Johannesburg is inventing a new kind of cool. Years after its inception as a mining town, Jo’burg has gone through a major shift to become a modern day metropolis. The pulsating CBD streets – Rosebank and Sandton – are at one with a cosmopolitan and stylish crowd. The cuisine remains true to its culture, and mouthwatering game meats are a dime a dozen. But exotic meat is not the only thing on the menu – vibrant Sandton is thronged with international flavours (Thai, Japanese, Korean. You name it, they’ve got it). The arrival of a few hipster joints also adds an effortless cool to the busy city centre.
Look forward to: Steaks
Where: 131 West St, Sandton, 2031, South Africa
What: Breakfast croissants
The hipster vibes are strong with Proof Café, with artsy patterned plates, wooden tables, and the smell of freshly brewed coffee. The black trimmed glass counter displays some of the best breakfasts you can get in Sandton – fluffy croissants neatly lined up in wooden trays. The buttery pastries are filled with something sweet or savoury, such as lemon meringue, vanilla crème, or bacon and eggs. Perk up your mornings with a cup of Proof coffee – they’re good at that too.
Where: 163 5th St, Sandown, 2196, South Africa
What: Roast duck
For: Thai food
The menu at Wang Thai is for discerning tourists who know their way around Thai cuisine. The geang khew-wan (green curry) is crazily spicy in true Thai style. The chefs – Thai, of course – are unafraid to dish out the real thing, and the wait staff know a thing or two about reading the Thai names off the menu. Standouts include the roasted duck and phad thai. Oh yes, and don’t forget the hom mali rice. It’s the canvas that brings out the best of the other dishes.
The Butcher Shop & Grill
Where: Shop 30, Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton, 2196, South Africa
You know a steakhouse is genuine when they’re serious about their meats. Just look at the menu at The Butcher Shop & Grill – it includes a stern note that any beef cooked more than medium may result in something less than perfection. Skip the surf and turf and dive straight into the meats. Cuts such as ribeye, T-bone and prime rib are aged for 21 to 40 days. If you’re still unsure which cut to get, just waltz into the deli – the pride and joy of the restaurant. The butcher will know just what might tickle your fancy.