David Higgs’ live-fire restaurant has become an icon of Joburg’s dining scene since it opened its doors four years ago. Inspired by the age-old tradition of people gathering around a fire, cooking and sharing stories, Marble combines the timeworn cooking technique with modern design, top-notch service and a superb wine list to create a dining experience like no other. For starters, go for their legendary oysters with Thai water dressing; citrus granita and a hint of mint or the spectacular octopus paired with potato, halloumi and sun-dried tomato. Mains may call for one of their signature beef cuts, choose between the locally reared Migos Jersey beef or perhaps the US import, RR Ranch ribeye on the bone. Last but not least, end off with something sweet whether it be the decadent ice cream sandwiches or a slice of chocolate tart. The bar area is equally special, and the balcony with sprawling views of Joburg is the perfect place to raise a glass with friends while enjoying the sunset.
At the heart of Sandton, within the tallest building in Africa is where you’ll find Aurum serving up some seriously stellar food in an equally impressive setting. Situated on the seventh floor of The Leonardo, the restaurant is a visual delight, and taking inspiration from its name – Aurum is Latin for gold – features bold, golden elements throughout the contemporary space. Their new summer menu is an elegantly refined and restrained take on modern-European cuisine with a slight Asian twist woven throughout it. Highlights include the west coast mussels with a spicy pork and tomato broth, the beef fillet with tarragon mustard butter and their glitzy Aurum Magnum – a cheeky twist on the ice cream with a caramel mousse centre and golden coating. Those looking for a more casual setting should head to Octo-bar, the adjoining eatery, where you can sit poolside and enjoy a selection of pizzas, flatbreads and a superb drinks selection.
The new kid on the fine-dining block, Séjour, sees Freddie Dias - previously head chef at Cape Town’s The Potluck Club – bringing his contemporary take on global cuisine to the lavish Houghton Hotel. The minimal space is designed to showcase the views over the development’s pristine grounds and golf course while offering guests an elegant and refined setting in which to escape the buzz of the city while indulging in Dias’s fine fare. The menu is concise but incredibly well considered, drawing inspiration from the world over, and diners can expect a journey of flavours. It’s suggested to order a selection of their starters to share – we went for the asparagus chawanmushi (a Japanese custard), crispy calamari and soft shell crab tostado – which all impressed with their depth of flavour and interesting use of texture. For the mains, the ten-a-day risotto is not to be missed, nor is the lamb al pastor, which is cooked to perfection and served to be scooped up and enjoyed within mini-tacos. Dessert sees Dias and his pastry chef push boundaries with an array of unusual flavour combinations including dark chocolate and smoked popcorn, and strawberry paired with olive.