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Qunu Restaurant at Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa

4 Reviews
African, International, South African, Vegan food, Vegetarian
Phone Number 0112926000 Opening Hours Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Breakfast: Monday to Sunday 6.30am to 10.30am

Lunch: Monday to Sunday 12noon to 3pm

Dinner: Monday to Sunday 6.30pm to 9.30pm

Details

Cost
R398
Food
African, International, South African, Vegan food, Vegetarian
Corkage
R550 per bottle (only wine/champagne)
Cost
R398
Ambience
Local cuisine, Special occasions
Payment
Amex, Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa
Facilities
Accepts credit cards, Accommodation, Beer served, Booking required, Breakfast, Cocktails, Dinner, Dress code, Food, Hotel, Licensed, Live entertainment, Lunch, Parking, Reservations recommended, Serves food, Smoking, Vegetarian, Wheelchair, WiFi

Critic's review

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food

Kate Liquorish

Prepare for contemporary fine dining that celebrates African flavours (with the added benefit of a new and lavish vegetarian/vegan menu dedicated to exquisite plant-based starters, mains and desserts).

Food
Apart from the impeccable service and attention to detail, what sets the Saxon’s main restaurants apart is Sarapana, their fruit, herb and vegetable garden, from which fresh ingredients are sourced daily and used as inspiration for each of their dishes.

Who doesn’t love beautifully whipped soft butters with freshly baked bread? And who can say no to starters of rich, handsomely braised oxtail with parmesan buttered samp, bean salsa and curried chilli mango atchar, or perfectly seared scallops with octopus terrine, pickled apple and a maple turmeric vinaigrette?

For mains their signature dish, Steak Diane, is an absolute spectacle and highly recommended: a beautifully ordained ‘cooking’ trolley is presented to the table, on which fillet medallions are seared and flambéed with brandy, mushrooms and cream and served alongside luscious mashed potato and al dente garden vegetables – if you’re a lover of dinner-theatre, it’s a must. If you’re looking for something a little lighter, but no less remarkable, the seared salmon served with curried cauliflower, fennel, salsa of mussels, tomato and saffron is the perfect example of restraint and subtlety so often lacking in South African cuisine – we tend to celebrate robust flavours and sometimes forget the beauty in balancing delicate flavours.

The only disappointment was the ostrich dish: two small medallions of ostrich fillet dusted in a blend of African spices and served with a few cubes of pickled beetroot and an apricot and star anise compote – the portion was just too trivial to warrant the price tag. It’s something Qunu needs to be wary of: when some dishes appear as if ordered from an a la carte menu and others from a tasting menu, there’s something amiss.

Having said that, the desserts are a delight. Expect a fine-dining twist to traditional South African desserts like malva pudding with Amarula crème, orange mousse, charred orange and vanilla custard, and their take on Peppermint Crisp tart with a mint mousse, milk chocolate whip, vanilla frangipane and caramel.

Drinks
You’ll find wine from across the globe in this carefully curated tome of a wine list. Mark-ups are steep so expect to pay for the pleasure, but Qunu’s incredible sommelier is always at hand to help you find the perfect pairing for lunch or dinner.

Service
After a visit to the Saxon you really do feel like you’ve been on holiday: you’re driven in a luxury car to the door, you’re greeted, doors are opened, your coat is taken, your chair pulled out, a special stool is brought to the table simply to hold your handbag…the ceremony is such that you’ll feel blissful before you’ve even ordered.

Ambience
Qunu offers live music every evening, which adds to the seduction of the space. There are high ceilings and soft lighting, walls covered in hanging vines and plants.

Best for...
Romantic dinners and celebratory lunches.

(2018)

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

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User reviews

4 Reviews
    Hubby and I finally went to the Saxon. Were so excited about the experience. Sorely disappointed. Food was below average. Service was slow and uninterested. Got a piece of glass in our glass. So very dangerous. No fuss made.
    We came here for the renowned Subday brunch. First things first, when you arrive at the Saxon you feel like you've stepped out of joburg. We were welcomed into the lounge area and offered a glass of bubbly which we enjoyed before being escorted to our table. We were pointed toward the starter buffet. I must say this had a lovely array of seafood and was really quite delicious. Although if you're not a seafood person there seemed to be less of everything else. We the. Ordered our main course which took quite a while but I think that's to allow you to get seconds of starters. I ordered the Sunday roast and my fiancé ordered the filer. My Sunday roast arrived cold and the rare roast beef I ordered was tough and didn't seem quite rare enough. Seeing as the price of the brunch is pretty high I decided to send my order back - nobody wants a cold roast potato and Yorkshire pudding. The manager apologized and I was well looked after he suggested I try the fillet as well so that I could definitely enjoy rare beef. Overall the main was very tasty post the wait and send back bite service was undoubtedly some of the most professional I've come across. We were offered wine by a somelier from a lengthy wine list. We then paused and headed to the dessert buffet. Lots of bite size goodies to choose from. My favorite was the macaroons - amazing and super chocolate. The raspberry and white chocolate deconstructed cheesecake (I don't know what is was actually called) was also delicious. My fiancé tried the very rich chocolate and nutty chocolate cake that was superb. Overall very lovely meal but I wouldn't say it lived up to expectations considering the price. The service was what really made it a fabulous experience.
    Food was a bit of a letdown in comparison with Five Hundred, housed in the same hotel. I can only imagine it's because the food at Qunu isn't under the direct supervision of David Higgs.
    Starters were good, particularly the pork belly and scallops.
    Duck breast main course was tiny, tough and tasteless, not cheap either. Thankfully the kitchen replaced the dish, but overall we left Qunu underwhelmed compared to our other experiences at the Saxon.
    Good selection of wine by the glass which makes pairing easy.

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