A distant but familiar taste is left in your mouth as you step into Douglas + Hale for the first time. Built in the wake of The National in Parktown North, James Diack's latest offering under his acclaimed Brightside Farm umbrella has become a popular post-work and weekend hangout among the Joburg wining and dining class. This in itself serves as an impressive feat seeing as the eatery has been open barely a month, at the time of writing.
The name pays homage to chef James Diack’s grandfathers – Douglas Diack and Mathew Hale, and the second names of James and his brother Nick.
The Vibe At Douglas + Hale
Laid back, relaxed and fabulous to say the least. With seating on the veranda, indoor tables and big red booths with beautiful high backrests perfect to melt into after a glass or three of good red wine. Patrons can expect candlelit dinners that boast intimacy without trying too hard. That is in itself the reason why James Diack's restaurants do so well. The clientele is made up of the Parkhurst diners, wine lovers and local businessmen and women.
The Food At Douglas + Hale
For the food, James is keeping it simple and he’s retaining some of The National’s favourite dishes. “It’s a small, simple menu that'll keep you interested through the evening,” he explains. The relaxed atmosphere is set to become a location-must for after-work cocktails, pre-dinner drinks or a night cap before you head home (in an Uber – no drunk driving allowed).
The Wine At Douglas + Hale
Douglas + Hale serves an incredible range of fine wines by the bottle and by the glass all in Riedel glassware. There’s also some absurdly good cocktails made by the in-house mixologist.
Brightside Farm in the Magaliesburg is the Diack’s family farm and where James grew up. His mother, Janet, is passionate about farming and supplying the restaurants – what they can’t grow themselves, they source from suppliers who share their passion for provenance. The gardens are as beautiful as they are functional. Flowers abound, and they are all edible. Apart from the large main gardens, there are smaller gardens, situated to provide the right conditions for some of the speciality plants. All the gardens feature benches, stone paths, ponds or sculptures with rambling plants like peas, beans and tomatoes climbing up woven willow structures. The farm supplies James’ four restaurants with almost 95% of their ingredients – pork, chicken, herbs, vegetables, fruit – and even some of the cheese. The farm also supplies Diack’s now legendary acorn-fed wild boar, lamb, duck and the occasional pigeon or guinea fowl.
Details: Corner 7th & 4th Avenues, Parktown North | 010 900 3894 | [email protected]
Hours: Mon-Sat 11:00 till late (kitchen closes at 22:00)