Johannesburg's secret

Private Property South Africa
Julia Freemantle

The elegant in-house restaurant at 54 On Bath in Rosebank is a well-kept secret.

Joburg is often bemoaned for its lack of fine-dining options, surprising for a city of its style and stature. But this might well be because patrons are looking in all the wrong places.

Level Four restaurant at 54 On Bath in Rosebank, one of the Tsogo Sun group’s premium boutique destinations, is a surprising discovery tucked discretely away in the elegant corner hotel. The cosy dining room (on the fourth floor, as the name suggests) is a homey space with rich claret-coloured wallpaper and gingham-upholstered tub chairs – like home, only smarter.

In keeping with the feeling of the restaurant, and the tone of the hotel overall, which is elegant, but warm and welcoming, executive chef Phil de Villiers serves classically inspired dishes like beef fillet, pork belly and creamy gnocchi. Substantial though they may be, this is no rustic pub fare and these traditional favourites are given a sophisticated spin via their presentation – the gnocchi was especially lovely in a beautiful miniature copper saucepan with a mix of wild mushrooms. If you’re looking for something more lavish, the menu also has a variety of indulgent options that include a lobster bisque with crème fraîche and Saldanha mussels and an Asian-influenced seared duck breast with ginger and plum sauce and miso carrots.

It’s fine dining but with heart, and the seamless service follows suit – your jacket gets taken at the door and hung on a coat rack, and the staff are meticulous without ever hovering. An especially nice touch is the credit next to each item on the menu – the restaurant believes in acknowledging the creators of your dishes and so you’ll find a chef’s name next to each, which makes the experience that much more personal.

Try and time your visit so that you can fit in a leisurely drink next door at the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar – a plush and intimate lounge that looks onto the terrace garden. It’s a perfect spot for pre-dinner drinks.

See for yourself:

Level Four

011 344 8442

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

Take a journey through Rosebank neighbourhood here:

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Explore neighbourhoods mentioned in this article

Rosebank and Parktown
On trend and arty
Rosebank is a multi-cultural, vibrant and exciting suburb of Johannesburg, with an outdoorsy atmosphere. It is a trendy suburb, business centre and tourist attraction in one of Johannesburg's up-market areas. Although Rosebank is home to many head offices, the district also provides plenty of entertainment to its residents and visitors at its variety of shopping malls, restaurants, markets, luxurious hotels, cinemas, art galleries and night clubs. Parktown is home to many businesses, hospitals, schools, churches and restaurants, whilst still maintaining quiet residential areas. Parktown is an old and established suburb, with leafy avenues and a serene atmosphere. Large mansions are a dominant feature in this exclusive suburb, and new developments are rare.