Review: Livy’s in Dunkeld is Joburg’s vibey new bistro and social club

Fast facts 

Restaurant name: Livy’s All Day Bistro & Bar

Address: 49 Eastwood Road, Dunkeld, Johannesburg

Phone number: 078 409 2233

Opening times: Monday to Sunday 11am to 11pm

Average price of a main course: R200

Corkage fee: R80/bottle

Parking situation: Safe parking bays out front and in the street

Food type: French, cocktails, grills and steaks, salads, bistro, social club

livy's in joburg


A new kid is on the block, bringing a high-quality French touch to well-loved ingredients. If you are only feeling peckish, or want a starter, try a small plate like the scrumptious coal-fired vegetarian soup. The crispy calamari is so fresh and ready to melt in your mouth that you might just want to order two to taste more of the zesty coriander aioli.

For a lighter main, the salad offering has a gorgonzola and avocado option that balances beautiful flavours and textures, tying it all together with a sherry vinegar dressing and crunchy walnuts.

But, the true star of chef Tyron Gentry’s well-crafted menu is the grill section. The Chalmar beef fillet exudes flame-grilled flavour on the outside and is cooked to smooth perfection inside. There are several sauces and sides to choose from, but the simple Café de Paris butter sauce is the perfect addition to let the meat take the spotlight. For those not in the mood for red meat, coal-fired cauliflower steaks, chicken, and fresh line fish are also grilled.

To end off the evening, why not opt for a creamy milkshake, with Toblerone, cherry and chocolate Nutella on the list? The highlight of the dessert menu is the delicate lemon posset. A silky lemon cream is sweetened with a strawberry topping and biscuit crumble that make for a moreish dish that doesn’t overpower.


Livy’s is really the kind of social club that makes you want to page right to the cocktail menu, especially with a daily two-for-one special running from 4pm to 6pm. The classic cocktail section has yummy favourites like negronis and margaritas. If you are looking for something new but easy to love, go for the Jungle Bird on the signature cocktail list, which brings fresh notes of lime and pineapple. The Bourbon Sweet, with notes of ginger, honey, and lemon, is interestingly balanced for the discerning palate.

If you want to sip something more traditional, the wine menu will not disappoint, with its strong variety of local bottles, featuring offerings like Babylonstoren and Iona Sophie Te Blanche. While there is only Castle Lite on tap, craft beer fans will not be disappointed at the bottled section. Of course, there are also plenty of other options to choose from, including several tequilas and a lovely list of bubbles.


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Livy’s staff will welcome you from the moment you step into the building, seeming genuinely excited to host you. Booking a table is a breeze online, and you can choose between a trendy inside table or the patio, which overlooks padel courts. The waiting staff know the patrons’ favourites well and are happy to give friendly advice or insight.

There are also hubblies on offer to rent for R350.


Livy’s is a truly elegant and fun space to be in, from the rose colour scheme to the vibrant art everywhere. Slide into a comfy half-booth on the patio and you might get a surprise at the kind of people-watching this spot offers. It shares a space with a padel club! With regular DJ sets and a buzzing bar area, this is definitely a place to have a good time, and yet the crowd is a trendy mix of ages, including those looking for an ice-cold drink after their time on the court.

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

Images: / @livysza

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