JOHANNESBURG, South Africa- Thanks to the culinary flair and creative vision of star Executive Chef David Higgs (considered by many the best chef in South Africa), the Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas and Spa in Johannesburg has opened a new and exclusive fine dining restaurant in a space that was formerly Suite 500, the Presidential Suite of owner Douw Steyn. In his honor, the new restaurant has been named “five hundred.” The concept is a dining experience where food, wine and art converge, and where chefs and sommeliers interact with guests. The intimate, 40-seat restaurant offers a menu of dishes prepared with simple, fresh, flavorful and high-quality ingredients as well as wines from an extensive, well-curated cellar.The Saxon’s luxurious signature restaurant fulfills the food philosophy of Chef Higgs, who says, "A successful restaurant is based upon repeat business resulting from the artistic preparation and presentation of its food. Classical or modern, a dish must be eye-catching, whether it’s visually colorful or a counter-play of textures.”
“Five hundred” comprises a private entrance; a reception area and the Ruinart Room which can accommodate up to eight guests for private dining at the Chef’s Table. In the main dining room, tables are set up side-by-side in a collegial arrangement with the open Chef’s Kitchen the focal point. Décor is dramatic yet simple: dark background hues counterpoint vibrant orange accents; bold, contemporary art on the walls echo the palette of oils on each table.
The dinner experience is an extraordinary journey of either four or six tasting courses, each paired with expertly selected local and international wines and vintages, under the direction of award-winning Head Sommelier, Francis Krone. While the menu is perused, a sommelier pours the guest a glass of Champagne and describes its virtues. Then, once chosen, each dish is presented by a chef who explains how it was cooked and what may be expected of it. For the six-course menu, the sommelier discusses with the guest the personality of each vintage, the region that produced it, and its idiosyncrasies of flavor and aroma.
The Saxon’s new menus are designed to entice guests to return, not only from the point of view of flavor satisfaction, but from the hospitality proffered. Higgs was given carte blanche to change the entire food and beverage offering at The Saxon and to position it once again as the “most exceptional dining experience” in Johannesburg.
For further information or reservations contact +27 11 292 6000 or visit: www.saxon.co.za