The Nicolway Centre on William Nicol Drive makes mall dining feel – dare we say it? – respectable. It’s odd to find good food and a good vibe in a space created for indulgent consumerism, filled to the brim with screaming children and surrounded on all sides by fast food joints that are apparently out to kill their customers. Snugly nestled between a host of other restaurants, including the Red Rabbit Grill and tashas, Licorish Bistro manages to offer something unique that cuts through the noise.
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and somehow manages to keep the quality consistent. The breakfast menu is the brunch lover’s dream: think frittatas, rostis, fritters, French toast, porridge and the heart attack-inducing egg, pork sausage, streaky bacon and tomato combo. The menu has a whole mindblowing section dedicated to street food from around the world. Jerk chicken is served alongside nkomazi chicken curry and stoneground rye. The prawn gatsby is pure heaven and perfect for a quick lunchtime treat. The rest of the menu is diverse and interesting, often putting a unique spin on well-known dishes. The goat’s cheese tempura and the beetroot risotto with goat’s cheese and sunflower seed dukkah get our vote. (Vegetarians aren’t neglected.) The sticky ginger pudding, saffron poached pears and chocolate fondue will also tempt you come dessert time. This restaurant should be a priority visit for the serious diner.
Licorish Bistro steers clear of the traditional wine list. Instead, wine lovers can choose from over 60 wines. Popular wines like Blackwater artisanal wines and Lammershoek tend to stay in supply, while the rest of the selection is often rotated. Wines sell for between R110 and R600.
It’s so refreshing to receive good, friendly service. The waiters create the impression that your comfort is a priority and never leave you hanging.
Mall culture aside, the ambience at Licorish is relaxed and even playful. The great attention to detail makes for a fun visit, with the wooden chandeliers stealing the show. Try to get a seat closer to middle of the restaurant to avoid spillover noise from the adjoining restaurants.
By Kristia van Heerden
Have you been to Licorish Bistro? Let us know what you think of it by writing a short review.