Pavilion Restaurant

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Cnr. Nothern Parkway & Data Crescent, Ormonde, Johannesburg 2159, South Africa


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    Oct 2014 · Dana Sanchez

    A restaurant inside the Gold Reef City Casino, the Pavilion Ormonde restaurant is located high in a hotel atrium so you can watch...

    A restaurant inside the Gold Reef City Casino, the Pavilion Ormonde restaurant is located high in a hotel atrium so you can watch people gambling below while you’re eating.

    The Gold Reef City Casino hotel was undergoing renovations when I was there, but you would never have known it. Construction was hidden and the cash registers weren’t missing a beat.

    The casino hotel had a Victorian theme with intricate lattice work, sconces and heavy molding everywhere.

    In the middle of it all was the casino with bright lights, the ting-ting-ting of slot machines, and the Black Eyed Peas lyrics, “tonight’s gonna be a good night,” playing in the background as I ate a late breakfast at the Pavilion restaurant. It was 11:45 a.m.

    Gold Reef City is a historically-themed amusement park built on an old gold mine. Visitors can go down a mine shaft and feel first hand what prospectors may have experienced when the gold rush took place in Johnannesburg during the 1880s. There is a museum dedicated to gold mining too but people head to Gold Reef City for the roller coaster rides, live shows, and of course, the casino.

    Across the street from the casino is the Apartheid Museum on Northern Parkway and Gold Reef Road in Ormonde, documenting the story of apartheid in the form of photos, symbolic art, TV footage and exhibits.

    There’s so much to do at Gold Reef City, I barely made it to the restaurant in time for the breakfast buffet. It was worth rushing though. I started with gooseberry jam and three-fruit marmalade which I spread on a warm and crusty buttered roll.

    Next I tried yogurt with stewed dried fruit — a very South African thing. The reconstituted dried fruit totally hit the spot and was so scrumptious I asked the waitress if she wouldn’t mind asking the chef how it was prepared. She came back from the kitchen, which had graciously obliged: the dried fruit was cooked in syrup, brown sugar and cinnamon.

    Stewed dried fruit is one of those dishes that tastes different everywhere you find it. It’s a staple at most South African breakfast buffets, and I made a point of trying it everywhere.

    Next I asked for eggs over medium, and that’s what I got. I watched them being made. I had no room for the grainy-looking bread that came with the eggs, but took a bite anyway and ended up eating the whole slice.

    In the spirit of not knowing what time it is inside the casino, the Pavilion Restaurant offers breakfast a la carte from 6 a.m. to midnight. You can get other food too, such as lamb curry, chicken korma, homemade chicken pie, seafood and smoothies — low fat or with ice cream.



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