It’s a new year and for many of us including foodies, there is a list of actions to check out, which can include trying out new restaurants near you or in South Africa as a whole.
Trying out new restaurants can be an intermediating activity particularly if you are concerned about a new cuisine and getting out of your comfort zone.
This list will help you navigate restaurants you should visit throughout the year and tuck in.
New restaurants to visit in 2023
Urchin Cape Town
Nestled in The Hyatt Regency in Cape Town on Buitengracht Street is a new restaurant by award-winning Chef Gerard van Staden.
Van Staden has been awarded Chef of The Year three times and for Urchin the acclaimed chef took inspiration from coastal areas around the world, such as the African continent, Asia and Europe.
The menu has been described as a multiple-course menu with “detectable dishes” including a sushi counter, à la carte (separate items) and tasting menus, coupled with curated wine pairings.
Reservations for Urchin can be made via Dineplan or call 021-214-1234.
The acclaimed FYN restaurant, also in the Mother City, has the latest venture called Ramenhead.
Another Japanese-inspired eatery, Ramenhead opened on 13 December 2022.
Prepare to slurp handmade noodles and flavoursome bowlfuls of the most authentic broth inspired by Japan.
FYN restaurant is ranked as the 37th best restaurant in the world and their new eatery is sticking to their Japanese style, as Ramenhead is designed by renowned interior designer Tristan du Plessis.
ALSO READ: FYN Restaurant in Cape Town ranked among World’s 50 Best
In addition to several different ramen offerings, including classic pork broth, pork-free chicken broth and vegetarian broth Ramenhead offers both traditional and gluten-free noodles. The menu also features Japanese snacks such as fried chicken karaage (Japanese fried chicken), gyoza dumplings and a curated selection of wines, beers and cocktails.
Reflection Pizza Bar & venue
Opening in September 2022 at Broadacres Shopping Centre, Johannesburg, Reflection Pizza Bar has a massive outdoor area with separate decks and is described as having a rustic feel with plenty of greenery.
The Reflection Pizza Bar menu is largely made up of wood fired pizzas, with gluten-free options and the ever-popular tapas making an appearance including a “let us share” selection with biltong, chicken wings and other snack options.
If you looking for the best Italian food, look no further than Scala pasta. It has been referred to as the latest darling of the Cape Town food scene, opening its doors on Heritage Square in Church Street.
It is in collaboration with Italy’s youngest-ever Michelin-star chef, Luciano Monosilio, also known as The King Of Carbonara.
Patrons rave about the signature carbonara or the Rigatoni coal-roasted amatriciana, the tagliolino saltimbocca or so much more that is most certainly “not your mama’s pasta”.
A hidden gem, The Bailey on Bree Street, is an example of sophisticated luxury surrounded by historical architecture and is a three-story culinary destination.
It is a collaboration between famed restauranteur/chef team Liam Tomlin and his wife Jan from Chefs Warehouse, together with the owners of Tintswalo Lodges, Lisa and Warwick Goosen and Gaye and Ernest Corbett. The Bailey includes a café, patisserie, champagne bar, brasserie and a whiskey bar.
This Latin-American restaurant is turning up the heat in the restaurant scene in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
Opening in the outside area of Rosebank Mal near the new EGG fashion district, Mamasamba cuisine has bold flavours with distinctive flavours of Latin America.
@duvane_m New restaurant alert. ????Location at the end. #jhb #joburgfoodie #safoodie #foodiesofsa #jozi #johannesburg #joburg #foodtok #jhbrestaurants #joburgestaurants #johannesburgrestaurants ♬ Nowhere to Hide – Aluna & Prettyboy D-O & Kooldrink
It is also tapas-styled food with a surprising selection of good sushi.
Social media users have praised Mamasamba for its cocktail selection.
READ NOW: These are the top 10 Eat Out restaurants in Gauteng
Ethos has been operating since 2021 however it’s a restaurant still on the lips of many Joburgers. The Mediterranean-inspired menu and luxury interiors are against the backdrop of Oxford Parks.
Ethos has a new season summer menu from their new head chef, Mpilo Mokoena.
The menu is a mix of Italian cuisine with his background in French cuisine.
The new signature dishes include Josper Grilled Octopus with caramelised onion and dill purée, fava dip, and crushed potato, as well as the 8-hour, braised Greek Style Lamb Shank with traditional grain pasta, mushrooms, onions, lemon and graviera cheese.
For dessert expect roasted Almond Panna Cotta with citrus caramel and caramelized fruit.
This cute French and wine restaurant in the heart of Craighall, in the Johannesburg suburbs, is bringing in freedom, literally.
Liberte translated means freedom. It “celebrates life, femininity and connection. Elegant, modern French food in a beautifully curated space that showcases unique local and French wines,” the restaurant described itself.
There is a breakfast and lunch menu which include items such as French toast, crepes, canapés, salads and the mains is rich. It includes French Onion soup and chicken meatballs to fillet mignon with cognac and braised short beef ribs.
We are salivating at the thought, already. You can also expect baked French goods such as baguettes and croissants.
*Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele