When it comes to restaurants and bars, Rosebank is one of Johannesburg’s top destinations. From takeaway coffees to fine dining and evening entertainment, the suburb crams a huge offering into its relatively small radius.
One of the trendiest Rosebank spots is Marble, located in the Rosebank Art Mile, where the art extends to the walls and the plates.
Businessman Gary Kyriacou had the initial concept for Marble before meeting David Higgs, formerly of The Saxon’s Five Hundred restaurant and now the head chef at Marble. In a turn of fate, Higgs had been shown the location for the restaurant some months prior, and after confirming with Kyriacou he wanted to be a part of Marble, he took him to see the proposed site – Trumpet on Keyes in Rosebank’s Keyes Art Mile. A week later the lease was signed.
Marble focuses on cooking meat over fire – a quintessentially South African practice common to all of the country’s various people groups.
Marble focuses on cooking meat over fire – a quintessentially South African practice common to all of the country’s people groups. Marble elevates open-flame cooking to the fine dining environment, using this method to serve a full range of dishes, including breads, seafood and poultry, as well its renowned meats.
Still on the fine dining trail, the restaurant at the Clico Boutique Hotel has been around since 2015, but in a few short years has become an institution on the Rosebank foodie scene. It offers a six-course seasonal tasting menu, and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – and not just to residents of the hotel.
Rosebank restaurateurs are definitely working to build the food and wine culture.
Rosebank also ranks highly for grabbing a superb cup of coffee. For international flavours, there’s a vibey Starbucks outlet, whereas if you want work while surrounded by coffee-shop buzz and enjoying a quality cup of joe, Motherland is the place to be. There’s also Brik Café, located in the Rosebank Fire Station development, which serves Flynn Coffee, as well as healthy and locally sourced foods.
Asian aficionados will enjoy Momo Kuro, part of the Momo family of restaurants, offering tasty modern Asian delights. Carnivores are in for a treat at The Grillhouse, which has a reputation as Johannesburg’s premium steakhouse. If you want steak and some entertainment, Katzy’s (adjacent to The Grillhouse) is a good bet. This cigar lounge cum music venue has live bands playing five nights a week.
There really is something available for everyone – no matter your preferred flavour profile.
Rosebank is also home to several night clubs. Hush and Kong are staples on the party scene, while Mix Cocktail Club at Mesh blurs the lines between work and play by offering a meeting place that’s a co-working spot during the day and a perfect place to catch up over a drink with colleagues after-hours.
For more wining than dining
Paula Mackenzie, on consumption manager for Vinimark – The Wine Company, says that there has also a been a massive surge in the number of wine drinking spots in Rosebank over the past few years. Restaurants like Pizza e Vino, Doppio Zero and Mythos have moved into the area fairly recently, and all boast good wine offerings, while long-time favourites like The Fishmonger and the Winston Hotel arguably helped lay the foundations for Rosebank’s foodie culture.
“People come to Rosebank from Soweto and the West Rand in the evenings to enjoy the foodie scene because it’s not as far as Sandton and things also tend to happen later at night,” she says. “It’s definitely convenient and hip and happening, and the restaurateurs are definitely working to build the food and wine culture. The Hyatt, for example, runs a food, wine and jazz experience a few times a year, which is very well supported. Doppio and Pizza e Vino have recently held wine tasting events too. Later in the evenings, News Café has become a great place to drink bubbly. The Rosebank Mall has also moved from a very family-based destination to more of an entertainment space.”
Mackenzie says that several restaurants have also begun to offer a large selection of wine by the glass, giving people the option of choice without having to order an entire bottle. She says there are a number of good spots to enjoy wine in Rosebank, each with a different attraction, from Doppio’s value offering to The Winston Hotel’s beautiful garden and The Fishmonger’s tapas menu. There’s also Publik. Wine Bar, which caters to the geekier wine crowd. “They tend to serve natural wines – unfiltered, strange coloured and a bit funky,” she says. “And they serve everything by the glass. You definitely see people drinking a few different glasses, rather than a bottle. Level Four Restaurant at 54 on Bath hotel has Miguel Chan as a sommelier and he definitely puts the focus on wine and service. Great Domaines does Friday afternoon tastings and has definitely created a culture of international and high-end South African wines.”