We’d been hearing awesome things about this little bistro-meets fine dining spot at the arse-end of an ancient shopping centre in Dunkeld West so thought we would give it a bash.
After reading the online menu countless times I was practically salivating as we walked into what I would like to describe as “heaven’s little dining room”. We were greeted by DW’s version of St Peter (a golden jacket clad manageress) and were shown to our table, which happened to be a huge marble slab slap bang in the middle of the room.( I’ve always enjoyed being the centre of attention so this was right up my alley).
What follows is a summary of the “game”: –
TEAM: 3 guys, 3 gals
DÉCOR: I’m one of those first impression kinda gals. You know, the judge a book by its cover sort. I was not disappointed.
DW is subtle (a neutral palette and all that jazz) but it’s clear that all that subtleness is not without thought. The chairs are comfy, which is a big plus, and the restaurant is open and airy. From our table we had a view straight into the kitchen (bar the frosted flowery glass) so we were able to get a feel for what the chefs were up to. Dinner and a show!
VIBE: The restaurant isn’t huge (booking is essential) and fills up quickly. Even with a full restaurant however, it didn’t feel stuffy and certainly wasn’t noisy.
It draws an older crowd – the prices may have something to do with that – but restauranteers of all ages will feel comfortable and welcome.Despite the upmarket décor and botoxed foreheads, the vibe is casual and relaxed.
SERVICE: Our waitress was a little over eager at first and over-looked taking everyone’s drinks order before bolting to the bar, but as the night progressed she settled down and was everything you would expect a waitress to be. She even posed for a photo. Bless J
Now on to the important stuff, FOOD:
The menu is concise but caters for everyone, veggies, chickenies and meaties. Let’s just get this out the way – this place ain’t cheap. You’re looking at starters between R60 and R100, mains from R100 to R150 and desserts are around R40 – R60. But it’s definitely, and I repeat with emphasis DEFINITELY worth every cent.
Our team ordered a range of dishes so I’ll just sum it up for you.
1st: Dane’s foie gras. A teeny tiny bite of pure happiness. Happiness for Dane, not so much for the duck .
2nd: my dish, which I shared with Gary – seared scallops which were served on a pumpkin puree with porcini and crispy little bits of bacony deliciousness. Sounds crazy but works amazingly.
3rd: goes to Steve’s steak tartare on presentation alone (I say alone ‘cos I didn’t get to taste any, thanks Steve) Beautifully presented with handmade Melba toast and a little quail egg. Note: quail egg was not handmade as this would be impossible.
Without a shadow of a doubt 1st place goes to the fillet– eaten by all 3 boys. Fillet of beef served with a bone marrow sauce and triple cooked chips. If you’re not drooling already then you’re dead.
2nd: veggie Stacey and her mushroom risotto. Hot, gooshy (firm yet runny) and packed with mushroom flavour. It’s very rare, nay unheard of, for a vegetarian dish to top a lamb dish (mine) but I humbly submit that not only did it top it, it annihilated it.
3rd: tough call. It was my rack of lamb or Dom’s roast quail with truffle mash. Tough call ‘cos those were the only other 2 dishes in the running. Will give it to Dom ‘cos her mash had truffles, and truffles are just cool.
1st: Chocolate tasting plate. Chocolate tart, chocolate soil, chocolate sorbet and pistachio butter. Just freaking do it.
2nd: Gary’s pineapple chili panna cotta. Served in THE cutest little jar. I hate chili, but I do love jars J light, creamy and packed with a pineapple punch.
3rd: Has to go to the ice cream and choc sauce. Note: this isn’t your mom’s crappy chocolate sauce – its Belgian chocolate and nougat sauce kiddies, served with homemade vanilla bean ice cream. This trumps a cheese platter (albeit a delicious cheese platter), sorry Stace.
Well played team, well played indeed.
On a side note – the chef at DW worked with the likes of Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsey (if you watch BBC Food then you will know how incredible this is) so it’s clear to see why the dishes come out the kitchen looking and tasting out of this world.
DW has definitely made the list of my top Joburg eateries and I would recommend this restaurant to just about everyone who like me, has an insatiable passion for food.Do yourself a favour, book a table in heavens little dining room that is DW11-13.