Despite the wealth of the area, Sandton is not known for its restaurant options. Until now, that is. Thando Ndabezitha does some power lunching at Wishbone Café and Bistro.
Average price main course: R100
Food type: Continental and café fare
Corkage: R100 for sparkling wine and R60 for wine
Best for: Impressing clients with working brunch, lunch or dinner
Star ratings out of 5: Food 5, service 5, ambience 5
Café and bistro dining get a swish twist at Wishbone, a new restaurant and the flagship store of the swanky 11 Alice Lane. Set to be primarily a destination for those working in this affluent part of corporate Johannesburg, the menu comprises unfussy, quick, yet world-class and healthy food for the sophisticated palate, created by executive chef Peter van Schaik and his team.
Have a quick breakfast brainstorming session before a meeting? Zucchini and parmesan fritters, served with poached eggs, tomato and chilli jam and hollandaise sauce; or a haddock Thermidor – poached egg, bacon, tomato and Thermidor sauce on whole-wheat bread – will give you the early morning kick you need.
Want a quick healthy lunch that’s not depressingly leafy, but won’t leave you feeling full and sluggish for the rest of the afternoon? Moroccan chicken salad made from spiced and charred breast, ruby grapefruit, chickpeas, green olives and Tahini dressing; or an autumn roasted vegetable salad, comprising balsamic-roasted beets, parsnips and carrots, as well as seeds, nuts and drunken pecorino. It’ll leave you satisfied and energised.
In addition, there are a number of starters which can be ordered as tapas – from curry and parmesan calamari and quiche of the day to steak tartare and salmon gravadlax. Burgers, sandwiches and pizzas are also available, gourmet-style. For example, there is venison burger made from a venison patty, caramelized onion, brie, mushrooms and truffle oil – not your average bistro grub.
For a working dinner, try the dhal makhini, a delightfully spicy and creamy, yet light meal comprising black lentils and seasonal vegetables served with plain yoghurt, fragrant jasmine rice and poppadums. Alternatively, a good old slow-roasted shoulder of lamb, served with crushed potatoes, aubergine, green beans, confit tomatoes, herbs de province and jus makes for a sumptuous evening meal. There is also a sushi menu, as well as seafood.
For dessert, the apple tarte tatin is highly recommended, served with a delightful salted caramel and vanilla ice cream.
Sommeliers Pieta Dreyer and Johannes Jacobs will recommend wines to perfectly complement the excellent fare from their comprehensive and impressive wine list – from Meerlust’s Rubicon red blend, Paul Cluver’s Elgin Estate pinot noir and Rust en Vrede’s cabernet sauvignon to Buitenverwachting’s Constantia chardonnay, as well as French bubbles Billecart-Salmon’s Brut Reserve and Brut Rosé. The featured wine is the The Kitchen Sink red blend. Cocktails are also available.
From finding safe and secure parking underground – which is free for restaurant patrons – to a most warm and effusive welcome from the staff at the door, Wishbone Café & Bistro Bar sets a standard for hospitality which many establishments in Johannesburg – casual and fine-dining alike – are lacking. The attention staff devote to guests throughout their patronage is unwavering without becoming overbearing.
Chic and equally conducive for a lunch tête-à-tête or power lunch, the design style reflects the refined glamour of Sandton. Think lots of wood, exposed pipes, navy walls and statement lightbulbs. Contemporary art adds to the feast for the senses. There is also a great music selection, which is pleasant and unobtrusive.
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