Countess Cover
Countess Cover

The Countess

Cost
R80 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual, Contemporary cool, Hip & happening
Food
Bistro fare, Burgers, Café fare, Food from the Americas, Light meals, Steak
Payment
Diners Club, Mastercard, Snapscan, Visa, Zapper
Write a Review
EatOutDecal_500[4]

Critic's review

Marie-Lais Emond

Food
The Countess in Melville has taken Joburg by storm. Having perfected the basics so soon after opening, it’s now at the stage where it can concentrate on making statements with smoky barbecue coupled with modern cooking techniques.

The food is, in a word, smoky. The smoking equipment is visible through the kitchen’s glass wall, allowing guests to watch the processes. The Countess is at the forefront of the latest food movement of more-is-more, but the from-scratch menu is based on the best ingredients, responsibly and locally sourced, and makes use of house-made pickles, breads and brioche. In presentation, each dish is a masterpiece.
Starters can be as outrageously delicious as mac ’n cheese made with actual truffle paste, parma ham croquettes, or beer-and-cheese brulée, topped with house-smoked chorizo and served with freshly baked ciabatta.

The beer-battered fish with fennel-and-garlic aioli is my best-yet combo, and another main that’s worth fighting over is their French dipping sandwich of rich, fall-apart, eight-hour-cooked brisket, with molten mozzarella (smoked, of course) piled with spring onion into a Countess baguette, and served with some of the rich onion gravy for dipping – and much dripping. With every main there’s the choice of 11 sides, such as onion rings, creamy garlic mash or deep-fried battered gherkins, and your selection of as many condiments, including bacon jam, pickles, homemade piccalilli and chutney.

Desserts on special might include The Countess’s pot de crème. It is simply delicious: sous-vide caramelised cream custard with slightly bitter maple syrup and black lava salt floating on top in a little glass. The chocolate mousse syllabub is ridiculously rich too, with real Belgian chocolate contrasted with that fresh lemon-curd taste of the syllabub.

Drinks
The liquor licence is in contention (some local residents haven’t approved), but there are great cocktails if you bring or buy a spirit from the bottle store. The mixologist (who can sometimes be seen making infusions like lemongrass syrup) produces lovely mocktails like Cool Cucumber, made with cucumber juice, green apple, salt and lime in a tall, frosted glass, and The Grand Dealer, made with fresh pomegranate, orange juice, house-made cinnamon bitters, and lime. The coffees are excellent and include iced condensed-milk fantasies of the day.

Ambience
The double-volume space of Prussian blue and lots of copper, both practical and decorative, is there to impress. Inside, there’s a huge mural of The Countess above the mixology area. The canopy of white umbrellas outside, surrounded by young olive trees, is one of Melville’s prime meeting spots.

Service
Leona Chauluka, for instance, embodies the kind of happy and funky service that seems natural here. It’s quite casual but efficient. Knowledgeable waiters who offer to find out, without a fuss, really inspire confidence.

And…
The coffee is so good because they get the beans green, roast them and grind them for your cup – and they sell the goodies to do it yourself.

(March 2016)

