribly uneven, the meat was so tough I could barely cut through it with my knife and our watior kept the courses coming like a racing driver! Added to that he forgot to mention the free glass of champagne we were all entitled to with the meal - was he hoping to have this later to calm his nerves, becasue he almost spilt the tray with 5 champagne glasses all over the one lady at our table? All round, drinks took forever and then when we told the waitor to slow down he basically dissapeared. Cannot believe this place was rated as one of your top 10 restaurants in 2011!

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  • Delightful restaurant with great service. We had a 6 course meal paired with wine from the Ataraxia estate. Wine was excellent for each course. The food was great - each dish thoughtfully prepared. Some mixing of flavours didn't quite go (the melon jelly for example), but overall, a very tasty evening. Our only "gripe" was that besides booking way in advance, and telling the person who took our booking that it was our anniversary, we were still seated close to the toilets. Despite that, the ambience, food and service were good and we would definitely visit again.

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  • Having dined at 7 of the current Top 10 restaurants', I was very keen to give Gaunteng's only Top 20 nominee a go. The setting is splendid and this translates into an intimate dining area enclosed in glass. I opted for the wine pairing with the 6 course set menu, this was actually very good value for money. We started off with what is now common place in most restaurants de rigueur- an amuse bouche. This was a spoonful of Tuna Tartare - nice but nothing to write home about. 1st course was the cauliflower soup. It was called an Espume on the menu and for me the taste didn't deliver on its more exotic nomenclature. 2nd course was the fish course, grilled Salmon on a bed of risotto, wasabi pea puree and deep fried noodles. Fabulous dish, the risotto was light and creamy, with the fish just the right side of blushing. The puree and noodles added little to the dish. Next up was the pork belly with potatoes' dauphinoise - stellar dish. Actually for me the dish of the evening. The pork was roasted to perfection with the fat rendered just right to not taste overly fatty. The apple sauce and potatoes' were a great accompaniment. The following course, on paper sounded sublime but in execution fell short. It was their play on osso bucco, nice idea but the taste and textures weren't great. Somewhere in the middle we had a sorbet style palate cleanser that did a good job of setting a clean canvas for the next course. Desert came in the form of cappuccino ice cream, with berry couli. For me the weakest part of the evening - it felt like elements just put on the plate with little thought for cohesion. The final course was the robiola cheese course, better than desert but not very memorable. In terms of the wine pairings, the one that stood out for me was the Glen Carlou, pinot noir that accompanied the pork belly. I have rated my overall experience as 4 for no other reason that 3.5 isn't an option. It was a better than pleasant dining experience but were I to measure this against my favourite's to date, Overture, Terroir and 9th Avenue Bistro, the experience fell short. Will I return- definitely! Only hope this time I will have a more agreeable evening.

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  • The food is sublime! And the setting is just magical – so much so that we’ve decided to get married there! If you appreciate inspired food, attention to detail and great wine pairings this is most definitely a dining experience worth the drive out to The Cradle.

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  • Had my 50th birthday lunch here. Everything was absolutely fantastic, from the setting to the outstanding cuisine. All of my guests have been saying what a great time they had. Just to add to the outstanding meal, the whole venue is so interesting and inspiring.
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  • The food was superb, the wine pairings excellent, the staff and level of service outstanding all in all we had a wonderful time.
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  • My husband and I enjoyed a wonderful breakfast at Roots before taking off and exploring the cradle. It was a sumptuous meal.. Beautiful setting..
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  • What a great pity Sunday dinner is only for guests who are staying over. We love everything about Forum Homini and have been treated to the best service ever as over-night guests. Please consider changing your policy.
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  • We had a fantastic lunch at Roots, although it is six courses we left without feeling overly full - a real credit to the chef. The pork belly dish was one of the best things Ive eaten since arriving in Johannesburg. The only complaint I have is that despite telling them of dietary requirements twice in advance they did not know about an intolerance to gluten that one of our party had - whilst they were flexible on the menu a few ingredients with gluten in were still used in her dishes. Overall though a thoroughly pleasant experience.
