As one of the leading business cities on the African continent, it’s no surprise that Johannesburg is loaded with many upscale restaurants. So if you want to find the best places to impress your business guests or just wine and dine the significant foodie in your life, look no further. Here are 15 of the best fine dining restaurants in Johannesburg.
For classic cuisine with a global twist, and a sedate but upmarket ambiance, DW11-13 is a great choice. Signature dishes include coriander butter roasted hake with baby leaf spinach and coconut mussel veloute and grass fed beef fillet with roasted bone marrow, turnip puree and buttered carrots. The more indecisive should opt for the chef’s tasting menu, six to eight courses of recommended dishes, paired with wines.
2. Mosaic at the Orient, Mimosa
If you have time on your hands and can spare a 45-minute drive from central Johannesburg, visit Mosaic at the Orient. This award winning restaurant prides itself on its selective use of ingredients and expansive wine list. The head chef, Chantel Dartnell, is known for her love of edible flowers, making for interesting platings. If your budget allows, spend the night in one of their exquisite suites, with décor sourced directly from Morocco and India
3. Cube Tasting Kitchen, Parktown North
Offering an eight course menu, Cube Tasting Kitchen’s innovation is remarkable. You’ll be presented with unusual but delectable pairings such as liquorice potato chips and butternut crème brulee. Bring your own wine as the restaurant does not yet have a liquor license, and be sure to set aside four to five hours for the total experience.
4. Signature, Morningside
Renowned for its excellent seafood, Signature restaurant has floor to ceiling windows, showcasing a panoramic view of Johannesburg. Try the pork belly, slow braised in apple cider and served with apple puree, or the queen prawns, which are cooked to perfection and served with a moreish lemon butter sauce.
5. The Winehouse, Dunkeld
If you want a fine dining experience but aren’t prepared to spend a fortune, The Winehouse is your best bet. For R250 a head you can get a three course meal which rivals that of the other spots on this list. This spot hasn’t yet caught on among trendsetters and foodies, so it’s a good choice if you need to make a last-minute reservation.
6. Five Hundred at the Saxon, Sandhurst
For the classiest dinner in town, head to Five Hundred at the Saxon hotel, which has consistently been voted the best restaurant in Johannesburg. You’ll be chauffeured the entire 5 minutes from the parkade to the hotel lobby in a 5 series BMW, where you’ll be greeted by name (reservation required at least three to four weeks in advance), and escorted to the exclusive 30-seat restaurant.
7. Eatery JHB, Sandton
Eatery JHB offers a rustic but elegant dining experience. The menu is small, but seasonal, and the food is beautifully plated. The restaurant tends to be very crowded so can get noisy–perhaps not the best choice if you’re after a quiet dinner.
8. Roots at Forum Homini, Letamo Game Estate
Situated on a game farm, you may even be lucky enough to spot some game from the comfort of your table at Roots, Forum Homini hotel’s signature restaurant. Offering a killer brunch, this is fine dining that won’t break the bank. Service tends to be a bit slow, but flavour of the dishes always packs a punch.
9. Blue Feather, Midrand
With crockery imported from Spain, tuxedo clad waiters and wine glasses specially designed to maximise wine appreciation, Blue Feather in Midrand has gone all out to ensure a premium experience. The fine dining menu is priced at R500 per person and is a set seven course menu.
10. The Green Peppercorn, Morningside
The Green Peppercorn has a bistro vibe with a classic Joburg parking lot view, and offers fine dining without pretence. The seared fillet with smoked mushroom veloute sauce and potato croquettes is a must try. The restaurant is renowned for its deep fried Lindt balls–decadence defined.
11. Beluga, Midrand
If you are a fan of elegant dining and sushi, then Beluga has you covered. Not only does this eatery have great catches from the sea, but also has delicacies such as seared ostrich. Other items on the menu include springbok carpaccio, truffle-emulsion gnocchi and an extensive amount of dim-sum.
12. Yamato, Illovo
Sticking with the sushi theme, Yamato strives to not just serve food, but to serve art. The dining room is upscale and modern, yet casual enough for most diners. Besides the intricate fare from the sushi menu, Yamato also makes mouth-watering homemade egg noodles on site for an authentic touch. Arrive early, as this place is often packed with diners.
13. Thomas Maxwell Bistro, Sandton
Blending rustic French with a New York-style ambience, this bistro serves up amazing classic dishes such as rabbit ragout and the French favorite, mussels. The restaurant’s gourmet flavors are largely due to the on site herb garden filled with passionfruit leaves and fresh basil.
14. Wombles, Parktown North
Billing itself as one of the finest steakhouses in Africa, Wombles doesn’t disappoint. The restaurant is located in trendy Parktown North and serves up sizzling gourmet food along with massive steaks to satisfy even the most demanding carnivore. Some of the best items on the menu include bone marrow, goat cheese mousse, and duck liver paté.
15. Qunu Grill at The Saxon, Sandhurst
Wrapping up our list is the sister restaurant to Five Hundred at the Saxon, Qunu Grill. This luxurious restaurant features fine South African ingredients such as grass-fed beef from KwaZulu-Natal, rich pork belly, and West Coast mussels. The red ambient tones of the chairs and tables contrasted with the immaculate gardens set the mood for a fantastic meal. If you are staying at The Saxon, why not try both?