South Africa is home to world famous restaurants, which serve as platforms for culinary geniuses to share their passion for good food with the public. The dishes served at each destination provide for unforgettable culinary experiences and highlight the chef’s signature style. We are certainly spoilt for choice. Nothing makes our team prouder than seeing local gourmet creatives redefining the way we enjoy food. Eat Out Awards recently awarded their nominees for various awards for 2016 and we have shared their list of top 10 restaurants around South Africa.
The Test Kitchen: Cape Town
The Test Kitchen is world-famous and ranked 22nd in the world. We are all familiar with the talented mastermind behind this, Luke Dale Roberts, who has certainly raised the bar for sought-after cuisine in South Africa. Bookings need to be made months in advance and it is well worth the wait. The menu is always changing, and is dependent on the seasonal produce available. Roberts entertains his diners with unique flavourings and stellar ingredients.
La Colombe: Cape Town
La Colombe is situated in Silvermist, where the view and the food work hand in hand to deliver an unforgettable experience. The plated dishes are works of art, and ingredients are locally sourced to celebrate great South African heritage. If you plan to dine at this eatery, be sure to book. Expect dishes such as West Coast oyster, caviar, kalamansi, apple and soy or Bavette steak, chipotle, anchovy, bone marrow and chimichurri. If you are lucky to eat here soon, be sure to follow the wine and food pairing.
The Restaurant at Waterkloof: Somerset West
Waterkloof Wines restaurant is situated within a glass promontory where the dining area is an extension of the wine tasting room. French chef Gregory Czarnecki entices his guests with contemporary classics, complemented by the estate’s elegant wines. Classic cuisine is represented in a French but contemporary manner. Over 120 guests can dine at Waterkloof and the menu is always changing due to seasonal produce. Lunch and dinner can be enjoyed at this destination.
The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français: Franschhoek
The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français is run by award-winning chef Margot Janse. Her individualistic and modern approach to African-inspired cuisine is what attracts many guests to this special destination. Margot has established a mobile-free eating area, which makes this restaurant that much more attractive. Guests are encouraged to set the best intention when dining, and to leave happier, if not more wholesome than before.
Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient: Pretoria
As you step into Mosaic, you are transported back into the 1900s, where Art Nouveau was at its peak. The romantic setting is suited to the European cuisine. Menus are dependent on seasonal offerings, but be prepared to be amazed at the flavour combinations. Dishes such as sautéed mushrooms with creamy potato purée and black truffle foam or quail tempura drizzled with tamarind syrup are some of the many favourites.
Overture first opened in November 2007, and since then this culinary hotspot has placed Bertus Basson on the culinary watchlist. Celebrating local cuisine with a few touches of Basson’s mother’s cooking, you will be made to feel right at home in this superb restaurant. A consecutive winner for dining awards, expect dishes such as Cape Wagyu tongue, gnocchi, celery, carrots and celeriac or Roast Hake, tomato risotto, courgette beignet and basil. The setting of the hidden valley wine estate will make this an experience a memorable one.
Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort: Cape Town
Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort celebrates modern African cuisine. It is run by Peter Tempelhoff and Ashley Moss. Creativity, exploration and consistency is at the heart of their dishes. Ordering dessert at Greenhouse is always a treat (excuse the pun) where perfectly laid sweet formations are served on fynbos bonsai and Namibian mopane root.
The Kitchen at Maison: Cape Town
Maison is located in The Valley of the Huguenots in Franschhoek, and is considered one of the premier wine destinations in the world. Maison means ‘house’ in French, and Maison in Franschhoek is home to The Kitchen and world-class wines. The Kitchen is set up like a bistro. Fewer ingredients are used in dishes – an approach based on the principle that you are being served the best of the best. Dishes like octopus, green apple, lime and coriander or venison pastrami, gherkin, cucumber and rye, sure has us wanting to visit soon. Less is always more, particularly when it is served along with the house wine.
The Foliage is the perfect balance between a bistro and a farmhouse. Comfortable ‘formal’ dining at its best. Foliage uses foraged ingredients, so the menu is always dependent on what is growing wildly. The ‘field to table’ approach is just like farm to table, however ingredients are grown naturally and without human intent. Most dishes are mushroom based, but other unique finds make up the delicious menu. A restaurant that’s very much different to others on the list, but a culinary experience like no other.
Camphors at Vergelegen: Somerset West
The Camphors at Vergelegen signature restaurant takes its name from the ancient giant camphor trees. Food that appears like works of art is served alongside the estate’s award-winning wines. Braaied Springbok, beetroot, citrus and sesame or line-caught fish, shellfish, smoked velouté and sea herbs can be enjoyed whilst viewing the lush lawns and historical trees.
To find out more about the awards visit eatout.co.za/awards/