#FreshlyPlated Joburg restaurant news – June 2023

more than a year ago

In our monthly #FreshlyPlated restaurant news round-up, we share a glimpse of the latest new cafés, bars and restaurants that Joburg foodies should know about. From delectable brunches and high-end business lunches, to Belgian hot chocolate and waffles in herb gardens. If you missed it, catch up on our May #FreshlyPlated blog here.

Pantry by Gemelli 

Eggs Benedict brunch at Pantry by Gemelli. Photo: Gemelli.

After a two-year hiatus The Pantry by Gemelli reopened in May.  A sister to the popular Bryanston Italian restaurant Gemelli, the space has been renovated so it’s bigger and brighter. The team has brought back all the old favourites from their previous menu, including all-day breakfasts, plus new showstoppers. The buttermilk sweet pantry stack topped with banana, berry compote, and vanilla mascarpone can cure any winter chill. This may be a sophisticated breakfast spot, but its cheeky cocktail list means Pantry by Gemelli is also perfect for boozy brunch. Bring on those mimosas!

Herb Café

Herb Café's Belgian waffle with all the trimmings. Photo: Kate Liquorish.

Herb Land, a wonderland of flora on the outskirts of Midrand, is a unique herb garden and nursery where everyone can experience the world of herbs. Visit the on-site Herb Café for a seriously good selection of all things sweet: Belgian waffles with salted caramel, peanut praline, strawberries and ice-cream (including vegan variations), pancakes with similarly sinful toppings and freshly baked cakes by the dozen. It’s a place where birthday celebrations, bridal and baby showers abound. The kiddies' play area at PlaYard is astonishingly large. In fact, you’ll do well to dedicate the whole morning or afternoon to exploring all this magical place has to offer. 

Oba Café

Midye baklava from Oba Café. Photo: Oba Café.

Have you been to Oba Café in Parkhurst? They have a sensational assortment of homemade Turkish sweets including chocolate, almond, and walnut baklavas, as well as a few speciality items like midye baklava, made with Turkish cream and pistachios, and even a vegan kadayifi.

Indaba Tasting Room

The Tasting Room at Indaba Hotel. Photo: Indaba Hotel.
With the arrival of the Tasting Room at Indaba Hotel in Fourways, Joburgers can enjoy a countryside wine-tasting experience without having to get on a plane. Keeping in the spirit of the Cape Winelands, the Tasting Room is far removed from the highways and car parks that so often define the northern suburbs' experience. The current wine experience (for June and July) features Stellenbosch's terroir-driven Stellenzicht Wines. The Tasting Room at Indaba Hotel is open Wed –Sun from 10:00 until 19:00 and tastings start from R85 p.p.

PreView at Four Seasons The Westcliff 

PreView at the Four Seasons – with its showstopper views over Joburg’s Westcliff treescapes – has been revamped into a decadent, pop-up winter bar, boasting the best boozy Belgian hot chocolate in town along with a sultry maple rum hot toddy and other warming drinks. There is also a mix of tapas-style small plates to make this a lingering affair. Find out more in our Cosy Winter Bars in Joburg round-up.

Culinary Table's new winter menu

Some of the garden-to-table breakfasts on offer at Culinary Table. Photo: Culinary Table.

Our favourite garden-to-table sanctuary, located sho't left from Lanseria Airport, just launched their new winter menu. Chef Daniela Gutstadt has added some gorgeous items to their stellar offering including stone-ground polenta with sautéed spinach and zucchini, roasted mushrooms and a sundried tomato pesto, and a revamp of their classic bacon Benedict (now adorned with hollandaise sauce made using rendered bacon fat in place of butter). Sign us up!

Pantry by Marble continues to please with made-to-order sushi

Salmon and avo never looked so good. Photo: Pantry by Marble.

Pantry by Marble in Rosebank is now serving up made-to-order sushi Tue – Sun; another wonderful add-on to their grab-to-go fancy bites to eat. We’ll take some of that (with one of their delicious donuts to go).

Affordable boujee lunches and fabulous brunches 

Brunch bites from Pot Luck Club. Photo: Pot Luck Club

Joburg’s newest foodie playground in RosebankPot Luck Club, is launching a Sunday brunch, or in their words, "Sunday Brunch done proper". Expect a set menu with bloody Mary oysters, their take on the Arnold Bennett, (named after the author who would order a haddock omelette when perennially staying at The Savoy in London), and a duck, apple and vanilla, puoy lentil cassoulet. They’re pulling out all the stops: you can even add on bottomless cap classique or indulge in a DIY bloody Mary open bar that’s fully stocked. 
Buttermilk hake roti with pickled red onion, chilli, lime mayo and coriander shoots from Shortmarket Club's lunch menu. Photo: Shortmarket Club.

Short and sweet at Shortmarket Club. Same experimental flavours, exquisite ingredients, fine-dining aesthetics and superb service, just a little more compact. Get a two- or three-course business lunch with two glasses of Vergelegen wine or two Stella Artois draughts at just R350, or a two-course with one glass of wine or one draught, priced at R280.

Marble in Keyes Art Mile is also offering a neat business lunch for those wanting to dine and dash in style. Options include grilled duck breast with rice noodles, spicy Thai dressing and a fresh herb salad, and grilled calamari and tempura fried crab claws with lemon and lime mayo and coal salsa. Choose between a two- and three-course menu for R350 and R450 respectively. 

Opening Soon!

Chunky Chau fans will be pleased to hear that the pan-Asian fusion restaurant known for their fanciful bento boxes will be opening a new restaurant in Sandton in September. Watch this space!

Bidding farewell to:

A little shudder collectively went through Joburg with the announcement of the closure of our much- loved, quirky café Toasted. The charming café closed their doors on 17 June. There’s no plans to open a new venue as yet, but if they do we’ll be there in a heartbeat and be sure to let everyone know.

Along with Toasted, Rialheim at Richmond's Rand Steam has also closed its lovely Café Imagination, citing load-shedding and the challenges that come with it. The good news is that Rialheim now has a brand store in Parkhurst – no coffee or cake served – but it means you can still buy their "kwaai but sophisticated" ceramic pieces and new homeware range. 


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