Fine dining restaurants in SA are selling fillet mignon, crayfish, and salmon as takeaways
- Takeaways and food deliveries are no longer reserved for burgers or pizzas.
- In light of Covid-19 restrictions, most fine-dining restaurants in South Africa have moved into the business.
- It's now possible to order anything from fillet mignon to crayfish from the country's top establishments, to eat in your own home.
- Some are even offering five-course tasting menus for you to enjoy at home.
- Here are some of the best high-end options currently available throughout South Africa.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Covid-19 lockdowns have devastated the restaurant industry - and the country's recent re-shuttering of all establishments for two weeks further exacerbated the situation.
Eighteen months into the pandemic, it's a scenario restaurant owners now know well. In 2020, many restaurants around the world rapidly shifted from fine dining to dining out in order to stay in business - but many local establishments initially chose to remain closed rather than absorb the costs of turning their operation into a takeaway one.
During the early stages of last year's first hard lockdown, owners of some high-end restaurants told Business Insider South Africa that they would not open for takeaways - in spite of this being the only avenue for some.
At the time, publicist Ian Manley, who represents several chefs and restaurants, said that often it did not make financial sense for a high-end establishment to open its kitchen simply to serve takeaways.
But 14 months later, most restaurants in the country seem to have changed tack and are now offering some form of in-home dining option. And it's now possible to order a whole range of items as takeaways few would ever have imagined. Among them are fillet mignon, pork belly, Norwegian salmon, and crayfish.
Most high-end establishments are operating on collection only or their own in-house delivery services. But some have gone into full delivery mode and are now plugged into the country’s major food delivery apps Uber Eats and Mr D.
Even though restaurants are now able to reopen with limited capacity, most have continued to offer a hybrid eat-in, takeaway approach. And some of South Africa's most celebrated high-end restaurants continue to offer a variety of options as the Covid-19 pandemic continues.
DW eleven-13 consistently ranks as one of Johannesburg's top fine dining establishments. Chef and owner Marthinus Ferreira was quick to transition his establishment to offer high-end at-home dining - and he continues to offer menus for collection that feature the likes of roast beef, poached pears, and miso ice-cream and apple dessert for collection.
Kream has branches in Pretoria and Johannesburg, and it was one of just a few higher-end restaurants that opted to partner with food delivery services. The restaurant is now only offering items for collection - but their extensive takeaway menu includes meals like oven-braised oxtail, lamb shank, and king prawns.
Aurum restaurant is located in The Leonardo - one of Johannesburg's more exclusive addresses. But despite the restaurant's reputation for high-end meals served at its lavish venue, it's now also offering takeaways. Its winter menu, available for takeaway, includes treats like beef tataki, exotic mushroom risotto, Norwegian salmon, and pork belly.
During level 4 lockdown Mediterranean restaurant Bellagio offered meals for delivery and collection. Patrons simply need to WhatsApp their order by 19:00 - and previous options available for takeaway have included items like French onion soup, oxtail, and pasta.
The usually vibrant Saigon Suzy on Johannesburg's Jan Smuts Avenue, and now also in Fourways, offers both collection and delivery options. It's possible to order for collection directly on the Saigon Suzy website, and the restaurant has also partnered with Mr D and Uber Eats. Available items are almost as extensive as its in-restaurant menu and include street food style plates like firecracker cauliflower, dim sum, and bao, as well as bigger dishes like poke bowls and curries.
Pretoria's Black Bamboo bills itself as a five-star dining experience. In spite of its high-end eat-in reputation, Black Bamboo now also offers takeaways for delivery and collection. The reduced menu includes soups, square pork buns, and glazed duck.
Brasserie de Paris
Contemporary French fusion restaurant Brasserie de Paris is a Pretoria eat-in mainstay. They now offer curbside pickup of most of their dishes, which includes coq au vin, pork belly, and its popular duck burger.
The Three Ducks
The Three Ducks offers a diverse takeaway and delivery menu for Pretoria residents. It includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner options - from croque madam to fillet mignon, Norwegian salmon, and roasted pork belly.
Foxcroft is one of South Africa's most acclaimed fine dining restaurants - and it's offering several iconic menu items for delivery or pickup via its Foxcroft at Home offering. Among the items in the offering are blesbok tataki, braised lamb, and poached guava.
Fyn was one of the first fine dining restaurants in South Africa to branch out into deliveries and takeaways. Acclaimed chef Peter Tempelhoff started out with his FYN from HOME offering that included several fine dining options available for collection. The restaurant recently announced it will be relaunching its in-home service, which previously featured items like twice-baked Huguenot cheese soufflé, seared Cape salmon trout, and Pacific prawns.
Grub and Vine
Grub and Vine's Matt Manning took to the challenge of Covid-19 lockdowns with a unique twist he calls Virtual Dining. It's an interactive fine dining experience that includes three of the five courses already prepared. Diners then follow instructions on how to plate and complete the final courses. The menu changes regularly but includes items like beetroot cured Franschhoek trout, beef Wellington, and sticky toffee pudding. Grub and Vine also has a takeaway menu available for collection.
La Colombe is one of South Africa's most celebrated restaurants. Although better known for its inventive plating and creative dishes served at its own venue, during lockdown La Colombe has also offered a "dine-in" experience to be enjoyed at home. It includes several of the restaurant's iconic dishes, including sweet potato pan d'epi, spiced beef, tiger prawn ravioli, and Karoo lamb.
Pot Luck Club
Luke Dale Roberts' The Test Kitchen is currently closed, but his nearby Pot Luck Club has stayed open for takeaway and delivery. Most orders are prepared in real-time and dispatched immediately, and are in the sharing plate style of the popular eat-in restaurant. On the menu are items like line fish sashimi, Asian style beef tartare, and crayfish.
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