Review: A once-in-a-lifetime dining experience at The LivingRoom at Summerhill Estate

Fast facts

Restaurant name: The LivingRoom at Summerhill Estate

Address: 9 Belvedale Road, Cowies Hill, Pinetown

Phone number: 063 529 1966

Trading hours: Dinner Tuesday to Saturday from 6.30pm (last order 7.30pm); Sunday Lunch from 12noon (last order at 1.30pm)

Average meal price: 5 courses R690 (including wine pairing R1115; including non-alcoholic pairing R1015): 7 courses R925 (including wine pairing 1520; including non-alcoholic pairing 1380)

Parking situation: Secure parking on the property

Food served: Fine-dining

Best for: Special occasions, romantic dates and small functions.


The LivingRoom is a once-in-a-lifetime, local, fine dining experience. They offer dinner tasting menus including 5, 7 or 10 courses. They also have vegetarian options available, and reservations are essential (only seat 30 guests). Upon booking, they ask you about allergies and diet restrictions. The head chef and owner of Summerhill Estate, Johannes Richter, uses only local ingredients, so their menu changes constantly. They grow their own fruit, vegetables and herbs in their garden.

All of the plating is absolutely exquisite and artistically pleasing. They get their plates custom-made to complement the dishes plated onto them. The flavours of each dish are complex yet delicious, it’s really indescribable. For starters, you can expect warm, homemade sourdough bread, butternut soup, creamy sardine butter and mushroom salt. The first course was blue crown pumpkin, molasses and preserved peppers. The combination of these ingredients have never tasted so good. Following that was the best dish of the evening, the Midlands chicken with crispy skin covered in a chicken broth and hay smoke. This dish was unbelievable, the chicken was so tender and the skin was so crunchy. The next two courses included beef with sardine jelly and venison steak. The meat was tender and cooked to perfection – expect a total explosion of flavours.

Before dessert, get ready for a delicious palate cleanser sorbet. Dessert was the most creative dish out of them all, ‘Madumbe’ ice cream; Madumbe is typically known as a root vegetable but Johannes turned it into a sweet, creamy ice cream served with granadilla, 75% Tanzanian chocolate, and peanut and pineapple tarts. The restaurant is only open for dinner with the exclusion of lunch some Sunday’s where you can enjoy live music while you wine and dine.


They boast a vast wine list specialising in smaller estates and big bottles which they can pair carefully with each dish. Non alcoholic cocktails are available too. The wine pairing really enhances the overall dining experience. The lady of wine, and Johannes Richter’s wife, Johanna, is really knowledgeable about wine and was absolutely spot on with every pairing.


The staff are very welcoming. Every dish is explained, and at the end of the tasting, Johannes comes to greet you and have a brief chat.


The idea behind it is that you feel as if you are sitting in your own living room at home. You can feel that it’s a family-run restaurant with a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere.

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here

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