Outside you will find the restaurant’s terrace dining area. The vibe is relaxed and sophisticated – it's the type of place where you can't help but melt into your seat with a big glass of wine. Overlooking the hotel’s beautiful garden, this area is a must-try for a lazy weekend lunch with friends or a day-time celebration. Intimacy is key at Winehouse at Ten Bompas Hotel in Dunkeld West.
The intimate feeling carries into the inside dining area. This space is brought together by elements of architecture, soft design and something that can only be described as feng shui.
Now that we've got the picture-perfect setting painted, let's get on to the real reason why we're all here – the food. Head chef Johannes De Bruijn (of Cube Tasting Kitchen fame) is one of the best fine dining gurus in Johannesburg, if not the country. His taste for perfection and eye for precision are what make Winehouse the posh eatery that it is. The menu is seasonally updated and is constructed through Johannes's imagination and years of experience in nouvelle cuisine.
Our experience was what you would expect from a place often showered with rave reviews from all over the globe. I highly recommend the hors d'oeuvres wine pairing. The wine is carefully selected by the professionally trained sommelier, which adds flair to this already stunning venue. It goes without saying that the proprietors of Ten Bompas, Christoff van Staden and Peter Aucamp, have set a very high standard when it comes to their staff. As a Joburg foodie myself, it's obvious that the staff are beyond professional, courteous and prompt, and you will be treated like royalty.
A four-course dinner will set you back R480, and throwing a wine pairing into the mix will cost an extra R200 (don't even think of skipping this as you'll miss out on a lot if you do). The value-for-money ratio on their spring menu (the one I tried out) leans heavily towards the value side of the deal. The menu consists of a set of hors d'oeuvres brought out in four sets. To get you started, you can choose from summer squash soup, barramundi (a type of seabass which has grown in popularity on America's West Coast dining scene), and cucumber salad to name a few. Second up, you can expect heavier and heartier dishes such as braised beef, torchon of oxtail and tongue, and pork belly (a personal favourite of mine). As beautiful and succulent as their menu is, I'm not going to recite all of it for you here and would much rather urge you two go check out Winehouse at Ten Bompas in Dunkeld West for yourself. Desserts you can choose from include a mango, coconut and lime cheesecake, brie topped with hazelnuts, and an almond chocolate amaretto cream.
It's not the type of place you're going to make a reservation at for a large pizza with the guys or a quick lunch. Just like that vintage E-Type Jag your old man takes on a Sunday drive every three months, Winehouse is the kind of eatery that you visit because you want to savour the finer things in life. Needles to say, don't worry about portion size – it's just enough to leave you satisfied.
Oh, and 10 Bompas does picnics in the garden. I just heard about it in passing and it sounds fantastic. For more on that, check out their website or give them a call.
Details: Website / 011 325 2442 / 10 Bompas Road, Dunkeld West, Johannesburg
By Shawn Greyling
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