JOHANNESBURG - ‘Tis is the season to indulge in delectable delights, and Gauteng is aglow with culinary wonders that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.
From twinkling lights to mouthwatering bites, here's a guide to the best places to eat out this festive season in Gauteng.
THE BIGMOUTH SUSHI & GRILL
The Bigmouth Sushi & Grill is the perfect place to kick off your festive food adventure. Picture: Jacques Nelles/Eyewitness News
Located in the heart of Sandton, this is the perfect place to kick off your festive food adventure. This place is always busy, which is testament to their excellent food and service.
The menu is as diverse as the atmosphere – it’s as suited for a date night as it is to take your family out.
At The Bigmouth, the consensus is that the menu has a little bit of everything, from top steaks to mouthwatering sushi.
The Bigmouth chefs prepare a mouthwatering feast. Picture: Jacques Nelles/Eyewitness News
From sushi to steaks, this diverse menu caters for pretty much everyone. Picture: Jacques Nelles/Eyewitness News
Eyewitness News tried out their oxtail with Parmesan mash, which is one of the most popular dishes, and the chicken with the most delicious sauces.
Portions are generous – so much so that most people end up taking half their meal home as a takeaway. And you get what you pay for. It’s not a “pay R2 million for a peanut on your plate and a swoosh for deco” kind of place.
Generous portions mean most customers walk away full, with takeaway bags in tow. Picture: Jacques Nelles/Eyewitness News
Our rating: Service at The Bigmouth is 10/10. The staff are knowledgeable, attentive, and quick to attend to customers' needs.
Dinner for two at the restaurant will set you back between R800 to R1,200 for starters, main, and dessert.
Can anyone say Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?
Eyewitness News explored the inner workings of Geldhof Chocolates, where quality and craftsmanship reign supreme.
Manager Liam Meyer guided us through a world of exquisite chocolates, emphasising their extensive variety, from festive novelties to diverse flavours, even including non-added sugar and vegan options.
Great care is taken in preparing chocolates for all customers, including vegan and diabetic-friendly options. Picture: Jacques Nelles/Eyewitness News
“We have chocolates that have no added sugar, we use replacement like a sweetener that is suitable for diabetics. We also have vegan-friendly, so there's no dairy in them, and we take special care when we make this range to not have any kind of milk by-products,” Meyer said.
Meyer highlighted the meticulous care taken in crafting chocolates suitable for diabetics and vegans. The price spectrum varies, starting from R6, with the pièce de résistance being the giant chocolate Santa Claus, packed with over 10 kilogrammes of indulgence, if you have R4,000 to spare.
Geldhof Chocolatiers' giant chocolate Santa Claus, packed with over 10 kilogrammes of indulgence, if you have R4,000 to spare. Picture: Jacques Nelles/Eyewitness News
Our rating: With over 60 different flavours, including truffles with almonds, hazelnuts, and various creams, Geldhof Chocolatier offers a masterpiece for every taste.
Guests take in the view at Matthews Restaurant, located at Riviera on Vaal resort. Picture: Jacques Nelles/Eyewitness News
Located an hour from Sandton, Riviera on Vaal resort’s Matthews Restaurant is a hidden delight. Offering affordability that surprises even the most budget-conscious visitors, it's a haven for savvy spenders seeking value for money.
What makes Matthews truly stand out is its buffet extravaganza. From scrumptious breakfast spreads to lavish dinner feasts, this place has mastered the art of offering variety without breaking the bank.
Picture this: for just R185 per person, you can dive into their delightful breakfast buffet, and for dinner, it's a mere R220.
From scrumptious breakfast spreads to lavish dinner feasts, Matthews Restaurant has mastered the art of offering variety without breaking the bank. Picture: Jacques Nelles/Eyewitness News
And the best part? While you're savouring the culinary delights, your eyes are treated to a beautiful view of the Vaal River. Talk about dining with a view!
But wait, there's more. Matthews isn't just about the food. It's a haven for families. Owed to its location, Riviera on Vaal offers a golf course for enthusiasts, two pools for both adults and kids, a fishing section for those who find solace by the river, a play area for the little ones, and even a colouring room.
Riviera on Vaal overlooking the Vaal River. Picture: Jacques Nelles/Eyewitness News
Our rating: If a buffet-style setting with an added sprinkle of zest is your thing, look no further. Matthews Restaurant is not just a dining experience, it's a mini vacation that caters to every member of the family. This gem is the epitome of affordable luxury and a culinary adventure you won't want to miss.
KAPITO’S LIFESTYLE LOUNGE
Kapito's is the go-to destination for those in search of a lively night out with friends. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey Makhaza/Eyewitness News
Venturing into the serene and secluded landscapes of the Vaal, you might not expect to stumble upon a place as unique as this.
