Our latest nominee for the 2014 Boschendal Style Award, which is bestowed on the most stylish restaurant in the country, Perron in Illovo is a modern Mexican fiesta created by tequila-loving owners who are the chefs and decorators too.
Not even a year old, Perron is a restaurant, bar and fiesta all in one. Having witnessed the burrito bar craze in London, Christa Jakoby and Grant Ansell drove back through Africa dreaming up the concept, and partnered with Martin Jakoby and Thomas Hughes (who together own The Griffin, The Office and The Steamworks Gastropub) once back in the city of gold.
Rather than serving stock-standard nachos and Tex Mex fare, Perron has introduced fresh ingredients, flavours and spices for a different take on Mexican. A tapas-style sharing section on the menu – including crispy black bean tostada, sweet potato on sweetcorn fritters, and some really interesting quesadillas and tacos – has become their signature. And of course, what would a Mexican place be without jalapeño poppers and churros?
The style, like the food, rejects the wagon wheel and sombrero stereotypes of yore, instead going for a vibrant pink and turquoise interior with hints of Frida Kahlo, Madonna and child, and luchador wrestling. A custom-made bougainvillea wall vinyl, oversized feathered lampshades, two-tone chairs and velvet couches are balanced with raw wooden tables, screed flooring and handcrafted Lieberman’s crockery. The banquette seating encourages jovial sharing.
Does Perron have what it takes to win the 2014 Boschendal Style Award? The winner will be announced at the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards on Sunday 16 November. (Buy your tickets now.) See the other nominees here.