EB Social Kitchen & Bar – Hyde Park’s hidden gem

Private Property South Africa
Catherine Black

Amid the literary oasis of Hyde Park’s Exclusive Books lies EB Social Kitchen and Bar, a hidden gem that shouldn’t be so hidden given the pedigree of its executive chef, Russell Armstrong.

EB Social Kitchen and Bar

A Brisbane native, Russell was classically trained in Europe before earning his stripes at restaurants like the Connaught and Le Gavroché in London as well as the three Michelin-starred Les Frères Troisgros in Roanne, France. After several years back in Australia, Russell’s new role is a complete departure from anything he’s done before.

The Hyde Park restaurant is the vision of Exclusive Books CEO Benjamin Trisk, who sees food – like reading – as one of life’s great comforts that also allows the mind to traverse continents. This is realised in a truly varied menu of some of Armstrong’s favourite dishes inspired by local flavours and using the best quality produce. Highlights include the cracked wheat “burghal” with roast sweet corn and artichoke, the squid ink linquine with seared scallops, and the coal-grilled organic lamb with goat’s cheese gnocchi, lemon and anchovies.

Cocktails at EB Social Kitchen and Bar

Don’t leave without sampling some of the book-themed cocktails, such as the mint and bourbon-based Catcher in the Rye, or the Great Gatsby with Johnny Walker Gold, Pinot Grigio and sherry.

I don’t like ‘architectural’ food. I like simple dishes that aren’t over-garnished or over-sauced.

We chat with Russell to find out more about his 14 months in the city.

How are you finding Joburg so far?

It’s a beautiful city and I’m enjoying it, but I think it’s challenging in terms of finding good people in the hospitality industry. We need to stop letting our chefs go to Cape Town, which they’re doing because of the opportunities there.

Do you see that changing?

When I was here in 1998, Cape Town was much like Joburg is now, but these days it’s so much bigger and more international in terms of the food scene. I think Joburg will get there; it’s already changing with places like DW Eleven-13 and Marble.

What’s been your biggest challenge so far?

It’s been teaching my guys how to cook at another level. A lot of the time I’m correcting basics – such as tasting the food before they plate it! As I get older, though, I do love teaching people more and more. Where my team were 14 months ago is completely different to where they are now, and that’s satisfying.

Enter Alt Tag Here What’s your secret to good food?

I cook what I like to eat. I don’t like “architectural” food. I like simple dishes that aren’t over-garnished or over-sauced. Jean Troisgros taught me a lot about how to let the ingredients say a lot on their own, where they’re the hero of the dish.

CONTACTS

EB Social Kitchen and Bar

facebook.com/EBSocialKitchenAndBar

Looking to sell your home?
Advertise your property to millions of interested buyers by listing with Private Property now!
Find out more

Share:

Found this content useful?

Get the best of Private Property's latest news and advice delivered straight to your inbox each week

Related Articles

Sushi Burrito and Co
Japan meets China meets Mexico in a new Asian fusion spot at Melrose Arch
Area guide to Dullstroom, Mpumalanga
Dullstroom might not be a big town, but it’s a town with a big heart and lots of soul.
A visitor’s guide to Graaff-Reinet
This historical Karoo town enjoys crisp air, pretty streets and beautiful natural scenery.
Suburb focus on Mill Park in Port Elizabeth
The older, established suburb of Mill Park in PE offers character, charm and family friendly convenience.

Explore neighbourhoods mentioned in this article

Sandton
Work hard, play hard...then relax
Sandton is a vibrant, modern neighbourhood that contains the richest square mile in Africa. It is the business gateway into Africa for many large corporations and attracts thousands of ambitious people seeking their fortunes. But Sandton is not just about big business, residents find plenty of time for leisure too. World class shopping centres, and a buzzing social scene are a huge hit with the young and young at heart. Perhaps surprisingly, there is a huge amount of green space in the area that residents take advantage of to exercise or just take a breather.
;