The 10 hottest restaurants in SA right now

Could these be the most popular restaurants in South Africa? Here are the 10 restaurants that pulled in the most traffic on our site in November 2018.

1. The Restaurant at Waterkloof (Somerset West)

It’s no surprise that the number one restaurant in the country is at the top of this list. Chef Gregory Czarnecki took top honours at the 2018 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards, which took place on 18 November. Expect magical mouthfuls in dishes like tomato consommé with basil, chives, rosemary and verbena or the Mauritian sea bass with leek ash, watercress and pommes boulangerès. “The Waterkloof degustation menu is one of a few tasting menus that is capable of melting your heart and bringing a warm smile to your face dish after dish.” says Eat Out critic Seth Shezi.

A scallop and roasted pumpkin dish by Greg Czarnecki. Photo supplied.

2. Saint (Sandton, Johannesburg)

David Higgs’s newest venture is the talk of Sandton with its seriously stylish interior and twisted-Italian-inspired food. Saint was also awarded Best Italian-Inspired Eatery at this year’s Best Everyday Eateries as well as the Eat Out VISI Style Award at the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards. What to order? The creamy burratta won’t disappoint, nor will the glorious Neapolitan-style pizzas.

A wood-fired pizza from Saint Restaurant. Photo supplied.

3. Wolfgat (Paternoster)

Yet another award-winning restaurant makes this month’s most-popular list. The 2018 Eat Out S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Chef of the Year, Kobus van der Merwe’s tiny eatery, Wolfgat, in Paternoster on the edge of the West Coast is where he pushes provenance to the extreme. Most of the ingredients on the plate here are sourced within 10 kms of the restaurant, many of them from the rockpools and sand dunes in the surrounds. Soutslaai, dune celery seaweed and samphire appear alongside fresh seafood in the seasonal tasting menu.

A dish at Wolfgat. Photo supplied.

4. Riverine Rabbit (Cape Town CBD)

Chef Ash Heeger recently did a complete overhaul of her City Bowl restaurant. Now Riverine Rabbit, the restaurant offers relaxed fine dining with a nod to sustainability. The Netflix star chef dishes up plates like honey-cured beef with tapioca, egg yolk and soy; burnt leeks with butter, hazelnut and lemon; seabass with mussel, kombu and greens; and a dessert of milk and honey with golden almond crumb.

The burnt leeks and tarragon béarnaise at Riverine Rabbit. Photo supplied.

5. Salsify at The Roundhouse (Camps Bay, Cape Town)

This is one of the newest additions to the Luke Dale-Roberts stable and is lead by chef Ryan Cole. Salsify burst onto the Cape Town scene with its exciting, juxtaposed decor, elegant food and sensational Camps Bay views. Indulge in dishes like assiette of suckling pig with morsels of salted apple and num num; pan-seared springbok with brussels sprouts and liver crumble; and an impressive dark chocolate soufflé with a gorgeously creamy quenelle of milk chocolate ice cream.

The sea room at Salsify. Photo by Justin Patrick

6. The Test Kitchen (Woodstock, Cape Town)

Luke Dale-Roberts and his team continue to impress with dramatic dining and the harmonious – and award-winning – service. The thrilling number two restaurant thrills diners with an elaborate menu that progresses from the light and subtle to the rich and robust. Think savoury Billionaire’s Shortbread of dark chocolate and duck liver from the dark room, to the sweet scallop with crisp celery or the sumptuous corn risotto with corn foam in the light room. This is top-shelf cooking that’s not staid or overly serious.

The billionaire shortbread at The Test Kitchen. Photo supplied.

7. The Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient (Elandsfontein, Pretoria)

Chantel Dartnall’s cooking at number 7 restaurant, The Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient, tells a tale through delicate yet playful plating and a journey of beautiful flavours. It’s escapism at its best with a grande degustation menu that is immaculately designed. Dishes include a Bento Box amuse-bouche of garden pea, spring marshmallow, pickled carrot, smoked snoek and ‘patat’; suckling pig with coconut curry; local duck with Dullstroom cherries; or Arctic salmon with seaweed and ocean broth.

Millionaire’s Nest Egg at Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient. Photo supplied.

8. San Deck at Sandton Sun Hotel (Sandton, Johannesburg)

With summer here, it’s clear why this buzzing rooftop bar has cracked this list. It’s an ideal spot for lazy sunny lunches or afterwork sundowners. Head here with a crowd and sip on colourful cocktails and order snack platters to share.

Cocktails on the San Deck

The rooftop at San Deck at the Sandton Sun. Photo supplied.

9. Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia (Constantia, Cape Town)

Ivor Jones’s top 10 restaurant continues to feature on the most-viewed list and it’s all thanks to the glorious vineyard views and spectacular tapas-style dining. The dishes are bold and punchy with an Asian-inspired slant. Think Thai sour curry with fermented lime; Korean chilli chicken tacos; and the infamous risotto which could come with coal-fired oyster mushrooms.

One of the dishes at Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia. Photo by Claire Gunn

10. Momo Soko (Illovo, Johannesburg)

Perennially in our most-viewed restaurants list, this Asian street-food spot is a constant hit. Ogo for the twice-cooked baby beef ribs with barbecue sauce; the Matterhorn soko lamb with green basil drizzle; and the crispy tofu skewers with sriracha and Japanese mayo. Their poké is also reputedly some of the best in town.

The signature soko (skewers) at Momo Soko. Photo by Miss Lucky Pony.

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