Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Balata Restaurant at The Fairway Hotel, Randburg

This hotel in Randburg is home to one of the best kept secrets in Johannesburg.
"What is the secret"? I hear you ask...
Read on and you will soon find out.

It offers one of the best sunset view points in Johannesburg.

Happy hour...every Friday night, between 16h00 and 19h00.
How can "Happy hour" last for 3?
Is it important? Not really in the greater scheme of things.
And the food, drink and live music over that extended "hour" was enjoyed by all

Time for a drink before heading in to dinner...
or a great place to sit and reminisce about your meal after dinner.

And THIS is the secret that I mentioned earlier.
The Balata Restaurant.
The name Balata comes from a non-elastic water-resistant gum 
that is found in golf ball covers.
And seeing that there is a golf course close by,
 the name is most appropriate.

The dining room is understated elegance personified.
When the restaurant was opened, the d├ęcor won awards for the designers

The table setting are simple but elegant.

Starters for my wife...
Poached prawns with a citrus salad.
An unusual combination, but executed with perfection.
The tartness of the citrus combined beautifully with the subtle flavour of the prawns

I chose the Lobster bisque, which was done with brandy and cream.
I have to nail mu colours to the mast and admit to being a soup "addict".
No matter what the season is, or the temperature for that matter,
a hearty bowl of soup will always be a choice for me.
And I was not disappointed by my choice on this occasion.
Often soups are over seasoned, but this was not the case with the dish that I ordered.

Mains...
Sweet chilli glazed free range duck.
Braised and partially de-boned,
served on stir fried vegetables and egg noodles.
My wife raved about this dish.
She commented on how the fat had been rendered correctly, 
which is often not done correctly.
She did find that she would have preferred the duck a little more moist,
but that was quickly rectified with the addition of extra sweet chilli sauce

Mediterranean braised lamb shank.
Slow cooked in red wine, lemon, rosemary and garlic. 
It was served with creamy mashed potato and steamed vegetables.
My absolute favourite restaurant dish...and one that I save for special occasions.
I was not disappointed.
A hearty helping served with just the correct amount of mash potato
 and beautifully steamed fresh vegetables.

And finally...a shared dessert.
Malva pudding with toffee syrup and vanilla ice cream.
A different take on a classic South African dessert...and it was delicious.
I am truly glad to see that restaurants are making their own custards
 and are not relying on the "out-of-the-box" variety.
It does make a difference to the taste of the dish.
We finished the evening off with a couple of cappuccinos.
and the promise of a return visit to try some of the other dishes
 that had caught our attention.

To find out more about the hotel and the restaurant,
visit their Facebook page:
 Or their website:


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