Amadeus Mozart. Stevie Wonder. Judit Polgár. Child prodigies have the ability to impact the world around them in a big way. Chefs Lisa De Beer and Darren O’Donovan are just that. Their combined resumes are proof of just that: extroardinary talent at a young age is quite possible. Their time spent at Cube Tasting Kitchen, Aurum and Est Est Alea just adds to their abilities in the kitchen. To make matters even more interesting, is that Mitchel Du Plessis of Est Est Alea has been thrown into the mix as chef de cuisine.
Above and beyond the fact that the team is quite young and promising, Embarc Restaurant was planned and set up during the most troubling of time: the rise of the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa. What worked in the restaurant's favour was that rental prices in Parkhurst, where the restaurant is situated, dropped drastically. Another bittersweet thing that worked in their favour was being able to purchase kitchen equipment from other restaurants that unfortunately had to shut down.
“We could pick up a lot of kitchen equipment at great prices, but it’s been a massive concern looking at where people sit financially … we’ve taken a risk and believe that because it’s a small restaurant and we have a loyal following that people will come out to support, and we’ve been fortunate in that we’ve been full since we opened.”
The menu boasts the chefs' histories, bringing out their individual flare into a single combined offering. Each dish is a work of art. In Lisa’s words: “It’s contemporary dining – high-end but unpretentious.” What makes the menu unique is that diners can have each main entree as a starter portion at half price, allowing them to create their own five- or seven-course tasting menu.
There are no wrong choices when it comes to Embarc Restaurant's menu. Standouts include prawns wrapped in pastry and deep-fried, served with aerated creamed tom yum with a lime, mirin and soya gel and orange and pickled ginger mayonnaise. Another top choice is the beer and beef: carpaccio of beer-cured sirloin, cold-smoked, seared and shaved and served with a beer reduction dressing, a sprinkling of popped sorghum (the root of umqombothi) for crunch and a sprinkle of parmigiano reggiano and yeasted mayonnaise.
From the main menu, the parmesan and onion risotto: caramelised onions are folded through the risotto along with an onion stock and served with crunchy onions, onion seeds, onion cream, pine nuts, parmesan and truffle shavings.
Embarc Restaurant opened its doors on 18 November 2020 and can seat 30+ guests, making it an incredibly intimate dining experience. This is exactly what the team is going for: to build a band of loyal and regular visitors. You should become part of that following.
Address: 34 4th Ave, Parkhurst, Randburg, 2193, South Africa
Contact No: 081 848 6480
- Monday: CLOSED
- Tuesday: CLOSED
- Wednesday: 11:30 - 22:00
- Thursday: 11:30 - 22:00
- Friday: 11:30 - 23:00
- Saturday: 11:30 - 23:00
- Sunday: 11:30 - 23:00