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Restaurants in Johannesburg

There is a wide choice of restaurants in Johannesburg to choose from. By law, VAT, which currently stands at 14%, is already included in restaurant bills. Most restaurants do not charge a service fee and 'waitrons' (local term which incorporates waiters and waitresses) expect to be tipped 10 to 15%; however, tables of over six or eight are often charged an automatic 15% service charge..

The restaurants have been divided into three different pricing categories:
Expensive (over R200)
Moderate (R100 to R200)
Cheap (up to R100)
These prices are for a three-course meal and for a bottle of house wine or equivalent, including VAT but excluding service charge.

Expensive

Bistro 277 on Main

Cuisine:

Marc Guebert's Bistro 277 on Main is by far your best bet for French cuisine in Johannesburg. Its sought-after specialities include Toulouse cassoulet (duck, lamb, sausage and bean casserole), tripe in Calvados, snails, baked camembert and cider and duck and cherry pie. It is expensive but for true Francophiles, it is money well spent. Remember to round off with the signature dessert: a Grand Marnier soufflé.

Address: 277 Main Road, Cramerview Centre, Bryanston,
Telephone: (011) 706 2837
Website: http://www.bistro277onmain.co.za

Browns of Rivonia

Cuisine:

Occupying a charming old farmhouse in the relatively rural suburb of Rivonia, Browns offers elegant dining, a large patio, a cosy fireplace, a 40,000-bottle cellar and a fromagerie (cheese room) where diners can go to choose their own platter. Recommended are the fresh oysters, the calamari, the roast glazed duck, Eric's prawns, and the ever popular lamb shanks.

Address: Rivonia, 21 Wessels Road, Sandton,
Telephone: (011) 803 7533
Website: http://www.browns.co.za

Carnivore

Cuisine:

With a dozen types of meat, from chicken legs and lamb with mint sauce to crocodile, eland and zebra, Carnivore, the local version of its Nairobi namesake, aims to sate the appetite of the most ravenous of customers. Waitrons carve meat off converted Masai spears, while patrons sit round a huge, open central fire and scoff to their hearts' content.

Address: Muldersdrift, 69 Drift Boulevard, Johannesburg,
Telephone: (011) 957 2099
Website: http://www.rali.co.za

La Belle Terrasse and Loggia

Cuisine:

This elegant and unabashedly colonial terrace has one of the city's most beautiful and surprisingly pastoral views. The Sunday brunch offers a cold buffet that includes French oysters, Caspian Sea caviar, queen prawns, charcuterie and a host of terrines and salads. The hot buffet includes eggs Benedict, as well as other lunch specialities, such as roasted spring lamb in a rosemary-scented jus.

Address: 67 Jan Smuts Avenue, The Westcliff Hotel, Westcliff,
Telephone: (011) 481 6000
Website: http://www.westcliff.co.za

Le Canard

Cuisine:

This elegant, romantic rendezvous is set in a stately suburbian Georgian homestead with sweeping drapes, antique furniture and Persian rugs. Dishes are typically timeless with duck, veal and seafood dishes that are Le Canard's signature. Try the queen prawn and fruit salad on gingerbread for starters, followed by the drunken chicken, which is flamed at the table in coconut milk seasoned with ginger, juniper and brandy. Top it all with baked cheesecake.

Address: Morningside, 163 Rivonia Road, Sandton,
Telephone: (011) 884 4597
Website: http://www.lecanard.co.za

Linger Longer

Cuisine:

Set in a fine converted mansion, Linger Longer's classic décor and romantic feel suits smart to formal dress. Service is skilful and the haute cuisine is top class. As a starter, lobster bisque or foie gras, followed for the main event with either crusted rack of lamb, Atlantic salmon or the duck (an all-time favourite) or one of the tempting specials are recommended, followed by homemade assorted sorbet.

Address: Wierda Valley, 58 Wierda Road, Sandton,
Telephone: (011) 884 0465

Moyo Melrose Arch

Cuisine:

Mimicking the impressive subterranean scale of Jo'burg's famous goldmines, Moyo's eclectic décor of beaten copper ceilings, Ali Baba lanterns, brightly painted columns and mosaic patterned tables set with wicker mats and oil lamps extends down five levels. Expect wondrous dishes such as samaki kavu from Kenya, chicken yassa from Nigeria, venison babootie from South Africa, Mozambican grilled barracuda topped with tomato and basil, and from Morocco, varieties of fragrant tagines.

Address: Melrose Arch, 5 Melrose Square, Melrose (off Atholl Oaklands Drive or Corlett Drive),
Telephone: (086) 100 6696
Website: http://www.moyo.co.za

The Butcher Shop and Grill

Cuisine:

For some of the best steaks (pork, ostrich, lamb, beef and game) in town, this is definitely the spot. For starters, the snails, done in garlic, lemon and other ingredients unique to The Butcher Shop, are great, and to end up, there is a straightforward but delicious ice cream in rich chocolate sauce. The menu also offers poultry, schnitzels, and sausage or seafood platter.

Address: Nelson Mandela Square, Shop 30, Sandown,
Telephone: 011 784 8676
Website: http://www.thebutchershop.co.za

Vilamoura

Cuisine:

Vilamoura has long been considered one of the city's best Portuguese/seafood restaurants. Smart and quite formal, it has a renowned seafood platter that will delight any fish fanatic and is the ideal place to impress important guests (with price tag to match). In addition to seafood, Vilamoura's piri-piri chicken, Portuguese steak and chouriço (Portuguese traditional sausage) are consistently delicious. A Latin American band plays most nights.

