Looking for some weekend dining and decor inspiration? Try one of these stylish and tantalising new local eateries in Oudtshoorn, Johannesburg and Cape Town.
The Marbled Wagyu
Boasting beautiful views of De Kombuys estate’s vineyards in the Swartberg mountains of Oudtshoorn, The Marbled Wagyu is housed in a 150-year-old Cape Dutch farm store. True to its name, the restaurant – which is headed by Chef Roland Rossouw – specialises in wagyu beef.
De Kombuys, Cango Valley, Oudtshoorn, Western Cape, 044 272 7255
The Lonely Hearts Club
The Lonely Hearts Club in the gorgeous old La Luna building in Melville is a moody mix of parquet flooring, dark green marble, exposed brickwork and high-gloss black ceilings. Feel like dining solo? Pull up a chair at the bar, order some tapas and enjoy a glass of wine while you watch the chefs cooking over flames in the kitchen. Try the fireroasted prawns and grilled artichoke. Musically, there’s a mix of blues, jazz, soul and swing.
Carnelian At The Rock
A wine, cocktail and tapas bar, the Carnelian in Sandton is a good spot in which to unwind for post-work sundowners. The tapas menu offers 10 dishes and changes seasonally. Go for the haloumi wrapped in kataifi pastry served with syrupy fig preserve. If you like whiskey, the Old Fashioned packs a punch and is served with retro spherical ice, while the Speakeasy is a fruity, quaffable blend of vodka, pineapple juice, cassis and an angostura bitters float. Our main attraction? Cold Prosecco on tap.
Design Quarter, Leslie Avenue, Sandton, Johannesburg, 011 465 5011
The sister restaurant of La Mouette in Sea Point, Upper Bloem has a lunchtime tapas menu that changes daily, as well as a three-course sharing-plate tasting menu for dinner. Head Chef and co-owner André Hill celebrates the flavours of his childhood and pays homage to the Mother City’s diverse culinary heritage with ingredients like samphire, snoek and kabeljou. Expect dishes like spiced duck breast with quince, samoosa crisp and salted radishes. As for the decor, interior designer Liam Mooney took a historical approach. ‘The inspiration for Upper Bloem was really to channel the icons and colours that are so rooted in Cape Town’s history, from the blown-out Victorian tiling layout you find in so many historic buildings to the vibrant, summery colours of the Bo- Kaap,’ he says.
Shop 1, Winston Place, 65 Main Road, Green Point, Cape Town. 021 433 1442
Offering a variety of African tastes, Ēpicure is headed by Chef Coco Reinarhz, who grew up in Kinshasa in the DRC and was trained at Ecole Hôtelière Provinciale de Namur in Belgium. Start off your evening at the restaurant’s terraced Ēpic Bar, which focuses on chic rum-based cocktails. Ēpicure’s menu changes regularly: for example, to celebrate Senegal Independence Day, the tasting menu included kilishi green mango salad with toasted yam shards and Dibi-style lamb shank croquette.
Central Square, cnr West Road South and Lower Road, Morningside, Johannesburg. 010 594 5336
Perched above House of Machines, Picadas is a vibey South American spot serving modern, street-style tapas with a strong Argentinian twist. It’s perfect for a post-work aperitivo like Fernet Branca and moreish Las Empanadas de Mama (a ground beef-filled pastry with spring onion, red pepper, onions, olives and boiled egg) served with chimichurri. Their chorizo is also legendary. Expect Afro-Latin tunes and energetic salsa, bachata and kizomba dancing sessions.
1st Floor, 84 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town. 083 367 5143
Text: Fiona Davern
Looking for more options? Read 6 New Dining Hotspots to Try This Week, Greenhouse’s Spring Menu Is Here and Joburg Bar Wins at 2018 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards.