The hottest new restaurants for summer dining

The Octavia Hotel Restaurant. Picture: Supplied

The Octavia Hotel Restaurant. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 15, 2024


On the hunt for the best new restaurants? South Africa is home to some of the best places to eat in the world, with the country’s dining scene growing exponentially over the years, and pretty much every cuisine imaginable being accounted for.

With so many great spots to choose from, dinner can become somewhat overwhelming. New restaurants open every day, but how do you separate the great from the good?

Well, we have done the hard work for you, and these are some of the new restaurant openings you need to check out this summer.

A dish from the menu at Luminary on 12th. Picture: Supplied

Luminary on 12th

At Luminary on 12th, they believe that every meal should be a masterpiece. Executive chef Adrian Vaughan and his team of expert chefs curate a tantalising 5-course menu that celebrates the artistry of fine dining.

The ever-changing menu at the “bookings only” restaurant currently includes freshly baked brioche with parfait and jam, a fish course of monkfish, mussels in coconut, the main course featuring a signature dish of aged beef with coffee and parsnip, a cheese course, and a decadent cherry, chocolate and mascarpone dessert.

Their sommeliers have selected a diverse array of wines to complement each course, ensuring that every sip harmonises with the richness of the cuisine.

Vaughan said they have been developing the portfolio of food for the restaurant over the past five years by completing their unique chef’s table experiences in the main kitchen at Time Square.

“It is my ultimate goal to gain recognition as a chef, and what better place to start than with this fantastic platform to create fine dining dishes regularly for our patrons,” he said.

Located at Time Square, the restaurant is open Friday and Saturday nights and works strictly by bookings only.

The Octavia Hotel Restaurant. Picture: Supplied

The Octavia Hotel Restaurant

Nestled in the heart of Inanda in KwaZulu-Natal and offering breathtaking views of Inanda Dam, this culinary haven has become a sought-after destination for those seeking a gastronomic experience that marries impeccable cuisine.

The restaurant operates throughout the day, serving a delectable selection of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

One stand-out item on the current summer menu is the crispy squid, a starter featuring deep-fried calamari served on a bed of lemon and dill mayo. For mains, the harissa chicken takes centre stage. Marinated and grilled to perfection, it is served on a bed of wild quinoa salad.

The loaded cheesecake steals the spotlight among desserts, presenting a fusion of unexpected flavours.

Their culinary journey is an exquisite blend of luxury and fine dining, with a three-course meal costing around R400 per person.

La Parada menu. Picture: Supplied

La Parada

Situated in the vibrant Kyalami Corner complex in Johannesburg, the new La Parada boasts a contemporary yet inviting atmosphere, designed to encourage socialising and relaxation.

Their cocktails and drinks will take you on a journey through the diverse world of international beverages. They bring people together to share in the joy and love of tapas culture.

Head of marketing at Life and Brand Portfolio Jolene Strydom said: “With a commitment to creating memorable dining experiences, La Parada Kyalami Corner promises to transport guests on a gastronomic journey inspired by the rich and diverse culinary traditions of the Mediterranean.

“The menu features an array of delectable tapas, mouthwatering mains, and tantalising desserts, all crafted with the freshest locally sourced ingredients.”

Grub & Vine Norval. Picture: Nickey Bothma

Grub and Vine Norval

Recently, Grub and Vine announced the launch of its second restaurant at the Norval Foundation in the Constantia wine valley in Cape Town.

The restaurant offers refined bistro-style fare and an extensive wine list that features the best of South African wine, as well as a curated selection of fine wines from around the world.

Chef patron and director of the Grub and Vine group Matt Manning said the restaurant sets out to celebrate the commonality between beautiful food, wine and art.

“Art – whether it be visual, culinary, or the artistry of winemaking – evokes emotion. It has the power to make you feel nostalgic, invigorated, or inspired. We not only believe in the beautiful synergy between all three; our vision is for our guests to feel it too,” said Manning.

“Rich colours and gorgeous textures inject a sense of warmth into the space, while not detracting from the structural magnificence of the Norval building. The kitchen is open plan and a key feature of the space, with a 16-seater chef’s table giving guests a front-row seat to the action.

“Just off the main dining room and up a staircase is the Grub and Vine bar, where guests can enjoy a glass of wine or dine from our bar menu while enjoying spectacular views of the garden,” he said.