Stepping into the most beautiful, modern, arty bathroom at the Black Bamboo restaurant at the Menlyn Boutique Hotel will give you an immediate inkling about the level of service, class and quality of food you can expect from the chef, Pellie Grobler. I’ve been to Black Bamboo on two separate, special occasions and both have been glorious.
Our first visit was a lazy Sunday lunch with family. The serenity of the water fountain, the clean lines of the modern patio and the beautiful art and garden-style installations created the perfect atmosphere for a memorable occasion.
As expected from my largish family, our tastes varied from one extreme to the next. Grandma had the veggie lasagne, which was both great in presentation and taste. I had the beautifully presented chicken (chicken stuffed with chicken I’ll have you know) and the rest of our party tucked into the stunning fillet.
The desserts were similarly too striking to devour… well, almost. We enjoyed rounds of crème brûlée and a deconstructed carrot cake, complete with a macaroon, vanilla ice-cream and biscuit crumble.
The service was fast and friendly, although we did wait a while for our food. We had two dedicated waiters and their warm smiles and accommodating nature, both with the wine we brought along and the toddlers that ran around all over the place, made it feel like home.
My second occasion was less lazy-lunch and more intriguing dinner. We attended a test evening and wine paring with the lovely ladies from Creation Wines (if you love wine then these are a must-do at R350 per person). It’s a four course set menu and an evening set out to tantalise your taste buds and treat your eyes to alluring dishes. And, at the end of each course you can rate the food and the wine – it makes for a stunning interactive evening.
We started the dinner off with prosciutto-wrapped pork loin served with black cherry gel and a mango fritter. They paired it with a Creation Pinot Noir, which is simply delicious.
Next up we had a very interesting take on a Thai green curry. I’m not usually one for spicy food, but I couldn’t get enough of this perfectly-balanced delicious plate of seared Kingklip done with puy lentils and coconut banana, accompanied by a Creation Viognier.
Paired with a Creation Merlot, the main course was coffee rubbed beef fillet with a creamy butternut puree, fondant potato and a polenta tuille. The plating was beautiful, the fillet lovely and the wine simply delicious.
We ended the night off with a vanilla crème brûlée done with meringue rosettes, blonde chocolate, pears and vanilla ice cream. I’d say a perfect ending to a wonderful meal. Surprisingly, the dessert was served with a Creation Chardonnay.
Overall, it was a lovely evening and definitely a different kind of dining experience – from time to time I enjoy not having to choose what I should eat– it takes the pressure off having to make very important decisions.
Whether you visit Black Bamboo for lunch, dinner, cocktails at the pool or even for an overnight stay at the Menlyn Boutique Hotel, be sure to take in the breath-taking art and the wonderful serenity. It’s a quiet haven in the middle of suburbia, located close to businesses and the highway, without the constant reminder of traffic and city hustle and bustle. It’s just simply a beautiful spot to visit.
You know that saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover” and all that jumping to conclusions stuff. I agree, don’t put anyone in a box and we know what assuming does to you and me. There is one conclusion however that I love jumping to and that is an indication of a restaurant’s calibre and style by the state of its bathrooms. I know this might sound vulgar and not as fabulous to consider, but think about it – as soon as a restaurateur puts as much effort into the quality and beauty of (in my case, the ladies’ room) you know there is no table left unturned.
Venue Name:Black Bamboo Restaurant
207 Tugela Road | Ashley Gardens, Pretoria 0043, South Africa
Opening Hours:Monday-Sunday 7:00 - 23:00
Price Range:R 300 for two people (approx.)
Type of Cuisine:Fine Dining
TripAdvisor Traveler RatingBased on 174 reviews
My second time back and I am in awe again of the gems that appear on the wine list and the pairings that Chef Pellie does. They manage to find absolute treasures which will please your palate and...
Johan J Says:
My first visit to this boutique hotel's restaurant as part of our year-end function lunch. Enjoyed a set menu with a nice variety for starters, main and desert. Nice wine selection (we opted for a...
Alex L Says:
The first time for us at the Black Bamboo Restaurant, but we will be back. This is real fine dining in Pretoria. The atmosphere is calm and sophisticated and the service very professional and...