It is a known fact that Jo’burg is the African hub of lunch dates and subsequent social media posts – location is everything, Dahling! And with the sun back out to play, the hashtag #LunchWithTheFaves is about to turn into another whirlwind of pain inducing FOMO (fear of missing out) for those who aren’t in the know.
While social media should have very little to do with your lunching decisions, we cannot deny that it has become the number one directory for the very latest in lifestyle trends, including food. I have even been sent an Instagram screenshot as a reference to “let’s do lunch”, and was more than happy to oblige.
With every Spring cycle, it seems, comes a new wave of popular eateries which are not only famous for their intricate menus, but for the memorable social gatherings their ambience helps create.
Here are five must visits for this season
The Bigmouth – Nelson Mandela Square
Established in 2015, this restaurant is famous for its refreshing take on global cuisine. From sushi to hamburgers, grills, and even Ox Tail, there is something mouth-watering on the menu to satisfy every appetite. The menu is a lunch date’s dream and is perfect for group settings which involve a lot of sharing. The trendy marble tables and background make for a gorgeous atmosphere and will have those IG pictures looking extra polished.
PAUL – Melrose Arch
If you’ve ever imagined yourself on a tour of Paris, delighting in the most delectable pastries and delicacies you can find, then this quaint patisserie is for you. PAUL originated in France and is famous for its signature branding which can be spotted on nearly everything in their bakeries. The PAUL brand finally decided to grace South Africa with its tasty presence this year and has been adding chic French exquisiteness to brunch and lunch dates since. The patisserie serves the very best in French cuisine, including breads, macaroons, and duck confits.
The BBQ Workshop – Rivonia
The eatery’s tagline, “Wood Fired – Souvlaki – Gelato”, sums up exactly what you can expect from their contemporary, BBQ infused Greek menu. Exuding a casual ambience from the onset, you will be enticed by the appetising gelato display at the entrance, so much so that you may be tempted to enjoy your dessert vaflaki (mini waffles) before your chosen main course. The signature dishes on offer include Souvlakia (Greek meat skewers), sticky BBQ ribs and an accompaniment of warm pita bread.
The Green Peppercorn – Morningside
This Asian inspired bistro boasts a unique “Afro- Asian Fusion” experience. All of their dishes are prepared with a signature Asian feel and personal touch which become evident the moment your food arrives at your table. The atmosphere emanates a casual sophistication and is great for a group setting of virtually any size. Their extensive menu changes frequently and can be tailored to a set menu for those special occasions. You can expect to indulge in the likes of wok fried chicken, pork belly and lamb burgers amongst other Asian flavour based delicacies on your visit.
al Fiume – Fourways
This is easily my favourite pick of the five, and may just be my favourite restaurant of all time. Situated on the tranquil Hennops riverside near Fourways, this Italian restaurant is flawless in every aspect. Their seasonal menu means you will be served the very best in quality cuisine, tailored to suit your palate and mood. Think chilled leek soup in Summer and warm smoked duck salad in Winter. If your Spring and Summer lunch plans include a celebration with the need to impress, look no further! Between al Fiume’s à la carte menu, outstanding wine cellar and dainty decor options, your event will be nothing short of unforgettable.
(image credits: al Fiume, Eat Out, The Green Peppercorn, The Bigmouth)