When in South Africa, you will still need to eat, lets face it, not eating really isn’t an option and why waste the opportunity of eating at the well presented and highly praised DW Eleven – 13 restaurant in Johannesburg?

DW Eleven - 13

You will truly not be disappointed, the restaurant strives to offer the most sustainable and fresh produce available and everything is made on site to order.

We highly recommend the “Degustation” menu, you get to try a little of everything that DW Eleven – 13 has to offer.

As we eagerly awaited our first of seven courses, we were presented with a cured loch Duarte Scottish salmon, rye soil, pickled cucumber, beetroot sorbet, vanilla and lemon cream. A fantastic start! The waiters explained everything on our plate and suggested a suitable drink to accompany it and each dish that followed if we so desired. The dish was pretty as a picture and beautifully delicate.

Followed by the pigs head and smoked ham hock terrine, smoked butternut puree, sweet mustard, micro greens and plum salad. Yet snother beautiful dish that was full of flavour and texture.  So two courses in and we were 2 for 2.

The next dish was proving concern for one of our fellow diners. It consisted of crispy veal sweetbreads, minted pea puree, bacon bits, beef jus and bacon foam. Our guest had never tried sweetbreads before and was more than a little concerned.

Having grown up in the countryside in the north of England and was being frequently fed them as a child, I was excited and once tasted our guest was a sweetbread convert.

These sweetbreads were stunning, crispy on the outside and beautifully soft inside. We were now 3 for 3, almost fifty percent through our meal and we hadn’t had any thus far to cause concern.

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Being in South Africa you become accustomed to seeing Springbok on the menu. We were served Szechuan crusted springbok loin, potato dauphinoise, sweet potato puree, roasted carrots and turnips, potato glass and a raspberry venison jus. Almost irritatingly, the springbok was cooked to perfection. It was juicy and tender and the crust added that extra texture and spice.

Our final savoury dish to be presented was roasted hake, charred broccoli, tempura mussels, coriander salad, sweet potato chip and tom yum veloute. I think this was one of my favourite dishes of the entire meal. Extremely light and full of flavour and again beautifully presented. Well there you go, we finished off the savoury part of our meal in complete happiness, 5 for 5, we weren’t expecting to be that satisfied.

The final two dishes were more dessert based and the first of the desserts was my least favourite dish of the night. It consisted of gorgonzola ice cream (yes you read that right!), walnut soil, red wine mayonnaise, pickled apple, frozen grapes, hydrated sultanas and shredded celery. This dish was too bizarre for my taste buds. The ice cream was heavily cheesy. A statement I never thought I would say! It was so strong and was difficult to eat without pulling a face. I really didn’t like this dish. The giant frozen grapes were very strange too. I hadn’t envisaged sucking grapes whilst out for a meal! Thats not to say the dish wasn’t a perfectly presented dish, but in our reality, these flavours should not be put on the same plate.

Thankfully the final dish made up for it and completely removed my “sucking a lemon” face. We were presented with a carrot semifreddo, carrot fudge sauce, cinnamon macaroon, sour cream spheres and candied carrots. Despite sounding decidedly odd, it tasted beautiful. This one has even made it to my all time favourites list.

All in all the whole meal was fantastic and highly recommended. This beautiful restaurant could easily give some of our UK Michelin starred restaurants a run for their money!

— Heidi.

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