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food

User reviews

  • I reckon The Countess deserves to be called the steampunkiest joint in Jozi. Nicely decorated interior and menu, very pleasant waiters and manager/manageress, an excellent drinks menu, and interesting food. I had the French dipping sandwich + chips, and my girlfriend the beer battered fish + salad. (There are about 8 different sides to choose from!) Our only criticism would be the oiliness of the food; a little too heavy for our taste.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • The Countess has become my happy place. Get messy with their Sticky Pork Ribs. Or feast your eyes and tastebuds on the insane Countess burger. Great value for money. Friendly peeps and the venue is a double-storey showpiece with a spacious umrella-ed deck. Happiness right there!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Housed inside an enticing shipping container precinct in Joburg; is this absolutely grand and hip hangout I highly recommend, with a defined and utterly superb menu, that will offer you a real genuine feel good gastronomic adventure. Steampunk’d most stylishly, the venue will surely intrigue your eyes to every corner which ultimately creates a relaxed sublime atmosphere. Fully equipped with a Barrista and an award wining Mixologist you’re sure to have a complete and unique dinning experience.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Wonderful afternoon, that became a late evening, spent at the Countess. With her steampunk decor inside and inviting sunny deck outside, the day was spent soaking up the late winter sun to be greeted with a cosy fire as the evening chill set in. Certainly a huge asset for Melville and 27 Boxes. The menu offered a great selection of vegetarian dishes with a must try comfort dish of mac and cheese with the Countess adding her own delicious twist. Of course the extensive list of craft gins available cemented the uniqueness of the restaurant! Friendly staff and great atmosphere made for a delightful visit - we will certainly be returning to the grande dame of Melville.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • My weekly visit to my favorite lady is indeed to The Countess , a somewhat seductively large , yet intimate atmospheric diner and smokehouse restaurant in 27Boxes , 4 th ave Melville. And I've never left without feeling that wonderful emotion of compete satisfaction! From the welcome ( we are at hugs! ) and being whisked to the Prussian blue steam punk seat of the lady herself, the savouring of the aromas of that freshlyused smoker and a great outdoor area , it's really a wind down and enjoy experience! Seductive G&T's ( WOW! their selection of local gins is amazing, as is the choice of tonic waters ) to an almost overwhelming choice & combination of starters through mains to dessert and incredible coffee sets the scene for " Choices, choices , choices " in the most appetising way possible. From a combo of starters ( try the artichoke patè, add a baked Camembert but don't dare skip the wonderful chicken liver patè drizzled with organic honey, one wonders if there will be space for mains! There lies the true strength of The Countess , amazing smokey ribs, smoked brisket lasagne and the best chilli burger in Jozi are my favorites, but having worked my way through the menu ( as one does!) fish lovers and vegetarians will also be well looked after from the vast choices of mains and sides! Well done to all at this great restaurant, where the passion is felt on the palate!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • What a great experience. Having lunch at the Countess. Friendly service and super tasty food. Well prepared and tasty to the eye. Will definately be returning for more.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • To go to The Countess is like having an outing for your taste buds. Friendly staff and great atmosphere add to the deliciously unique food experience. If you love smokey, slow cooked and delectable flavors, then The Countess is the place to be.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • I am lucky, I get to eat out often and experience some of the best restaurants that Jozi has to offer. My hubby and I are always on the look out for great food and a happy vibe that is not going to break the bank (and you may have noticed that restaurant prices are steadily going up - so value for money can be a challenge). We have eaten at The Countess a few times and honestly, each visit is better than the last. Its good ol' fashioned food, served lovingly and with great care by a service oriented team. The menu & style of the restaurant is the brainchild of the owner Leon and all I can say is watch this space. His ideas are fresh; he is not afraid to experiment with interesting ingredients and no expense is spared... each meal is a luxurious treat. The wings; the ribs; the truffle mac & cheese; the beer battered fish... are just a few of my favourites. Now that they have a license - my favourite restaurant just got cooler... they are selling a bottle of Veuve Cliquot (PINK nogal) at the lowest price I have seen, ever!! Do your self a favour, book a table outside... watch the world go by and love love love the food.... and that hard earned bottle of French bubbly - you wont regret it.