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  • As a guesthouse in the area we made reservations for two guests a day in advance. Upon arrival the guests were told they did not have a reservation and were left at the security gate. Upon our enquiries the manager was adamant that we did not make a reservation in spite of our phone records proving we did. He arrogantly asked whether we would pay the bill in case the diners had a problem with the price which they recently hiked for the world cup.
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  • What a perfect experience. The food is not only visual splendour, but a fine and perfectly harmonious balance of tastes and textures. Teaser wines are excellently chosen to suit each meal, and the staff are informative and professional. The entertainment was sublime and created a lovely warm atmosphere. For well traveled and tired taste buds this is a wake up call...this is how food should be..best Ive had in many many years.
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  • Having begun a quest to eat my way through South Africas top 10 restaurants, I finally found myself at Roots. What a wonderful experience! It was a rainy Monday lunch time and although the restaurant was completely empty, it still had a wonderful atmosphere. We never once felt awkward sitting there alone. The view is stunning and you really feel completely out of the city in the middle of the bushveld. We were presented with the 4-course menu of the day and then shown to the wine cellar to choose our wine. I was impressed with the selection and range in prices. The food came promptly and we were served by the manager herself. Each dish was beautifully presented and tasted sublime. The flavours were delicate and simple which is perfect for a Monday lunch. The menu contained no heavy starch so you dont leave feeling stuffed. My only complaint is that even though I specifically asked on 3 occasions for no pork in the meal, we were still served bacon with our linefish. Since we were the only table eating lunch that was completely inexcusable. However, everything else was wonderful and I look forward to my return next month! Well done Roots!
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  • After reading rave reviews about Roots restaurant, I decided to book a table for my 2-year anniversary with my partner. Having tried booking for my mothers birthday a week in advance previously, and being turned down because they were fully booked, I made certain to book timeously, 3 weeks in advance. I was impressed with the booking service, they asked if it was a special occassion, and what dietary requirements we may have. However once I got to the restaurant, we received the table next to the waiters station and bathrooms. Not the most romantic location, especially considering we had booked weeks in advance, and they knew it was our anniversary. We decided to accompany our meal with the Wine Tasters option they offered, in retrospect that was a mistake, as while each glass of wine was well-suited to the meal, our glasses were empty for the majority of the meal. Lastly, and most importantly, the food. While each meal presented to us was tasty, there was not a single dish that was melt-in-my-mouth delicious. Disappointing considering this is the only restaurant in Johannesburg that makes the Top 10. Personally, I have had far better experiences in some of Johannesburgs fine dining restaurants that dont make the Top 10, and in future, I will not make bookings according to that particular rating.
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  • My partner and I recently celebrated 2 years together, and we decided to mark this occasion at Roots, not being our first time, we thought we knew what to expect. And our expectations were most certainly met, and surpassed, this is my most favourite Gauteng restaurant. If you are toying with the idea, dont think - just go - you wont regret it.
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  • All I can say is thank you for a superb meal and an unforgettable nights stay. I look back on our stay and dining and it was like a dream.
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  • My wife and I were lucky enough to spend a night at Forum Homini and dine at the world-class Roots restaurant. An unbeleivable experience which we will never forget, from the impeccable service to the fabulous food handcrafted by chef/patron Phillipe Wagenfuhrer, not to mention the well thought out wine list served by the resident sommelier Mike. All served in a serene and beautiful setting in the cradle of humankind. The degustation menu with wine pairing is not only a gastronomic experience, but also works out to be very good value. If you have not yet been here, best you make the 45min trip from JHB and you can thank me later.
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  • My wife and I ate at Roots late last year and had a pretty awful experience. Read the letter we wrote to them in an earlier review. I have to say that Philippe took my criticisms VERY seriously. He admitted his mistakes and he analysed everything I said. In his reply to me he outlined in detail what he’d done and what he intended doing and told us about the changes he has made in his kitchen to make sure something like this never happened again. He also invited us back to experience it for ourselves.We dined there last night, and I have to say it was a fantastic meal. From the stuffed calamari to the salmon with liquorice, the duck and smoked cherry salad to the Asian inspired pork belly. I think my favorite course was the smoked beef fillet, which was simply sublime. I’m not normally a huge dessert person but I could have eaten bowlfuls of the summer malva pudding. Inspired – and seriously delicious!Philippe and his team were always on hand to provide us with exceptional service, great information and amusing anecdotes. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and have already booked for our next Roots experience. We can’t wait!
