Dinner with a twist at the 54 on Bath Chef’s Table

12 Jun 2024
Avid diners may be well acquainted with front of house matters: the chatter of the guests around you, faint music spilling across the restaurant floor, wine glasses occasionally clinking, and the dining etiquette they’ve trained themselves in carefully. It seems strange that so much of what happens here is created in a place entirely unfamiliar to many a diner – in the kitchen. Until now.

As of this month (June 2024), guests of Level 4 Restaurant at 54 on Bath in Rosebank can book an intimate Chef’s Table experience, previously only accessible via Restaurant Week. Level 4 is a favourite destination for High Tea in Joburgand this is another experience worth a visit. 

The experience starts with being greeted by a pianist playing live music in the lobby, taking the lift to the fourth floor, making your way through the elegant dining room of Level 4, and being whisked into the kitchen where an altogether different tempo and atmosphere has taken hold.
The Chef's Table set up at Level 4 Restaurant, 54 on Bath. Photo: Supplied.

Our taste of what's on offer was presented in the restaurant, but we were shown the set-up as it would await diners who book the experience. The table is mere steps from the kitchen serving pass and every night makes for an intimate, exclusive event where a maximum of four diners are offered this front-row seat to the culinary expertise playing out in the kitchen before them.

Curated by Executive Chef Donaldson Madubela, the Chef’s Table menu takes diners on a journey through nine courses that are beautifully presented and well-thought-out.

The night kicks off with herbed focaccia or mini-rolls and butter before launching into the amuse-bouche of beetroot cannelloni, hummus, and orange peels. The latter is a delicate yet rich bite of flavour that pairs excellently with a glass of L’Omarins Vintage Brut Rosé 2018.
Amuse-bouche of beetroot cannelloni, hummus, and orange peels. Photo: Supplied.

The rest of the menu is a succession of small plates presented with finesse and eaten with delight. There is quail and compressed watermelon finished with a lemongrass broth. The quirky presentation of the seafood and corn chowder demands a bit of uncanny plating: the chowder is presented in a fish tin to be poured into the plate. It sets the scene for a bowl of some of the most satisfying food you’ll be offered this winter: prawns, mussels, scallops, and bacon bits mingle with sweet corn in a creamy soup. The glass of accompanying De Grendel Chardonnay sealed the deal.

The homemade, grilled paneer would’ve been lost between the plates of enjoyable food were it not for the vibrant Thai curry sauce served with Asian greens. The selection of the sweet notes of a Cederberg Bukettraube made an unusual but clever wine pairing.
A nine-course menu awaits at the Level 4 Chef's Table. Photo: Johannesburg In Your Pocket.

Then arrived the palate cleanser, a plum and thyme sorbet served on a block of ice that almost looked like a retro plating of jelly. Next, American-style BBQ butternut served with a spinach and bean parcel; silverfish pan seared to perfection; and slow-cooked beef cheek with caramelised potato mash, crispy kale, and shallots. Tying everything together was a delicious plate of 'lime-o-lade': caramelised pineapple, coconut mousse, macadamia crumb, and lime sorbet coming together to evoke a drinkable piña colada .
The seafood and corn chowder. Photo: Supplied.

Madubela’s passion for local flavours shines through in this menu which can perhaps be described as a fusion of Mediterranean and South African cuisine. It’s certainly one that draws from his international experience and his commitment to placing South African ingredients at the centre of the dish.

If you’re looking for something different – off the proverbial beaten path – or hope to take someone out for a memorable meal, this should do the trick. If you don’t mind the kitchen hustle in the background, it makes for a dinner delivered with flair down to the last course.

Chef’s Table dinners are available every evening at 18:30 for a maximum of four diners. Dinners cost R1,250 p.p. (to be paid in advance) and an additional R750 for the wine pairing. For reservations and enquiries, contact 54 on Bath at +27 11 344 8500.

If you’re someone who enjoys a glass of wine with their food, we highly recommend this addition to your meal. The wine selection is excellent and the pairings refreshing.

Related Events

Jun 10 - Dec 31 2024
54 on Bath Chef's Table


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