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • The Countess in Melville is our favorite place to eat at. We visit this spot as often as we can and have never been disappointed with the service or food. The ambiance is relaxing and very stylish and chic. Their burgers are absolutely just delicious and the patty is perfectly prepared, the chips are perfect too. Their beer battered fish is an absolute classic and one of my favorite dishes to have at the Countess. Another absolute winner is their Ribs. Honestly the best I have ever had, definitely a must try. Would definitely recommend the Countess to all who is after good food, friendly service and a great time.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • I regularly eat out at The Countess when I am on business in Johannesburg. This happens at least once a month since they have opened their doors less than a year ago. In fact, I don't even bother to go elsewhere anymore, as I am totally in love with everything this restaurant has to offer. The way in which the food is served is in itself is a gastronomic experience. It is plated in beautiful ceramics or in small copper pots on wooden planks with a wide variety of condiments. Really quite outstandingly done and the total presentation of the food, the compilation and taste make every meal a wonderful remembrance. There is always something new added to the menu, and it never fails to please. I love the smoky, barbecued style of the food - definitely not the usual type of menu as served in other restaurants. The beer-battered fish is out of this world, as is anything else on the menu. I don't drink alcohol but have been offered some fantastic mock tails and milkshakes with a difference. The owner Leon also acquires the best coffee beans available and every cuppa is done with utmost care to satisfy even connoisseurs. Also well worth mentioning is the attention to detail in service and décor. I just love the relaxed, cosy atmosphere. I never leave there with even the slighted bit of disappointment and I am always surprised that they serve such excellent food at yester-yesterdays prices. Keep it up Leon, manager Mandy and team Countess!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • The Countess is an incredible find. The philosophy of excellent food at reasonable prices is evident in every dish they have on their menu. The starter planks offer the ability to taste most of the menu items and promotes sharing with the other friend at your table. The burgers are awesome and the ribs are the best I have tasted. All sauces and pickles are all exclusively made by a small company in Henley just for the Countess and the flavours lifts every bite. The owner takes great pride in every dish that leaves the kitchen and ensures that customers are happy - if you are not, just talk to him and he will assist you quickly and always with a smile. The restaurant is definitely my favourite.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Whether you are with a group of friends or you want to eat on your own, this is the place to be. The ambience and detail in the decor sets the type of mood that makes you feel as if you are one of those lucky bastards that stuck gold. Sitting outside with a group of friends will leave you feeling as if passers by envy you. The upstairs area is really nice for parties or intimate meetings. Burgers burgers burgers! Bring me more! If only my stomach could take more than one of these humongous meat-filled saucy ensembles. Best. Chicken wings. In. Town. No jokes! Ooh, and the truffle Mac-n-cheese is a show stopper. The wine list is impressive yet unpretentious. Wines from Demiersdal Wineries has my mouth watering! Yessss! I love this place!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • We took the whole family (including grandparents and kids) to The Countess and a great time was had by all. The friendly and efficient staff made us feel welcome from the moment we walked in. We loved the decor, ambiance and attention to detail. The highlight was the food and what a feast we had! As everyone started sharing their mouthwatering dishes around the table more starters, planks, condiments and amazing milkshakes were ordered! I can highly recommend The Countess. It ticks all the boxes and will not disappoint!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • My husband and me make regular trips to Johannesburg and the highlight of the day is then to visit The Countess at 27Boxes, Melville. What a delightful place - we can just not get enough of it! We love just everything about this place - the warm welcome every time we enter, the choice of seating, the hearty service, the attention to every little detail, the beautiful décor and of course, the wonderful food. We have tried just about every item on the menu and still can not decide which is best. New items are introduced regularly so their is a new culinary surprise every so often. We just love the smoky food, condiments and beautiful plating - all the senses wonderfully satisfied after every meal. Leon, the owner, went out of his way this winter to make the coldest days warm and cosy. He kept the fireplace alive with logs all day long and also offered cosy fleece blankets for our knees and shoulders as an extra warm hug. We are delighted that they are now fully licensed as well, as a good bottle of beer goes off very well with their smoky, barbecued food. To come back to the food: it is interesting and quite different from other restaurants' - definitely not the typical, average menu and priced far below the value that you get. We always order take a way's to nibble on, on our long way back home. The only thing I would like them to improve on is to supply a bed so I can roll over just there and then and die for a while! Hats off to Leon, Mandy and the rest of The Countess's team!