Address: corner of Fifth and Alice Streets, Intercontinental Sandton Towers, Sandhurst,
Telephone: (011) 884 0360
Website: http://www.vilamoura.co.za

Moderate

Giles

Cuisine:

Classic cartoons are much in evidence in the decor of Giles. This is a homely, convivial and unpretentious place, offering cosmopolitan English cuisine. For starters, the Giles' trout salad is recommended, followed by fish and chips served in a newspaper cone, ended off with 'Madam and Eve' chocolate brownies with cream or ice cream. There is also a cosy wooden-panelled traditional British pub for pre-dinner drinks.

Address: Craighall Park, 9 Grafton Avenue, Johannesburg,
Telephone: (011) 442 4056

The Radium Beer Hall

Cuisine:

The Radium Beer Hall is the oldest surviving bar and grill in Johannesburg, with a genuinely historic ambience that is just as enticing as food on the menu (including delicious prego rolls and ribs) and as authentic as the foot-tapping live jazz that makes the embossed tin ceiling vibrate. The walls are covered in memorabilia, from photos of pre-war soccer teams and jazzmen to vintage posters and press clippings.

Address: Orange Grove, 282 Louis Botha Avenue, Johannesburg,
Telephone: (011) 728 3866
Website: http://www.theradium.co.za

Cheap

Chon Hing

Cuisine:

Any restaurant that can boast that it has been presenting authentic and delicious Chinese fare for over 40 years must be doing something right. Here hostess Yvonne will sit you down at a gaudy plastic table on rickety schoolroom chairs and serve you the best prawn chow mein (one of over 100 dishes) this side of Beijing. Charming and timeless.

Address: Ferreirastown, 26 Alexander Street (off Commissioner), Johannesburg,
Telephone: (011) 834 3206

Fourno's Bakery

Cuisine:

This chain offers best spots for breakfast with a newspaper at a table in the sun. Bakers work throughout the night to provide a bewildering range of delicious breads, pastries, quiches, cakes, samosas, pies and sausage rolls. The farmhouse breakfasts are superb and will keep you going all day, or try toasted rye bread topped with goats' cheese, spinach and poached eggs.

Address: Jan Smuts Avenue, Dunkeld West Centre, Dunkeld,
Telephone: (011) 325 2110
Website: http://www.fournos.co.za

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The Palazzo Montecasino

This extravagant Johannesburg hotel is part of the Montecasino gambling, leisure, entertainment and shopping complex in Fourways, just 30 minutes from OR Tambo International Airport. Styled like an Italian palace, its luxurious accommodation overlooks lush, landscaped Tuscan gardens. All rooms have one king-size or two double beds, custom air-conditioning, internet point, hairdryer and refreshments. There is also a fully equipped fitness centre, outdoor swimming pool, plus the 1,900-seater Montecasino Theatre.

The Westcliff

This claims to be Johannesburg's most luxurious hotel and with unique features such as the city's best sunset and moonrise viewing spot, it probably is. It clings to a steep mountainside, with breathtaking views of the Magaliesberg Mountains and of elephants in the zoo below. The rooms and suites are individually furnished; most also feature charming terraces, balconies or private courtyards. Facilities include a magnificent hilltop heated swimming pool. The Westcliff is conveniently near upmarket shopping districts and golf courses.

Faircity Quatermain Hotel

The epitome of gracious living and a home-from-home atmosphere, The Quatermain, located in the upmarket suburb of Morningside, provides a convenient and tranquil base close to Sandton and Johannesburg. Set in manicured indigenous gardens with oak trees and swimming pool, The Quatermain offers Zimbabwean teak furniture and queen- or king-size beds in all 114 rooms.

Sunnyside Park Hotel

Built in 1895 as a gracious country residence, the Sunnyside Park Hotel is a National Monument. Set in glorious English gardens, it retains its original magnificent balustrade, wood panelling, historic fireplace and glittering chandeliers, but has been extensively refurbished to provide modern touches. Located just off the M1 freeway in exclusive Parktown, it is a few minutes' drive to the Killarney Mall, Rosebank and Sandton City and 30 minutes to the airport. Its restaurant, Milners, is all starched linen and quiet elegance with a British bent in food, tempered to suit all tastes.

StayEasy Eastgate

This ultra-modern hotel in Johannesburg fits into the budget bracket but is surprisingly well equipped, with air-conditioning, a swimming pool and secure parking. Situated 15 minutes' drive from OR Tambo International Airport and 10 minutes' walk from the Eastgate Shopping and entertainment complex (10 cinemas), it's just off the start of the N12/R24 freeways, within easy reach of Sandton, Pretoria, Durban and Kruger National Park. Continental breakfast is available in the lobby and guests can order meals delivered from local restaurants.

Indaba Hotel

Set in a 30 hectare (74 acre) country estate featuring indigenous flora and fauna, the white-walled, thatched buildings of this well-equipped hotel are minutes from the N1 highway. There are 210 very reasonably priced en-suite, air-conditioned bedrooms, three popular restaurants, a swimming pool, tennis courts, volleyball, outdoor chess, a beauty therapist and a jogging track.