Located in Oxford Parks, an extension of the esteemed, diverse and vibrant district of Rosebank, Ethos draws those seeking a love affair for their taste buds into one of Johannesburg's most romantic settings.
Upon arrival at Ethos, the eye is immediately drawn to the awe-inspiring design and layout by Giorgio Tatsakis, son of the owner Chris Tatsakis. The neutral colour palette of earthy tones with hints of green creates an idyllic atmosphere. At the same time, the soft and contemporary decor pays tribute to the enchanting scenery of Mediterranean landscapes.
The dining experience begins with a warm welcome from the front-of-house team and the impressively curated selection of wines on display. Grand arches and Guadì-Esque walls invite the eyes upward, to be pleasantly met by a ceiling adorned with French-imported baffles, emulating the movement of the Mediterranean Sea. Taking centre stage, an olive tree made from preserved Jacaranda bark and hand-crafted silk leaves offers a stunning tribute to the restaurant’s Greek influences.
The menu combines traditional and modern dishes from all sides of the Mediterranean. Chef Mpilo leads the team at Ethos, delivering rich flavours, wonderful textures and an alluring presentation with every plate brought to the table.
The gastronomic journey starts with a collection of freshly baked bread. Pillowy, soft pita accompanied by a rich tomato butter that truly sets the benchmark for a mouthwatering meal to follow. From there, guests can choose from a selection of tapas and starters to whet their appetite or to accompany one of their expertly-crafted cocktails.
The octopus carpaccio is a piece of art — kaleidoscopic slices of tender octopus dressed with preserved lemon oil. Other seafood options include one of their most popular dishes, the langoustine and scallop tortellini. The subtlety of the saffron pasta is the perfect vehicle to carry the sweet langoustine meat to the forefront. Lightly enveloped by a rich bisque cream, this dish is a wonderful nod to the flavours of the Mediterranean.
There’s no better way to conclude your dining experience with one of the tantalising desserts on offer. The mastic-flavoured panna cotta is simply ambrosial. Decorated in a sour cherry compote, this dessert is as unique as its interior features.
So, if you’re craving an escape to the Mediterranean without the 10-hour flight, Ethos is the place to visit.
Words by Nina Clark