by Anja du Plessis
While we all get excited about a holiday and what we’re going to do while on holiday, the truth is, we are equally excited about what and where we’re going to eat. Exploring new cuisines, or even just indulging in fine dining finesse, there are few things as satisfying as enjoying a great meal. To this end, we have rounded up the best new restaurants to try while on safari. From refined experiences to adventurous locations set apart from the world, we invite you to leave the world behind and enjoy an unforgettable experience at one of these wonderful new restaurants that will satisfy your cravings.
A sophisticated Pan-Asian Eatery is how the Red Room is described. Down a flight of unassuming stairs at the world-famous Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel is where you will find this gem. The venue is an opulent space with speakeasy-esque decor, giving a feeling of cocooned luxury. This new restaurant has to be experienced to truly be appreciated.
A tea-infused cocktail or sake awaits diners, and they may also choose from a variety of flavor-packed small meals from the à la carte menu, such as grilled scallops with tom yum foam and kombu butter or Korean BBQ pork steamed buns. Alternately, tuck yourself into a sumptuous dining room nook and savor a four-course set menu. Diners are sure to linger longer and soak up the romantic yet edgy atmosphere while enjoying some of the best dishes and wine lists selected by the stellar team of this new restaurant in the heart of the mother city.
Luke Dale Roberts, the maestro behind Africa’s first restaurant to achieve World’s 50 Best status, The Test Kitchen, has spread his wings with not one but two new restaurants this year. While The Pot Luck Club, perched above an old grain silo in the trendy Woodstock district of Cape Town has long been a favorite, the newest iteration, the aptly named Salon Pot Luck, opens its door on the ground floor of the Biscuit Mill locale.
This exciting new restaurant and cocktail lounge is all about getting together with friends in a simplified yet luxurious setting. The menu features an eclectic mix of dishes inspired by global flavors, presented in smaller appetizer portions designed to be shared. The range of tartettes is sure to be a favorite; while they may remind you of a Parisian cafe, these delicious bites are filled with inspiring savory fillings. The decor is old-world classic with a modern attitude, and it’s already become a must-visit new restaurant in its short few months of being open.
While many of the Luke Dale Roberts restaurants have historically been located in Cape Town, The Test Kitchen Carbon as well as The Pot Luck Club Johannesburg has now opened in Johannesburg, or as it is affectionately known, Jozi.
Both take some inspiration from their sister restaurants based in Cape Town, and the decor and fine dining experience has certainly been duplicated, guests can expect to still find the energy and high-powered conversations that Jozi is famous for happening around the meals-and the famous cocktails.
South Africa’s first Michelin-starred chef has been making waves in the food world for quite some time now. JAN Franschhoek was a very successful seasonal dining opportunity in the heart of the Cape winelands, situated in a secluded lavender field. Critics and locals alike rave about the experience, and the great news is that they will open for another season come September 2023. Be warned, though; bookings are rare, so it’s best to make them as soon as you possibly can. JAN Franschhoek takes guests through a unique dining experience comprising one half-tasting menu and one half customized à la carte dining where guests can choose between the Mountain Menu and River Menu options. The culinary offering, crafted from 100% local ingredients is inspired by regional cuisine.
This feature on our list of new restaurants includes a whole collection of exciting new culinary exploits that will call the famous V&A Waterfront their home from November 2023. Time Out creates each venue to represent the hip culinary and cultural trends of the chosen city, bringing the best of the finest under one roof. Notable adaptations of this concept can be found in New York, Miami, Chicago, and Dubai.
In 14 kitchens and four bars at the V&A version, which debuts in late 2023, you’ll find well-known Cape Town chefs and mixologists doing their magic (names are currently being kept a exciting surprise). It will undoubtedly be a popular site next because it has a stage for live entertainment and lots of exterior and interior seating from where to enjoy the festive atmosphere and breathtaking views.
In September last year, this mysterious newcomer launched, and fine-dining circles are still buzzing about it. Dusk is a brand-new experiential restaurant concept from renowned chef Darren Badenhorst and his protégé Callan Austin, who have been exploring sustainability (both in food and restaurant psychology) and pushing fine-dining boundaries to the limit.
There is only light above the tables and the open kitchen. The restaurant offers a theatrical 13-course tasting menu for dinner only that focuses on seasonality, locally sourced and indigenous ingredients, foraging, and fermentation.
Get in touch with our expert team to include one of these incredible new restaurants and experiences to your next adventure.