foodie destinations

The Big Mouth, Johannesburg is situated in the heart of Nelson Mandela Square – This joint is on everyone’s radar at the moment, so I thought to pay them a visit and see what all the hype was about. The menu pulls out all the stops with well size portions. Not only do they serve sushi, but they have a variety of other options to choose from. The staff is well trained and friendly, the managers are generous with offer their advice as for what to order. The dish that won my taste buds was the Tempura Prawn Reloaded which was loaded with flavours and had their secret mayo sauce on and it was to die for. Follow on Instagram

Le Creatifs, in Hobart Grove Centre, Bryanston, Johannesburg – A young group of chefs led by Chef Wandile Mabaso, trained in France. The most outstanding part of the experience here was the visual art in the way the food is plated, they have their bespoke tableware with faces, and some have fingers on them. The food is set around the art on the plate creating a continuation of the art.  We had the starters, the grilled calamari and the yellow tail, yes, they serve two starters. The main was lamb with parsnip puree, pickled pineapple, wild mushroom, baby choy and citrus lamb jus.  The dessert was a sago and coconut pudding with lemon gelato and chocolate mousse. When you look at the portions you think ‘’this looks good but it’s so small’’, Chef Wandile has created his dishes in such a way that you get full on that last scoop of your dessert. Each meal is accompanied by wine selected by an in-house sommelier. Check them out, it is small restaurant but with beautiful intimate decor and lovely music. Follow on Instagram

La Lampara Italian Restaurant, Lidgetton, KwaZulu Natal – La Lampara Italian Restaurant is located in Midlands on a lovely farm owned by the Canderle family. Serving a traditional Italian cuisine, they have delicious pizzas from the wood fired oven, to their perfectly sauced pasta and an amazing selection of meat and fish dishes.

The menu changes weekly to utilise the freshest ingredients sourced in the Midlands, which is one the best things about this place. Another aspect I love is the fact that the owners have always managed the business, and their 3 children have at some point featured keeping it in the family. If you’re looking for delicious food made with love, beautiful wine and great weather, La Lampara is worth the detour. Follow on Facebook

45 on Eat Street, Balito – When in Balito, 45 on Eat Street is a must stop! They cater for lunch and dinner with a wide variety to choose from. Vegetarian and Vegan options are catered for, and of course meat lovers too. I don’t generally opt for ribs when out, but I just couldn’t help but dive in as they were so succulent with amazing basting.  The atmosphere is incredible, they have beautiful live music, but you can still hear each other when conversing. The staff pay attention to detail, never leaving you waiting any longer than you should for anything at all. If you have children, they have playgrounds where they go absolutely wild and entertain themselves and never want to leave. Fantastic service, great food, environment to die for. Follow them on Instagram

Vela Contemporary Portuguese, Hartebeespoort – This beautiful Portuguese headed by Chef Milan is the go-to place for all seafood lovers. I’ve been there twice, and I am ready to go back. The first time was a lazy weekend in Hartes, and we did a detour and ended up at Vela. Firstly, it was packed, and we thought it was because it’s the only restaurant in the area. We opted for oysters with peppers and the “catch of the day” fish. It was a large fish enough to share and have leftovers. We decided to take all the food to go. On arrival, we started with the oysters and sat down for the main meal, man it was such a beautiful and delicious fish. Well prepared, tender with a lot of butter sauce and well cooked. The veggies were perfectly al dente with Portuguese chips. Second visit included a similar option and again we were thoroughly impressed with mussels and a Portuguese bun for starters. Chef Milan promised a larger fish on our next visit. Follow on Facebook