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  • I have been to Roots on numerous occassions and have never failed to be impressed by food and the service.The last time that we ate there, one of our guests had to be at the airport for a flight. When we informed the staff, they went out of their way to make sure that we got our food on time.A memorable dining experience every time.
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  • I took my wife to Roots on the 23rd of January in celebration of her birthday. As usual the service was impeccable. We sat down to a six-course meal with wine pairing that truly satisfied. The cherry on top was when I asked the waitress to complement the Chef on the Duo of Guinea Fowl. Later in the evening when our waitress returned with the springbok, I was left speechless as since I enjoyed the guinea fowl so much, Chef Philippe included an extra portion with my springbok. Now if that is not going the extra mile to satisfy, I dont know what is. Philippe and team well done on giving us once again an evening to remember.
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  • The Chef Patron, Mr. Philippe Wagenfuhrers technical knowledge, passion for food, professionalism and amazing energy levels are truly something to behold! My lovely wife, Susan and I were simply blown away by his presentation of a 6-course menu with accompanying wines at Robyn and Windsor Thekisos wedding reception. The ambience was just out of this world!
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  • I wrote this letter to 1 of our top 10 chefs. What a pity that he has not even bothered to acknowledge it in any way,Dear Philippe,We first ate at Roots for my wife’s birthday last year. We were blown away by the exceptional food. We travel a lot and eat all over the world but both of us felt that you had a truly winning formula going on at Roots. There are many good restaurants and great chefs in Joburg, but Philippe you became our chosen one for our special occasions. We celebrated our wedding anniversary in July with an overnight stay at Forum and another awesome dinner at Roots. This time, we enjoyed one of the finest meals we’ve ever eaten! Each course was truly sensational, innovative with your very special twist on some classics, interesting ingredients, beautifully cooked and every mouthful was a culinary delight and according to my wife “A gastronomic orgasm!”Since this awesome dinning experience and memorable stay at Forum, we have recommended Roots and Forum to EVERYONE, our friends, family and overseas visitors. A few months ago we sent our friends Sam and Lekha, who were celebrating a business deal, to sample what we recommended as the best restaurant in Joburg. They promptly hired a limo, loaded their colleagues in and made for Roots, where we know, they too had a marvellous evening. I got a call from Sam afterwards, who said that they had loved the food and that you were such a gracious host. He suggested we call you as you’d asked him to tell us that you had invited us as your guests for the Rust and Vrede wine tasting evening. We called you to thank you for your kind invitation (unfortunately we were going to be overseas at that time). We had also wanted to discuss hosting my Dad’s 70th birthday party at Roots. We had needed to know whether you could handle a party of about 20 with some tricky dietary requirements. We called and left 3 messages for you (1 at reception and 2 in the kitchen) but unfortunately neither you nor anyone else returned our calls. So we took Dad’s party to the Westcliff where Dario did not disappoint. He put on a splendid affair with gorgeous food!However, our love affair with Roots was not over. My wife asked me to choose my favourite restaurant for a birthday meal and without hesitation, Roots it was! She decided to treat me to a birthday dinner at Roots last Wednesday. We were most disappointed that you weren’t there, but understand that even great chefs and gracious hosts need a night off once in a while, We and settled down to what we hoped would be another sensational evening. One look at the menu though and I was concerned that it just seemed too ‘ordinary’…no imagination! The potato and butternut soup was ‘nice’, but is nice what you’re after? Wow, would have been better. The salmon, even though perfectly cooked, was ordinary. The pickled fennel did little to lift the dish, and quite what those bits of corn were doing on that plate was beyond me. The squid ink risotto. Oh dear. This is where things started to go horribly wrong. Even though it was the one dish on the menu that sounded innovative and seemed to have great potential, it was a horrible mush, with enough parmesan in each helping to run a trattoria for a week. The mussels were tasteless and rubbery. One plate came garnished with sprouts the other didn’t. Did the chef run out half way through?Slow braised shoulder of lamb. Quite frankly it tasted as if someone had stuck the shoulder into a pot and boiled every bit of flavour right out of it. The pea puree tasted sandy with not even a hint of mint. The fillet was tasty and beautifully cooked, but we could have done with more than a teaspoon of wasabi pommes. It just melted into the garlic jus and disappeared.The chocolate pannacotta had a beautiful texture once you’d broken through the skin covering the bowl, but it was completely overwhelming. The three berries just couldn’t cope with their task of breaking through all that sweetness. We were so very disappointed with our last dining experience and all expectations of an exceptional birthday meal were shattered. We were so gutted. We share these criticisms with you in the hope that you would find them useful in keeping up the standards of your restaurant. Wishing a fun and fabulous festive season to you and your loved ones!Howard and Kantha Shenker
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  • I enjoyed the ‘Roots’ experience thoroughly. The taste and presentation of each dish was superb. It was evident that a lot of thought and effort went into each unique dish. The atmosphere of the restaurant overlooking the dam combined with the tranquil surroundings of the game farm make this restaurant a wonderful experience that I would recommend to anyone whom want a long and relaxing dinner with someone special.
