If you’re still working on your culinary pan-African adventure, this is a highly recommended fine-dining restaurant at which to start. Epicure by Chef Coco cleverly combines the contemporary and the traditional from all over the continent to give us a feast from north, south, east, west and central Africa. All you have to do is pick the flavours you’d like to explore. Epicure is open for breakfast, lunch and supper and the menu is divided into breakfast, share-share plates, mains and desserts. Regardless of what mealtime it is, make sure you sample a bit of everything.
Familiar favourites from the south include umphokoqo with amasi, vetkoek fritters stuffed with savoury mince and chakalaka relish, ostrich fillet with butternut mash and venison loin with biltong butter and sweet potato. From the north, the lamb and chickpea tagine is superbly tender and full of rich flavours, served with couscous and microgreens. The Moroccan duck samoosas with dried fruit chutney are tiny triangles of crispy delight. And the Egyptian dukkah-spiced rib-eye beef steak, served with bulgar wheat and roasted aubergine baba ganoush, is aromatic and not to be missed.
For West African fare, it’s a very welcome surprise to find goat meat prepared in pepe-spiced broth and served with plantain mash. Also not to be missed is the Senegalese-inspired tuna loin with okra, tamarind sauce and aromatic rice. To the east, Epicure offers a spicy Ethiopian chicken or cabbage stew with injera pancakes and, from central Africa, Congolese guinea fowl with palm nut sauce and cassava leaves.
Finish off your meal with some couscous pudding with tea ice cream, caramelised plantain or sweet fritters with peanut-butter ice cream. It’s almost impossible to order incorrectly here.
The wine list, which is more like a wine encyclopedia, is close to 100 pages long. There’s an extensive mix of local and international wines to consider, with sommeliers and wine stewards available to assist if you feel overwhelmed or lost. Try not to collapse when a bottle for R55 000 catches your eye.
Attentive and efficient, but not so well-versed in explaining what goes into each dish or how it’s prepared, beyond what’s listed on the menu.
A comfortable balance between sophisticated and relaxed, thanks to the décor and furnishings. The floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows lift the space with natural light, setting off the warm navy blues and pumpkin orange fabric of the seating, plus striking standout details such as woven chandeliers and chairs. Adjacent to the beautiful restaurant space is an elegant and contained bar, divided from the restaurant by a walk-in glass cellar. There’s outdoor seating overlooking a well-manicured lawn, too, for warmer days.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.
Went back again and wow Epicure just keeps delivering... FYI I will be back again.
Great African fusion food, service exceptional and atmosphere out of this world.
It’s officially one of my favorite restaurants in South Africa now. I loved it so much
Amazing dinner and lunch. Have been twice to this beautiful restaurant. Start with a nice cocktail at chic bar. Interesting fusion of African food on menu from all corners on the continent. Highly recommended
I first went to Epicure when it was a little more than a week old ( I have been many times since) addition to Joburg’s dining scene fun and fancy dining experience that allows you to be as epicurean as you please because Chef Coco has taken such time and dedication to creating an experience so delicious and pleasant that from the very first edible thing presented (yep, I’m talking about the bread) your tastebuds are already doing a Wakanda Forever salute ??♀️??♀️??♀️ at the distinct and surprising flavours. Located at Central Square one of the newest shiny mixed use buildings in the Sandton CBD; the decor and finishings are beautifully elegant without making you feel uncomfortable (like when you are too scared to touch anything in case it breaks). Open kitchen restaurants are a firm favourite of mine because you can feel the energy from the makers of the food you are about to receive and this kitchen is a well oiled, seemingly low stress and an efficiently run kitchen. The staff are happy; well versed in the menu; a neat and delicious reflection of our beautiful and diverse Continent depicted in food...Senegal, Uganda, Ethiopia, Morocco , Cote d'ivoire, Nigeria and Angola are just some of the regions that feature ; it’s a travel experience without the airport admin & travel visa drama and will definitely have you adding some of these countries to your bucket list to taste these flavours from the source. Until then, thank you Epicure for bringing this culinary travel staycation to us?...definitely recommended for a group date so you can share through the “Share-Share” and order as many of the mains as possible.
Do not skip the peanut butter ice cream and the caramelised plantain - thank me later?
Épicure by chef Coco Reinarhz has launched. I had the good fortune and privilege to enjoy its first fruits. Épicure is a new high end restaurant in Benmore Sandton, it offers refined African cuisine. It will aim for a market where tourists to South Africa from Africa and anywhere else can enjoy ingredients from across the continent in an exceptionally elegant and contemporary venue. I enjoyed the farmed guinea-fowl as a main option, it truly reminded me of the tastes of Africa when I visited about 15 odd African territories in my mid-twenties. There is an unmistakably mineralic and earthy element in ingredients like plantain and cassava that immediately puts the food in a style of its own. The cellar offered a great selection of South African white wines, we had the David & Nadia Aristargos 2016, we anticipated some hints of chilli and spice in the cuisine, it was the right choice. Chef Coco explains that they will expand the wine cellar to offer a wide selection of European (old world) wines in the immediate future - in anticipation of its European audience that migrates regularly through Sandton. That is not all - Épicure also boasts a brand new bar experience. Most refreshing is the fact that they will specialise as a rum bar - refreshing that a bar would choose this route in the midst of a total gin frenzy at the moment, not that I am complaining, as I do prefer gin to rum, but uniqueness and new trivials always wins for me. Chef Coco chose Pyrat XO Reserve for my untrained rum palate that would usually reject the over-sweetness of other rums. The staff represent all the peoples of Africa and although I am not French speaking, I am certain that this will become and important hub for the business elite that speaks French. Overall, the experience is a true reflection of Chef Coco's style - it is a trusted familiar brand. Go now - while Chef Coco throws a watchful eye over the restaurant floor from the pass. Every single item on the menu should be had!