With over 80, 000 young professionals working in Sandton, David Higgs and Gary Kyriacou felt that there could be more restaurants and bars to cater for that gap in the market. According to Gary, Saint will be a space for Sandton’s trendy, up-and-coming business crowd and will serve dishes for people on the move – quick to prepare, delicious and good to look at. This is, after all, the winning recipe Higgs and Kyriacou have used to drive footfall to their first collab, Marble.
The menu, designed around the concept of ‘Pazzo Italiano,’ means ‘Mad Italian’. “It’s not an Italian restaurant but there is a definite Italian feel,” says Higgs, who first made a name for himself as the driving force behind the fury and flames that is the Saxon Hotel’s kitchen; not to mention the chef’s stint as co-host of My Kitchen Rules SA on MNET.
Higgs and Kyriacou gained the original inspiration for Saint’s concept during their visit to New York in early 2016 – as part of their planning and research for Marble.
Saint is located in the newly developed MARC Building on the corner of Maude Street and Rivonia Road – the site of the old Village Walk. The area has long been a hub in Sandton and provides a direct corridor from the Gautrain through to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and some of Sandton’s busiest offices and hotels.
At a whopping 1, 000m², the restaurant seats approximately 230 patrons and boasts a large bar and balcony seating area overlooking Rivonia Road – reminiscent of hotel restaurants and bars found in Dubai. The competition will be stiff, as the restaurant is situated in the same centre as some of the top eateries in Sandton, such as the Bull Ring… then again, when in Rome one does not dine on rib-eye but crafted pizza and pasta.
The food is Italian, but twisted. Saint is not your average Italian joint and leans heavily on haute Tuscan cooking instead of the usual pizzeria around the corner. The two massive pizza ovens – hand made, designed and imported from Italy – offer a unique smoky flavour to the pizza bases that can’t be found anywhere else in the country. The twist, as the marketing gimmick goes, Higgs and Kyriacou infused inspiration from Marble and included a wok station and a Grillworks, adding crispy elements to the menu. We will cover the food more in detail once we’ve been for a review.
The theme of Pazzo Italiano (as Saint will become known as) extends from the plates to the interior design. The look and feel of Saint was orchestrated by Irene Kyriacou (Gary’s wife and the leading lady behind Marble’s award-winning interior design). Irene travelled to Paris and attended the MAISON&OBJET PARIS Trade Show in order to gain inspiration for the new venture.
Irene has worked in partnership with Redecco to design the space and elements. Wherever possible, local designers and artisans were commissioned, but some of the pieces were imported. Together with Redecco, Irene intended to create a beautiful space with soft architectural elements.
Saint celebrated its first dinner service on Friday, 10 August 2018. The restaurant is located at shop UR 18 I The MARC Building on Rivonia Road, Sandton.
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