My top 5 restaurant experiences of 2019

by Karisa

Firstly, I want to take this opportunity to say an early Happy New Year! I know 2019 was a tough year for many (particularly as a South African). For me there were definitely some downs, but looking back at all the good things, the delicious things, the beautiful things I got to experience this year, I exit the year feeling positive and excited to see what 2020 has in store.

Now back to this post… In December 2017 I decided to do my first “top 5” post. It did quite well and therefore I did another one in December 2018. That one did quite well too and that’s how we got here, December 2019, with another one.

If you missed the 2017 & 2018 posts and are interested to see what restaurants had made the cut, you can still check those posts out over here:

I usually kick off with a few special mentions (i.e. a couple of dishes I still find myself thinking about)

  • The Confit Duck & Battered Spinach Chaat at Bombay Brasserie (from their small plates selection) – I declared that I would marry this dish, and I still stand by that…
  • The Pani Puri Ceviche from The Commissary – This dish even managed to make a non fish-eater smile. That’s some impressive stuff.
  • And then not quite a dish… but this sauce deserves an extra special mention for sure. The Mushroom & Truffle Cream sauce at Kong – Pair this sauce with their 200g Fillet and you won’t be sorry, that’s for sure.

Now onto the official top 5…

A few interior shots as a little teaser…

In position number 5: It’s a tie! Grub & Vine and Bistro Sixteen82

Both such lovely restaurants with a delicious food offering, great atmosphere & attentive service that I just couldn’t choose between them. So unfortunately, or fortunately, a tie it is.

Grub & Vine recently underwent a bit of a makeover, so actually very keen to pay them another visit. Their menu has also changed a couple of times since my visit, which of course keeps things interesting.

Bistro Sixteen82 is situated on the gorgeous Steenberg Farm in Tokai, so as far as prettiness goes, you really can’t do any better. Their specials board is one to watch & a wine tasting (to select your favourite wine to pair with your meal) is highly recommended.

You can read my full Grub & Vine review here and my Bistro Sixteen82 review over here.

In position number 4: Janse & Co

Super chic is the best way I can describe Janse & Co. From their edgy, cool space to their carefully curated Dinner Tasting Menu, with options of 3 – 7 courses (depending on how hungry or adventurous you are), this place just oozes elegance. Since my visit I’ve recommended Janse & Co on several occasions as a great special occasion dinner option & will continue to do so. Haven’t yet tried out their a la carte lunch menu, but very keen to.

Read can read my full Janse & Co review here.

In position number 3: The Melting Pot

I tried out The Melting Pot toward the beginning of the year when they were only a pop-up at Marrow in Loop Street, but instantly fell in love. In October they finally opened up a permanent space above Honest Chocolate & The Gin Bar in Wale Street & they have been going from strength to strength ever since. I tried to check them out twice during December without luck – you see they don’t take reservations, so you have to get there early as they start a waiting list at a certain point in the evening. Their continued popularity shows that these guys have a winning formula, and that’s exactly why I will keep on trying!

You can read my full Melting Pot review here.

In position number 2: Foxcroft

My 2017 number 1 restaurant is still going strong & that makes my heart very happy. Not a lot of restaurants are able to consistently perform at a top level, year after year, but these guys have proven that they’re here to stay. I paid them a visit in November to try their Spring Lunch Menu and it was pure happiness with every bite. I prefer them as a lunch destination, purely because it’s so nice to sit under the trees on a sunny day, but lunch or dinner, you will always be blown away by the attention to detail that goes into every dish.

You can read my full Foxcroft review here.

In position number 1: Fyn

Peter Tempelhoff’s inner city, fine dining establishment is a foodie experience like no other. Japanese inspiration perfectly paired with proudly South African ingredients, turning the food here into creativity at its best. You’ll actually find yourself staring at each dish before going in for your first bite, just so you can take in all the intricate details. As for the space? Verrrry sexy, perfect for an occasion where you really want to impress (or simply just spoil yourself – why not!). The service is impeccable, the wine pairing is fantastic – this really is an experience worth saving up for.

You can read my full Fyn review here.

Top row from left to right: West Coast Mussels & Sundried Tomato & Goats Cheese Tortellini (Bistro Sixteen82), Persimmon / Vanilla / Beurre Noisette Dessert (Janse & Co), Yellowfin Tuna & Carrot Hummus (Foxcroft).
Bottom row from left to right: Chokka ‘Tsukemen Ramen’ (Fyn), Fried Chicken Bao (The Melting Pot), Karoo Lamb Rump (Grub & Vine).

** Interior image collage featured higher up in this post: Top row from left to right: Fyn, Bistro Sixteen82 & Foxcroft. Bottom row from left to right: Grub & Vine, The Melting Pot (from when they still had their pop-up space) & Janse & Co. **

Right, so that’s a wrap for 2019 guys & girls! Hope you enjoyed this little dining recap & here’s to lots more deliciousness in 2020. 🙂


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