The Black Bamboo - Fabulous fine dining in Pretoria
Ask any gourmand in South Africa's capital where to reserve a spot for superb fine dining, and The Black Bamboo will certainly be recommended. This exceptional restaurant is discretely tucked away in the affluent suburb of Faerie Glen, not far from the posh business hubs of Brooklyn and Menlyn. It is part of Menlyn Boutique Hotel, an exclusive sanctuary and favourite spot for the who's who of Pretoria's social elite.
Its unpretentious interior is airy and inviting, featuring an interesting array of contrasting pendants hanging from the split level ceiling. A combination of comfortable suede and velvet armchairs in soft taupe and brown hues surround tables decked in white cloths topped with pops of indigenous florals.
Diners can look forward to an ever evolving à la carte menu filled with original dishes inspired by contemporary international fare, showcasing a clever local interpretation. My advice is to go all out and have their fantastic 7 course tasting menu complete with wine pairing. Based on the classic Cape wine estate experience, the chef's selection of appetizers, entrées and desserts are coupled with rare South African cultivars and skillfully presented in smaller portions.
I was particularly fond of their sensational seared yellowfin tuna served with broccoli purée and a scrumptious pumpkin seed salsa. The different flavours and textures performed together in perfect unison, striking a delicious resonating culinary chord. For the sweet finale, which happened to be my unashamed favourite, a creamy avocado mousse with rice puffs, lemon cream and refreshing lychee sorbet - heaven!
The service I received from both my pleasant waitron and the knowledgeable sommelier was cordial and responsive, making the magnificent meal even more memorable. By the end of the evening, I was nearing epicurean Shangri-La, having tasted what seemed like an endless parade of beautiful wines, and sampled the carte du jour's exquisite highlights.
It is not often that one dines at an establishment that ticks all the right boxes. When such a scarce event occurs, my love for great food is reignited through the contagious passion and boundless labors of those behind the scenes. I applaud the expert chefs and sedulous team of this charismatic eatery, and look forward to indulging in their classy cuisine again soon...
* I dined as a guest of the Menlyn Boutique Hotel and my meal was complimentary
All opinions and photos are my own © Traverate