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  • I make reference to a recent dinner we booked at Roots on the 26th of November 2009. It is with regret that I write the following, but feel it a necessity. I had previously eaten at Roots and enjoyed the experience so much that I raved to my family and friends and thought it a good idea to book my birthday dinner there. On arriving we were not greeted by a host, but waited, as scurrying waiters looked at us before we decided to sit outside and wait for all our guests to arrive. We must have sat outside for about 15 minutes before we were attended to again, and then finally when we were offered drinks, this took +-30 minutes to arrive. When we asked for a cocktail menu, this came to us on a single piece of paper. When we asked for it again, the waiter had to go fetch the single page that was floating around the restaurant at another table. Not very professional.When we eventually sat down to dinner, the presence of the waiter was pretty much non-existent. Sides arriving with the food, and clearing, there was no checking on the table, no offering drinks (poor revenue generation on his part), and when we did ask for drinks, these too were delayed. I asked for a glass of wine on two occasions from two separate waiters and it never arrived. Further, we had wine parings with the food. At first the Sommelier was informative about the first 3 wines, but then disappeared at the end of the evening, neglecting the last three servings. The food, nothing exciting. I have found in the past the food to be more inventive and more suited, following and matching from course to course. We loved the guinea fowl, but were not impressed with the undercooked risotto. This is unacceptable for a fine-dining restaurant. In view of the evening and embarrassment towards our guests, we did not complain on the evening, but after sitting and talking with our friends after the fact, it is in consensus that we all agree that the service was all together very bad in view of the restaurants position in the industry (Fine Dining Restaurant, rated number 1 last year) and in view of the prices being charged, it is only expected to have received the very best.And to add insult to injury, I emailed Roots with my views on the 2nd of December, and to date have not had a reply from them. I then phoned them twice, and 24 hours later I have still had no reply from Simone, the general manager. So much for a 5-star establishment rated by your magazine as one of JHBs finest.
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  • 4 hours for a 6-course meal is a bit long.Service very slow and not as attentative as it should be.
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  • I was lucky enough to celebrate my wedding at Forum Homini with our reception at Roots Restaurant on 31 October 2009. The chef, Phillipe, and his staff outdid themselves on the day. The food was exquisite and the wine pairings perfect! Phillipe even went to the extent of designing a course around one of our favourite wines. Thank you, Phillipe. All of the guests were completely taken with the venue and all said that they would be returning. A special thank you to Tarryn who had the responsibility of co-coordinator for the event. There was no detail left unattended to and Tarryn made it her quest to make every guest feel welcome and to take care of their every need. This is truly a beautiful venue with the finest food and wine, and a level of service we seldom find in Gauteng. We look forward to our next visit.
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  • A superb six course dinner, served with attention to detail with the wine teasers being an absolutely wonderful idea, complementing each and every course. Highly recommended. The service was of an exceptional standard and appreciated the friendliness and interaction with Chef and management during the three hours. Thank you, we will be back...a special treat indeed.