Well, hold onto your hats, because that perception is about to do a 180, courtesy of Kapito’s Lifestyle Lounge - an absolute gem hidden in the tranquillity of this seemingly quiet enclave.
Kapito’s is the go-to destination for those in search of a lively night out with friends. This upscale lounge is not for the kiddos, but does provide a haven where the convergence of an exceptional experience, delicious cuisine, and infectious beats achieves perfection. Despite being on the scene for just two years, Kapito’s has swiftly become the talk of the town.
A menu so diverse it'll make your head spin, from the savoury delights of jollof rice and succulent pork ribs to juicy steaks, the gastronomy on display will leave you coming back for more.
Nigerian-infused delights to indulge your taste buds at Kapito's. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey Makhaza/Eyewitness News
But here's the twist - Kapito’s doesn't just stop at the ordinary. They infuse a taste of Nigeria into their offerings, creating a culinary symphony that's nothing short of amazing.
"It's not your typical European menu. We pride ourselves on dishes like our seafood boil, a rarity in many establishments. And most love South African dishes like “skopo”, which is a pig head or a cow head,” said owner Ehis Ebhonu.
Our rating: Whether you're up for a night of dancing, indulging in top-notch food, or simply soaking in the lively atmosphere, Kapito’s is the place to be.
Quiet Vaal? Not anymore. Kapito’s has shaken things up, and it's here to stay.
Moving Feast owner Happiness Makhalemele. Picture: Katlego Jiyane
African cuisine is incredibly diverse, with the continent being home to a wide range of cultures, ethnicities, and geographic regions.
One woman who does not fail to incorporate the different types of meals is the owner of Moving Feast, Happiness Makhalemele.
For those who revel in the nostalgic warmth of their grandmother's kitchen, Makhalemele offers a feast that transports you back in time.
Makhalemele has cooked up a soul-satisfying combination of mogodu, hard body chicken, pork trotters, and dumplings, and merged it with a presentation that not only tantalises the taste buds, but also serves as a testament to the artistry of traditional African cooking.
A soul-satisfying combination of mogodu, hard body chicken, pork trotters, and dumplings from Moving Feast. Picture: Katlego Jiyane/Eyewitness News
“I have really found my niche with my mogodu because not everyone knows how to cook it at home. Not everyone knows how to make dumpling, and you know it’s easy to find fine dining restaurants in Sandton and just around Johannesburg, but never mogodu - and that’s where I come in.”
What sets Makhalemele's Moving Feast apart is the meticulous attention to detail and the personal touch she imparts to every aspect of the dining experience.
Her take on traditional African cuisine is a breath of fresh air, introducing a modern twist without sacrificing the essence of African dining.
Our rating: Moving Feast is more than just a restaurant; it's a sanctuary where every bite tells a story, and every moment is a celebration of the vibrant mosaic that is African culinary heritage. So, if you're yearning for an authentic experience that goes beyond the plate, make your way to Happiness Makhalemele's culinary haven - it's a feast for the senses, and a journey to the heart of Africa.
Keystone Bistro offers a taste of France right in your neighbourhood, transporting diners to a cozy French retreat. Picture: Katlego Jiyane/Eyewitness News
Yearning for a culinary escape to the romantic streets of Paris? Look no further than Keystone Bistro, a restaurant that offers a taste of France right in your neighbourhood, transporting diners to a cozy French retreat.
With its charming ambiance and an extensive menu boasting classic French dishes, this eatery captures the essence of French cuisine.
From the sea bass with creamy mashed potatoes green beans and a cauliflower sauce to the roasted rack of lamb with roasted baby carrots, by the time I had dessert, it was a food orgasm of note to the decadent crème brûlée.
Every dish is meticulously crafted to provide an authentic French dining experience. Picture: Katlego Jiyane/Eyewitness News
Every dish is meticulously crafted to provide an authentic French dining experience. The upscale yet welcoming atmosphere adds a dash of luxury to your culinary journey.
Chef Estaban Busa says for a three-course meal, you can expect to spend anything between R650 to R1,000 to enjoy a good meal.
“Our thing is we don't want people to break the bank, but we want them to still have a good quality food.”
French decadence at its finest. Picture: Katlego Jiyane/Eyewitness News
Our rating: Don your beret and savour the exquisite flavours that Keystone Bistro has to offer – a true French feast awaits!
Gauteng's culinary scene is ablaze with festive spirit, and these dining spots are sure to light up your holiday season.
From twinkling lights to tantalising tastes, embark on a journey that will leave you with memories as bright as the holiday lights themselves.
Cheers to a season of indulgence and enchanting eats.