Acid Food & Wine Bar

1 Review
Phone Number 0736633976 Opening Hours Lunch Dinner

Lunch: Friday to Sunday 12noon to 3pm

Dinner: Tuesday to Thursday 6pm to 9pm

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Menu - Updated menus available on the website.



Critic's review

Helmed by sommelier Jemma Styer and chef Jessie Doveton, Acid Food & Wine Bar is a small, intimate restaurant that offers a unique take on Southeast Asian fare and does justice to its name with a superlative wine list. Divided into bar snacks and small plates, the concise menu changes weekly and is designed to excite the palate. To kick things off, the wood-ear mushroom salad, served as a bar snack, is full of meaty texture and spice, thanks to a tangy hot mustard and soya dressing. Other nibbles include black vinegar pickled peanuts, sourdough and whey butter, and a hot take on the Scotch egg, made here with Thai sausage. In the small plates section, the seafood really shines: the yellowtail ceviche is possibly the best in Joburg – fresh, tasty, and expertly balanced with a punchy nam jim and coconut dressing – while the mussels in tom kha broth with lemongrass and galangal brim with intense, elegant flavour. And the prawn toast, made with milk bread and full of crunch thanks to soy-roasted peanuts, is excellent. Dessert wise, the five-spice chocolate lava cake is soft-centred perfection juxtaposed against a walnut-and-sesame crunch and smoky whisky ice cream.

Jemma has a wealth of knowledge and has compiled a diverse yet pared-down list of bubblies, whites, reds and rosés made by small, independent producers – particularly female BIPOC wine makers – with a focus on natural, minimum-intervention wines. And, since the little things make the difference, it’s also worth noting that the wines are all served at the correct temperature, in good stemware.

Service is hit and miss. Instances of thorough professionalism are offset by needle drops of rock and roll irreverence.

The small size adds to rather than subtracts from the buzz of the place. The action is definitely centred around the funky curved wine bar and the open hutch offering diners a peek into the kitchen, which contributes to the cool, young energy.

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