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  • Ive read a number of reviews about Roots, and felt I should add my 2c worth. About the food, wine and ambience one need hardly comment, because it has all been said and proven time and again - the restaurant would not rate under the Top 10 in the country if any of these elements were lacking. As for the service - Ive eaten at Roots on a number of occasions since it first opened, and have never experienced bad service. There have been instances where the wide-eyed innocence of the waiters and their eagerness to please have been most touching. On a recent visit one of the guests in my party was particularly trying and the staff coped admirably well, going out of their way to accommodate every whim with aplomb and brilliant smiles all round.Continue doing great stuff, Roots.
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  • This restaurant serves think food. It is a restaurant for different tastes, romantics, gastronomes, simple food lovers, critics, food enthusiasts...The menu is constantly changing (or evolving to keep up with the theme) and there is constant innovation as far as food taste, quality and sensory perseption is concerned...Yes, the service can improve but the proof is in the pudding! This is an adventurous eatery, an eatery that embraces the spirit and glory of evolution, design, creation, the spirit of being alive and the pure pleasure and enjoyment of eating...The food compliments the excellent wines and it is clear that much thought, debate and care has been blended into the mix of fresh and exciting dishes.It is a real pleasure to dine here and if one listens closely - a spiritual experience as well...
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  • We were horrribly disappointed by our Roots experience. The food was pleasant, but we were raced through the courses. At times the wine selected for the course came after the food was served. We were given very little personal attention, with no visits from management. My husband didnt enjoy the springbok shank, which was tough & no one even noticed that the plate returned untouched, or questioned whether we had enjoyed our food. We were then abandoned after our rushed meal, without being offered further drinks, or the bill. Roots is definately not up to its top 10 reputation Im afraid!! We will not attempt the trek out there again.
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  • For me, certainly one of the best restaurants in Joburg, and fantastic value for money. I enjoy meals there regularly, and have never been disappointed with the menu Philippe is elaborating for his guests every day... Let him surprise you, its worth it. Dishes are always refined and balanced. Dont pass on the wine teaser, Philippe has the art of selecting the perfect wine to truly complement each course.
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  • The food was really nice.Loved the combinations and variety of tastes.It was also presented very nicely.Compliments to the chef.We were there in the evening and the setting was also quite pretty.The only thing that was not up to scratch was the service.All went well in the beginning, but they clearly forgot about us towards the end.We had to ask where our desert was and then it was almost thrown on the table as to say here it is.I mean the place isnt even that big.Little more attention on the service couldnt hurt.Besides for the service its very nice.
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  • Roots is every bit worth the drive out especially on a Sat morning or Sunday afternoon. The setting is lovely. The food is excellent, as is the service. This was my second visit. I must however admit that the food was better the first time and on the second visit the service was a little slow but that was as a result of the staff being distracted by having to set up for a wedding. A definite must for those looking for a place to go on a Sat or Sun for brunch/lunch.
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  • This is not worth the long drive out. The decor is kind of nice and the view over the artificial lake too. Pity about the poor bird unfriendly design so there is nothing really to look at.As for the food; give it a miss. Nicely presented but really boring.Good marks for ambience but none for the service or menu.Pity...
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  • What a wonderful experience! We were tired of the usual JHB menus featuring beef,chicken,fish and duck prepared in a french-african fusion type of way. Tired of a predictable eating out experience.We were bowled over by the creative menu with truly innovative and delicious beautifully prepared food. One can sense and taste the thinking behind the food. Clever combinations such as Tea smoked Springbok carpaccio and a Crocodile confit, oysters prepared in four different styles and a delightful Valrona Chocolate gateaux with three flavour bursting black cherries......The wine list was good featuring the top end estates. The wine teazersarea clever match for those diners who are uncertain about the wine pairings with the food. The atmosphere was intimate,stylish and the service attentive and inobtrusive. Maybe the management can influnece their staff to be more knowledgeable about what is on the plate, ingredients, combinations etc.The place was not crowded as is normally the case with new novel eateries. Hopefully this gem will remain relatively covered by the mists and the mystique of the dawn of mankind.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Accommodation
  • Booking required
  • Breakfast
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Dress code
  • Fireplace
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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