Indulge in our selection of South Africa’s newest and best restaurants. Here are this season’s must-visit restaurants to explore.
The LivingRoom at Summerhill Guest Estate
With Chef Johannes Richter at the helm of the kitchen, The LivingRoom at Summerhill Guest Estate has fast become one of Kwa-Zulu Natal’s most beloved foodie destinations, securing a spot in the Top 20 Mercedes Benz Eat Out Awards 2019. Raised in Durban, Chef Johannes brings fine French training, international experience in Michelin star establishments, and a passion for Asian techniques to the table, transforming the fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruits grown on the estate into a menu that showcases the glorious breadth and depth of Durban’s culinary heritage. Every dish is made from hyper-endemic, seasonal ingredients and is paired with carefully-selected premium wines and impeccable service. Think Willowdale truffle, butter lady mascarpone and key lime; Midland’s chicken, pear and tamarind, pumpkin, farm-to-fork rhubarb and pink peppercorn.
Located in a historic building on Bree Street, right in the culinary heart of Cape Town, The Bailey is a triple threat — café, brasserie, and whiskey bar—that captures the elegance and romance of the grand all-day cafés and restaurants of Europe. On the ground floor, the glamorous lobby café and patisserie serve delicious baked goods, all-day breakfasts, brunch, light lunch, and High Tea. The second floor is home to an authentic Parisian Brasserie with a menu of iconic continental dishes complemented by a superb wine list. And on the rooftop terrace sprawls the luxurious and exclusive Old Bailey Whiskey Bar. The Bailey is a collaborative effort between award-winning South African chef Liam Tomlin, his brother Jan, and the owners of the five-star Tintswalo Lodges.
What began as a series of pop-ups in Cape Town, including a summer residency at Leo’s Wine Bar, has matured into a contemporary casual dining restaurant celebrating Cyprus and Greece’s regional dishes and culinary traditions. Inspired by Nic Charalambous’s travels, Ouzeri showcases the best of Cypriot cuisine while stepping outside the tired, clichéd approach to Greek food to instead serve inspired, contemporary interpretations of this country’s cuisine, something that is yet to be seen in South Africa. This, coupled with its utterly charming, Mediterranean coastal vibe and carefully selected wine list, makes Ouzeri a must-try new restaurant. Try their fried mussels with walnut skordalia; beetroot salad with date molasses, yoghurt and almonds; and beef shin youvetsi with roasted bone marrow.
Another new addition to the Bree Street scene, Hacienda, is bringing the spirit of Baja California to the tables of Cape Town. But forget Tex-Mex: Hacienda’s menu is an ode to authentic coastal Mexican / spiced Baja California cuisine, courtesy of Executive Chef Justin Barker and Sous Chef Michael Badenhorst. Think grilled dishes of lamb chops, charred octopus, and guajillo-dusted corn; bowls and plates, like the kingklip bowl, featuring lime gel, coconut cream, and chipotle roasted leeks; vegetarian dishes like the Oaxaca adobe rice; and desserts like flan de chocolate, churros, and pastel de maiz dulce. For a no-holds-barred Mexican experience, try the tequila tasting pairing menu!
Since 1916, Backsberg Family Wines has graced our restaurant menus and store shelves with its generous repertoire of award-winning wines. This year, however, they’ve relaunched with a new state-of-the-art cellar, branding and packaging upgrade, and a gorgeous new tasting room. With comfortable furniture upcycled from wine barrels and pallets, a menu of delicious, tapas-style canapés, and staggeringly beautiful views over a dam and the Mont Rochelle Mountains beyond, the tasting room is a must-head-to destination for winetasting and eats in any season. Backsberg is also South Africa’s first carbon-neutral winery and a proud WWF Conservation Champion.
At the new GRK in Rivonia, Johannesburg, the classic street food gyro is the star of the show! (Gyro is a hunk of meat slow-cooked on a vertical rotisserie and served wrapped or stuffed in pita bread.) But it’s nothing like what you see on the streets of Greece: rather, GRK completely reimagines this popular dish, employing innovative cooking methods to deliver impeccably succulent, quality cuts of meat and cheek-popping flavours. There are also four different imported Greek pita breads to choose from, each with their own nutritional values. Diners can enjoy this gorgeous fare in a modern, upmarket, yet casual Greek tavernesque setting designed by Creative Director Giorgio Tatsakis.