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • The Countess is my absolute favourite spot in Jozie and has been for the last number of months. This funky Steampunk themed spot is very well put together and it is obvious from the moment that you walk in that a great amount of thought went into every detail, from the smells of coffee beans and smoke wafting from the kitchen, the music playing in the background and the detail in the art and decor. The staff are always very friendly and extremely well presented. The waiters never get an order wrong and you never wait to be served, any information about the menu or any ingredients are at your disposal from the knowledgeable staff. The food is glorious American diner style, smoky goodness. The starter planks are a great way to explore the menu as you can choose three starters and two pickles. I always choose the delicious beer battered fish with caper and gherkin aioli, chicken liver parfait and artichoke and Parmesan pate with toasted bread!!! For Mains: YOU CANNOT GO WRONG WITH ANYTHING ON THIS MENU, all mains come with a side of your choice and a condiment. I always have 2 sides as it is way too difficult to just choose one out of their eleven delectable options. The buttermilk marinated southern fried chicken is a firm favourite with its crispy coating and juicy chicken, I normally pair this with the smoky truffle Mac and cheese AND deep fried gherkins- Absolutely to die for!! At the Countess they will satisfy all your foodie dreams and also cater for the coffee snobs by serving possibly the best coffee in the country, they buy green beans and roast them themselves- the amount of love, care and detail that goes into every aspect of this LOVELY establishment is notable in each and everything they serve!! An all round FIVE star establishment that has stolen the hearts of each and every patron that has ever crossed its threshold.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • I frequently visit The Countess and immensely enjoy their unique food with Smokey flavours. I am especially excited about their recent liquor license which paved the way to their super gin selection. Add all of this to a great atmosphere and friendly service and you have a winning recipe. I highly recommend a visit if you have not yet done so.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Finally a new "Chaplins" in Melville. (Took 20 years!) The venue: so much detail in the decor. This place is at the cutting edge of a modern eatery. (Visual kitchen, different spaces for different vibes, steam-punk theme) I really like the different sections - if you feel like coffee (fantastic btw) you can sit at the coffee bar, cocktails at the bar and as for the food you can pick downstairs, upstairs or outside. The food: i had smoked ribs. This was beautifully done with an amazing smoked undertone. I like that one can choose your condiment and a pickle. The beetroot is just phenomenal. The strawberry cheesecake is a MUST. They also offer a fantastic selection of gin and tonic water - too die for! Overall i love the place and will be back. The countess is on my top 5 list - in the country!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • What a wonderful new(ish) venue in Melville. The ambience is great and the service the best I have received in a very long time. I've ordered their Countess burger and thoroughly enjoyed the taste of the source, and the patty was of a good size and texture. I can highly recommend The Countess, it has received a liquor license recently which is very convenient. FC Basson
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • I'm from Cape Town, so going up to JHB is a mare for me. I get lost every time, but I tell you, when you land up at a restaurant that makes you feel so welcome, comfortable, and warm in my tummy, the trip can be worth it. I'm totally in love with The Countess vibe, staff, food, and coffee. Its now my JHB 'go-to' happy place. Thanks guys!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Amazing! From your first view, the setting, the service, the food, basically the whole experience. Amazing! To best describe the genre of the restaurant is the quintessential historical reference to steampunk. The use of decor is not only peppered in a very creative way, but it is also functional. The attention to detail used is astonishing. They have managed to create the perfect setting to match the container built venue which they are located at. One would imagine a venue made from steel containers to be rustic and cold, but not in this case. From the moment you walk in, you feel at home, warm and cozy. The friendly staff and vibe is the best start to an even more amazing meal. The attention to detail even follows through to the presentation of your meal. And trust me, the presentation is not just done to impress you, but in the same way the creative decor has entertained and fed my eyes, the same way the food did to my taste buds. Delicious mouth watering, from the starters, to the main course, all the way to dessert. I can’t wait to try everything on the menu. The Countess is a definite must. I would recommend everyone to go and experience the restaurant, that I can only describe as; AMAZING!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Loved the Moroccan Veg Stack and Chicken wings with cauliflower mash bonus for a banter.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • I had the best Mothers Day at the Countess 2 weeks ago. We arrived at breakfast time and even though we didn't have a reservation, the manageress was kind enough to give us a table. It was a bitterly cold morning but we could keep warm with the cosy rugs that had been placed on our chairs. I had the bacon burger for breakfast (just because I could) with the side order of truffle mac n cheese. Best decision I ever made! The mac n cheese was creamy and delicious with a hint of truffle while the burger was one of the best I've ever tasted and was succulent and could satisfy anyone's appetite. I definitely can't wait to go back and try out the rest of their menu
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • The Countess found itself on our ladies dinner club list of restaurants to try this month after hearing and reading great reviews. The restaurant is located at 27 Boxes in Melville. Most of the ladies were a little weary when parking in the underground parking though, there were very few cars and the security gate taking you upstairs was locked. This is due to the fact that in the evenings the Countess is the only place that is open for business in 27 Boxes. This can be a little rattling for a group of girls, but once we all found our way upstairs we did feel safe enough. Although the restaurant is very funky and "steam-punk" cool as advertised, the reason for the low ambiance rating is because besides for our table of 10 ladies there were only 2 more tables of 2 each occupied. For a Thursday evening I found it to be very quiet especially when compared to the commotion going on just down the road in 7th Street. And as mentioned it is the only open restaurant inside the 27 Boxes so you don't really get the feeling of a "night out on the town". Our waiter was great! He was very attentive and also not too intrusive. The service rating is largely based on not seeing a manager on duty, or anyone who seemed to be "in charge". I ordered the Countess burger which was a popular choice with the ladies. It was absolutely delicious! The smoked brisket (although a little dry) was sticky and sweet and savory and the truffle mac and cheese was a weird but yummy addition. But the best part for me were the sauces and sides! The deep fried gherkins and the yams with marshmallow were an absolute HIT! The let down on the food side (which is the reason for not giving a perfect score) would have to be the desserts...the pot de creme was so overly savory and the chocolate brownie was way too sweet and didn't seem very freshly prepared. It was a pleasant night out but I would like to give it a try in the daytime when it is perhaps slightly busier.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • After moseying around 27 Boxes we opted for The Countess to satisfy our primary need for food. My sister and I opted for vegetarian mains (the Veggie burger and the Moroccan vegetable stack) with a touch of meat (for control) in the form of the ribs and chicken wings to share (and the small fact that the menu looked so good I did not want to look back and think to myself I could've / should've eaten that....Food FOMO is no way to live). Ooooohhhhh this place is yummy and tasty and just so pleasing to the taste senses. I am a big fan of smoky things (smoky cooking, smoky eye make up, Smokey Robinson) ... the smoky ribs are done to absolute perfection, smoky and tender and sticky! Our mains were delightful and thoroughly enjoyable. The portions and pricing are pleasant and the place has a cool, chilled vibe to it. Honestly, modern technology will really really blow my mind in awe once I can download these ribs on demand...until then, The Countess with the mostest, I'll be back. I eyed another patrons burger as they devoured it like they were representing the country in an Olympic burger speed-eating competition...even though I was pleasantly full my food envy was sooooo very real. Cant wait for my next visit!!!!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Another great experience at The Countess! We had dinner here on Tuesday with our "foodies club" and I easily arranged both champagne glasses for when we popped the bubbly as well as a little something special for the "birthday boy". The manager immediately knew what I was talking about when I got there and they made an awesome dessert platter with a candle and the works! Food was awesome. Truffle mac & cheese - amazing! Had the chicken burger, ribs, the southern chicken, T-bone and a few other things I can't remember. Everyone raved about their meals! Desserts were oh-so-delicious! The rocky road is a winner and so is the creme brulee AND the chocolate mousse. The service was excellent - great change from our previous experience! The coffee - yummy! Thank you for an unforgettable evening. We'll be back.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Beer served
  • Breakfast
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways
  • WiFi

Write a review

Remember that your rating will influence the restaurant's ranking and chances of being recognised as one of the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Best Everyday Eateries.

Eatout