This award-winning, elegant country restaurant is situated in a quiet hamlet on the outskirts of the western side of Johannesburg. Bellgables boasts ... More
This award-winning, elegant country restaurant is situated in a quiet hamlet on the outskirts of the western side of Johannesburg. Bellgables boasts opulent decor with larger-than-life furniture, and flowers and fruit spilling from period sideboards and cupboards. Although the owners call their place a country restaurant, there are no simple country dishes here. Bellgables is set on 21 acres in a valley near Muldersdrift, and is a short 40 kilometre drive from Northcliff and Sandton. This enchanting spot, ideal for a Sunday lunch on the deep patio, has deservedly won a number of awards. The menu is international and each dish has a grand appearance, creative not only in its ingredients but also its preparation and presentation. There is a superb selection of wines—hand-pick your own from the cellar—by either the bottle or glass (good wine by the glass is sadly unusual in Gauteng).
An outstanding restaurant in every respect, consistently for years now. I tell everyone that no restaurant in Joburg compares and book it for every special occasion. Decadent decor involving antiques thrown together artfully, huge country bouquets and fireplaces, little nooks and crannies, for me it encompasses romance. The food is sublime, the service outstanding. It is pricey but worth every cent. I booked for my birthday one year, and it happened to fall on the day of the Rugby Word Cup opening. No other restaurant was open that night. When we arrived, we were surprised to note there were no other patrons. No one had booked that evening but because they knew it was my birthday they opened their entire restaurant, had staff there, had all the fireplaces and candles lit and served a full magnificent meal to us! I told them that they should have cancelled and their response was that they would never do that. We felt like celebrities! An incredible restaurant that has given us many happy memories. There is nothing about it that I do not like.
I have eaten in many of the finest restaurants around the globe, but this was exceptional! Not only artfully presented, but the taste was out of this world. Well done to the team at Bellgables. Whenever I'm in South Africa again, I will make a point of coming back.
I'll start with the two most important bits of information, the food is very good, not amazing, but very good. Portions are roundly generous for starters and mains. The value for money is poor, when I pay R60 plus for a Creme Brulee I expect more than just a standard sized portion made in the traditional manner, I expect something special.
The wine list is very comprehensive and covers many of the more notable Cape wine farms. The service was lacking, having half of your meal delivered to the table 5 to 10 minutes before the other half of your meal is not acceptable in an establishment which has aspiratrions towards fine-dining. On top of that, not everyone's meals were served at the same time, requiring members of the party to wait and allow their food to cool while waiting for everyone's food to reach the table.
The Decor is flamboyant and somewhat over-the-top to the extent that it is often neccesary to look around fruit ladened gold centrepieces to see members of you party on the opposite side of the table.
If you can only visit one first class restaurant in Johannesburg, this is it. Not a meal, it's a culinary event. The decor, the staff, the setting, the food presentation all complement each other to make a truly memorable experience. Allow several hours for a leisurely meal and for meandering through the gardens - and don't overlook the art gallery!
This was the best restaurant I have ever experienced and it was a true experience, visually as well as taste. The attention to detail was remarkable and I would HIGHLY recommend eating at Bellgables once in your lifetime...if you are lucky enough to live in SA- get there as often as possible. Great energy, Great Hosts, Great Food, Great Wine, Greatness at it's best.
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