Everyone from politicians to big hitting businessmen are clamouring for a chance to experience the glamour and cuisine of Marble on the Keyes Art Mile.
When we first profiled Marble restaurant earlier this year, it was still a work in progress: the roof was still being put on and the custom griller was en route from the US. Now, with all its finishing touches complete, David Higgs and business partner Gary Kyriacou’s vision of high-end live-fire cooking is fully manifest. While the Marble team were prepared for a fair amount of opening buzz, the level of attention they’ve received has exceeded even their expectations. With everyone from politicians to big-hitting businessmen clamouring for a table, you’re in for a long wait just to get a weekend booking. So what’s all the fuss about?
In terms of sheer ambition, few Joburg restaurants top what Marble is trying to do. David’s idea to bring open-fire cooking to the high-end restaurant market is unique to Joburg but it follows a worldwide trend – one that’s not without its challenges. As David says, “The one thing we didn’t realise was quite how difficult it would be to cook meat consistently when working with an uneven heat source.” They’re working on solutions to this, such as reserving separate grill surfaces for different kinds of meat. This is key given the eclectic menu with original combinations such as pork neck with grilled pineapple, fillet with smoked field mushroom sauce, and prawns with lime basmati, chilli cabbage and aubergine.
As far as the decor goes, the mix of European and African influences makes for a glamorous yet earthy ambience that carries through the expansive restaurant and into what surely has to be one of Joburg’s sexiest bars – especially at sunset. Down to the smallest touches Marble nods to its location in the middle of the Keyes Art Mile. There’s the bathroom wall featuring ceramic dolos figurines handmade by Peter Mthombeni, the large-scale art photographs by Krisjan Rossouw shot exclusively for Marble, and the custom tableware handmade by Cape Town ceramicist Mervyn Gers.
Higgs has set the bar high in his previous ventures, and in this high-profile 200-plus-seater environment, it’s arguably even higher. But with everything from the food and decor to the wine list with 50 whites and 50 reds carefully thought out – together with the fact that Joburgers can’t seem to get enough of high quality restaurants – Marble has so far been welcomed with open arms.
We didn’t realise quite how difficult it would be to cook meat consistently when working with the uneven heat source that comes with an open flame.
Experience it for yourself:
Marble | 010 594 5550 | marble.restaurant
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times
View more of the neighbourhood here: