Who but the French can anchor any article about fine dining restaurants in Pretoria? La Madeleine in Lynnwood has maintained its posh yet also unassuming stance as an elegant and tasty venue. First established by husband and wife team Daniel Leusch and Karine in Sunnyside, in 1999 they moved to leafier Lynnwood Ridge. No wobbles here though, as the cuisine has remained consistently delicious. For those who demand of a restaurant that it can produce a constantly high standard of your favourite dishes, you might as well ask for a loyalty card – La Madeleine is your spot.
A range of extremely tasty French and Belgian dishes dot the menu, classics all, and served with flair. Named for the French biscuit called a Madelaine, it lives up to all ever said about that yummy snack – tasty, satisfying and makes you want more. Proper yet welcoming, this is a taste journey you can afford, but can’t afford to miss.
Black Bamboo Restaurant
Located at the Menlyn Boutique Hotel, this is food and flair in your face! Unashamedly artistic in approach, Black Bamboo is fine dining that will excite you. Truly different – especially if McDonalds is what you had for lunch – here it’s all about your senses, your palate and a memorable sensation.
Claiming a “truly unique, world-class dining experience, which celebrates the synergy between food, wine and art,” it has to be said that we can all hold our heads up for Pretoria cuisine – they’re spot-on. If you like to see that a restaurant has gone out of its way to provide thrills in its menu and cater for an eclectic clientele with international aplomb, Black Bamboo is likely to please you a whole bunch.
With more snooty reviews calling it too casual to be “true” fine dining for some, these guys are getting a mention regardless. “Fine dining” is a term denoting a mix of culinary dynamism and a certain level of variety and presentation. We tend to drop any dress codes associated with fine dining nowadays, but at the heart of fine dining lies an artistic appreciation of distinctive and often exquisitely tasty dishes.
The meal is the event – well presented, well portioned for that balance of feeding you while delighting you – and it has to be both elegant yet unassuming, a taste sensation just casually mincing by. In heels. With some bling. Neither tart nor queen… intelligent. That’s it. Intelligent and arty food.
Wouldn’t you know it… there we go. That’s exactly what you can expect from two Pretoria guys who traveled and ate and found the richness of culinary taste to be deserving of a platform. Enter The Harlequin, and it will not disappoint you – you can taste the passion behind the menu.
The Prue Leith Restaurant
Expert gastronomy suffuses the Prue Leith Restaurant – the woman is a walking supernova of all things food. An author, trainer of chefs, presenter, encourager and culinary whiz, many Pretorians have popped in here already, as it’s compelling. You simply have to treat yourself to the journey. Another passionate soul so moved by food that she wants to move everyone else too, that, mense, is the kind of jazz you want behind the next plate placed in front of you.
Well done to the copywriter who wrote the web copy. “Whether you sip lavender martinis with the object of your affection on the terrace or conclude business deals over truffle scented cream of artichoke soup in the dining room, the Prue Leith Restaurant is a spot to savour and relish.” The end. Really. That sums it up. Like that old ad of coming home to mum and Royco soup…. great ambiance, great food. Planning a summer wedding? Or “cocktail parties under the stars?” Beautiful gardens complete the picture, and this venue really will offer you “a taste of perfection and a bite at the future.”
Hemingway’s Restaurant & Wine Cellar
Previously given the Welcome Award for Overall Best Restaurant in SA, this is a venue with truly fine dishes. It exudes a French chic, married with an unassuming elegance, that really makes you expect something special. Go for it. You’re going to get it. Hemingway’s makes you feel like they take food extremely seriously, but are having uproarious fun all the way. That’s how tasty their menu is, firstly, and secondly – wow – there are some great wines here too.
Striking a perfect balance between class and warmth, if you want to feel extremely sad on a lonely Friday night, click the link and look at some of their exquisite dishes portrayed online. The colours, tastes, textures and sheer effort – not to mention, skill – that go into their menu gives rise to some alarmingly good food. You can visit burger joints every day, and you’ll want to do the same here, but for entirely different reasons. Burgers feed you and tick the task for a few hours. Hemingway’s will make you realise that there is an entirely next-level world of food that you should visit every day, such is the arty heartiness and exquisite taste of their fare. Hemingway’s is by far one of our favourite fine dining restaurants in Pretoria.