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Eight hotel restaurants that are pulling out all the stops for an unforgettable dining experience

And top tips on the best spots to get your drink on

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By Lutho Pasiya | May 20, 2021 | Travel Leisure

The times that hotel restaurants were seen as a last resort or a backup plan are gone. These days, ultraluxe properties are luring guests with luxurious restaurants that boast exceptional settings and world-class cuisine.

With the winter coming in hard and fast, it's easy to stay indoors and therefore forget that there’s still plenty to enjoy in Mzansi.

Below is a listicle featuring eight hotel restaurants that are pulling out all the stops to offer dining experiences South Africans won’t forget any time soon. Not only is this a list of new dining spots that are worth a visit, but also some top tips about places to get your drink on.

For dinner with a difference

A cool breeze? Check. Perfect ocean side views? Check. The ultimate seafood spread, full-bodied wine, and time away from home? Check, check and check. Capetonians love Tobago’s Restaurant Bar & Terrace at Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront for its endless views of the Atlantic Ocean, laid-back vibe, and delicious food.

Whether you’re dying for fancy prawns, grilled line fish, soft-shell crab curry, creamy mussels, spicy calamari strips, or crisp whitebait, Tobago’s seafood platters have you covered. Each platter is served with a choice of rice, rustic chips, or a side salad, and a glass of house wine – mahala! R400 per single platter, R850 for a sharing platter. Valid until June 30, 2021, bookings essential.

For those on-the-go

The Kruger Station sits in the heart of the Kruger National Park and is a foodie destination you probably didn’t know about. Oozing old-world charm in what is a refurbished railway station, visitors can find the Enroute Grab ‘N Go Deli and the Departing Soon coffee and ice cream cafe.

For casual dining and a drink, the Round in 9 is a must, while families wanting a longer, more leisurely stop can head to 3638. And for snacks to fuel you up while you’re on the road, make a pitstop at Li’l Gricers, which has a kids’ play zone and a 360-degree cinema (opening soon) to keep the whole family entertained. There’s even a dedicated biltong bar and a petit four station. What more could you ask for?

For 2-for-1

The newest addition to Jozi, the Radisson Hotel & Convention Centre OR Tambo, has good looks and good deals to boot! Every Wednesday, its restaurant, The Avenue, serves up a scrumptious two-for-one midweek special on any pasta dish on the menu. Each dish is perfectly prepared and served with fresh chilli, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Not into wheat? Gluten-free options are available, too. Only available for dine-in from 11am until closing, bookings essential.

For the vegans

There’s nothing worse than heading out to eat only to be served a limp salad as the “vegan” menu option. At Vivace Restaurant & Bar in Sandton, you’ll never experience that again. Perched on the top floor of the hotel, with spectacular views of the Sandton skyline, Vivace’s thoughtfully planned vegan fine dining menu is served in the Penthouse Suite.

Comprising four courses and accompanied by a selection of vegan wine, it’s a steal at R395 per person. Available for lunch and dinner from 12 noon – 10pm daily. Wines limited to one glass per person, bookings are essential.

For a touch of the high life

The Silo Hotel at the V&A Waterfront may seem like a choice well out of the price range of most, but that’s certainly not true for their signature Royal Tea. For R375, you can tuck into their chef’s masterful creations (it’ll be difficult to eat these pretty treats but you’ll manage, trust us) and score a complimentary ticket to Zeitz MOCAA. Available Thursdays through Sundays, bookings essential.

To quench your thirst

Thirsty? Or just in search of a good time? Radisson RED Cape Town’s got you covered with its Chilled-to-the-MAX special at the RED Rooftop. Stay all day and enjoy friendly and attentive service, gorgeous views of Table Mountain and Zeitz MOCAA, and bottomless beer for just R300. Yep, 300 Randelas gets you a grand old time. Pets welcome, and they’ll get ice-cold water and plenty of cuddles. Available until September 30, 2021, bookings essential.

For the familia

Everyone’s invited to Tabú Grill, Bar & Lounge in Port Elizabeth. From just R250 per person, the entire family can enjoy a hassle-free and relaxed three-course lunch or dinner. Unmatched ocean views and delicious food are only rivalled by the amazing price. What’s more, children under 12 eat free. Available from 12 noon to 10pm daily, and limited to one free children’s meal per paying adult. Valid until June 30, 2021, bookings essential.

For lekker local shisanyama

Bring the choms and chinas together for a proper South African tradition. This is not your average barbeque. Instead, it’s a lekker shisanyama braai, complete with stories over a cold one. Expect a full belly and an even fuller heart after you’ve downed the Live-Inn Room chef’s special spin on this popular dish – with your choice of meat. R200 per person every Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 10.30pm, drinks sold separately. Enquire about the available meat selection on the day, bookings essential.