13 Dec 2023
Joy Jozi took Joburg by storm when they opened in April, 2023, offering a kids' oasis of indoor and outdoor play with child-minders to watch over your little ones, allowing parents to sit back, relax and enjoy a menu curated by Chef Luke Dale Roberts along with swanky cocktails. Needless to say, Joburg rejoiced!

So naturally, as soon as the property next door became available, the same team jumped at the opportunity and started work on their second concept: an oasis of play for parents, or as they like to put it, an "all-day social club", called Livy’s.
The entrance to Livy's restaurant and social club. Photo: Kate Liquorish.

The space is divided into two parts: Padel courts on one side and, just opposite, a sexy, art-inspired restaurant space. The idea is that people can play Padel and enjoy a drink or a meal afterwards, whilst others can come for a delectable bite and soak up the social scene.

And the bites are seriously good. Chef Tyrone Gentry, whose experience includes JAN in Nice, France, and The Test Kitchen, and who is currently at the helm of The Shortmarket Club, has brought his fine-dining flare to this bistro menu. The sauces reign supreme; honestly, pick any item on the menu with a sauce and you will not be disappointed.
Saucy numbers to start at Livy's. Photo: Kate Liquorish. 

We started with the mozzarella and feta arancini in a thick and creamy tomato sauce, and the peri- peri chicken livers in a rich peri-peri cream. You guessed it, utterly divine! Chef Gentry’s sauces are heavy with cream and butter, real tomatoes and stock. They’re the real deal, bread-dippingly good, and we don’t often dip our bread.
Crispy skinned fillet of salmon made even more scrumptious by Café de Paris sauce.
Photo: Kate Liquorish.

For mains we ordered from the grill, their signature Chalmar beef fillet and the Norwegian salmon, both with Café de Paris sauce and baked potatoes as recommended by the chef, along with the blue cheese and avocado salad. The sauce once again triumphed with both dishes, buttery and herbaceous with a good thwack of warming paprika; you could probably serve a brick with it and people would still think it was delicious. The fillet was buttery-soft and the salmon positively perfect. The only disappointment was the baked potatoes with crème fraîche, which were rather dense and lacking in love, we’d opt for French fries or the broccolini with green beans and parmesan next time.

The salad was everything a good salad should be: shy on lettuce, generous on everything else, and served with a killer dressing. The combination of toasted walnuts, gorgonzola and ample helpings of bacon and avo make this a perfect salad for all the banters out there, or those who’d prefer a burger but are watching their carbs.

Cocktails are the name of the game when it comes to drinks. On the cards are a good number of signatures, most of which are rum-forward. Their island-style 'Bonne Vie' with rum, lime, bitters and pineapple juice is sweet, sour and a little spicy, as is the profile of the majority on the list. Aperol Spritz, negroni, whisky sours and the like all feature on the classics along with a heavenly-sounding mezcal paloma that we'll have to go back for. 

The wine menu offers a good selection of entry-level and higher-end bottles, all at fair mark-ups, which is pleasing considering the stylish location. However, they only offer three options by the glass which they should reconsider. There’s a good variety of tequilas, rums, brandies and whiskeys as well as beers and ciders. Service is friendly and casual, the waiters certainly aim to please.
Livy's interior is as pretty as a picture. Photo: Livy's.

There’s so much good to be said about Livy’s, but we think there's a disconnect between the restaurant and padel areas. Livy’s is utterly gorgeous, the pink and white herringbone marble floor is sensational, the salmon pink interior adorned in fashionable prints is exquisite, and it’s feminine and pretty; everything you’d want from a bistro. The padel courts, however, bring an overbearing masculinity to the space with black Discovery banners garishly framing the courts, flood lights Illuminating the whole of the outside, and house music that blasts over the speaker system, which is located inside the restaurant. They need to look at this as no one wants to eat a R300 piece of salmon and sip on a bottle of Babylonstoren Chardonnay listening to groans from the padel courts or David Guetta cranked up to the max. Or do they?

We’d suggest either getting rid of the loud music or toning down the menu offering to be more of a reflection of the laid-back sports scene. The small plates, salads and sandwiches (when they say 'sandwiches' they mean unbelievable pregos, fillet steak rolls and gourmet burgers) would more than suffice, with the most expensive item being R165. A tweak here and there and they'll be on to a winning formula. 


Connect via social media
google sign in button
Leave a comment using your email This e-mail address is not valid
Please enter your name*

Please share your location

Enter your message*
Put our app in your pocket
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here. AGREE