There was quite a commotion when Eat Out chef of the year for 2011, David Higgs, upped sticks and headed to Joburg. Taking on the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel’s Central One Restaurant, he’s transformed hotel dining into a warm, welcoming prospect where diners can feel comfortable.
The mood: “Originally, the restaurant was quite stark and ‘cold’. We felt we needed to warm the room up a little and change the concept slightly to attract outside diners, as well as retain the hotel guests,” explains David.
The designer: David teamed up with Marie-Charlotte Rossignol to transform the look and feel of the restaurant. A vegetal wall – something that several international restaurants are trying – has been created on one red wall, bringing greenery into the space. Chandeliers were brought in to drop the ceiling and make the space feel more personal.
The details: Purple Dot Lighting installed warm up-lighting, and the vegetal wall was created by Charmaine from Indigorain. A resident DJ also adds to the vibe.
The food: Choose from contemporary options like green herb soup with Dalewood Huguenot nut brittle; white wine risotto with pickled beetroot; springbok loin with pickled beetroot puree; and strawberry mousse with shortbread crumble and cinnamon custard.