6 Restaurants To Blow Your Mind This Valentine’s Day

In Jo'burg or Cape Town? Choose one of these incredible dining options this Valentine's Day.


Nadim Nyker & Megan Flemmit |

February is the most romantic month of the year, and it’s your excuse to get out. So up your game and impress the partner in your life, you both deserve a lot more than ‘Netflix and chill’. And with Valentine’s Day abound, we’ve got you covered.

We’ve been eating (a lot) over the last few months, and have put together a list of SA dining experiences to remember. These restaurants will bless you, your rand, and your appetite. Try them – you can thank us later.

Bombay Brasserie

 

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Bombay Brasserie is on top of our list for a reason: it’s one of the best Indian dining experiences you’ll find. They serve a combination of dishes, from south India’s pungent flavours, to sweeter north Indian dishes, bringing you the ultimate Indian eating experience.

Their food portions and quality are worth the price tag. They’re also fashioned on the iconic Bombay Brasserie based in London, making this restaurant a unique, cosmopolitan experience for your Valentine.

What we love: Bombay Brasserie does wine pairing with Indian food, and it works brilliantly. Who knew? Try it with their chef’s menu, check it out here.

Our favourite: Their popcorn and goats cheese chaat had us mind-blown, try it.

Gate Restaurant at Quoin Rock

 

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Think bourgeois club in Sandton but on a wine estate in Stellenbosch. Quoin Rock is opulent and ostentatious and the most innovative wine estate we’ve been to yet. Their wine is matured for longer, giving it a more robust taste and they are all for a luxurious fine dining experience – just look at the architecture. The venue is eye-catching and one your date will be talking about for time to come.

Find their menu here.

What we love: Their chef, Rikku O’Donnchü, boasts a ton of world class experience – he starred in BBC’s hit series, MasterChef: The Professionals, where one of his dishes were described as ‘borderline genius’. He’s also worked at the three Michelin starred The French Laundry in London with Masterchef Thoms Keller.

 

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Our favourite: Their caviar macaron, smoked potato mousse, vodka jelly, with a gold and silver leaf boasts a blast of flavour. It’s called From Russia With Love on the menu.

Charango Barbacoa

 

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Make the most of your Valentine’s Day with this South-American grill house. Charango’s mouth-watering menu features a wide selection of meat cuts. Pair a steak with smoked salt and garlic aïoli, sweet potato fries, chargrilled corn with chipotle butter. Prefer white meat over red? Choose one of their fish dishes which includes ceviche, tuna tataki, and flame grilled prawns.

The vintage South American inspired décor will have you feeling like you’re in a movie scene. Opt for the side walk seating option and take in the city’s views as you consume your food. Satiate your thirst with a drink from their comprehensive menu – from summer cocktails to quality local wines and a range of craft beers.

What we love: Their selection of butters and sauces. Their butters which include espresso, chipotle, bone marrow and chilli and garlic compliment their steak incredibly well.

Our favourite: Tacos with their signature meat.

DW Eleven 13

 

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DW Eleven 13 is one of Johannesburg’s hidden gems. Based behind a shopping centre, its stunning fine dining experience is unassuming from the parking lot outside. This is the place to go if you’d like to surprise your partner with an unforgettable dining experience. Thinking of a double (or even triple) date? The venue is a fantastic option for group dining.

What we love: Its service is second to none, your glass of water or wine will not go half-full.

Our favourite: Their four course menu is a must, and we’re suckers for the Linefish option.

Carnelian at The Rock

 

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It’s time to dress up, and the elegant Carnelian, based in Sandton’s Design Quarter, is one of the best places to do so. Carnelian is an extension of the already impressive The Rock restaurant, and offers a variety of themed dining rooms for a fine dining wine, cocktail and tapas experience.

What we love: Each room is uniquely designed, providing an exclusive dining experience per room. Our pick? The Living Garden Room (see below).

 

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Our favourite: Their lamb chops with mango atchar and yoghurt labneh. This lip-smacking dish is divine and well portioned, too.

Firefish

 

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Location is everything, and when it comes to Cape Town’s popular V&A Waterfront, Firefish is on one of the best spots on the wharf. Overlooking the picturesque docking area, the restaurant is flooded with natural light and glass walls. Pro tip: get there before sunset and dine into the evening – the view is a great way to set the tone for the rest of the evening and relax.

What we love: Firefish boasts a tantalising drinks menu. They’re also part of the Kove Collection’s group of restaurants, which offer a variety of superb wines.

Our favourite: Their grilled baby kingklip. Find their menu here. 

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