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The Black Bamboo - Fabulous fine dining in Pretoria

The Black Bamboo - Fabulous fine dining in Pretoria

 Amuse bouche: salmon caviar 

Amuse bouche: salmon caviar 

Location

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. 

 Beetroot panna cotta, carrot caraway purée, stout gel, pumpkin seed, smoked goatscheese 

Beetroot panna cotta, carrot caraway purée, stout gel, pumpkin seed, smoked goatscheese 

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Ambience

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.  

 Seared yellowfin tuna, broccoli purée, pumpkin seed salsa

Seared yellowfin tuna, broccoli purée, pumpkin seed salsa

 Cured salmon, radish, pea purée, tapioca crisp, carrot mousse, burnt orange

Cured salmon, radish, pea purée, tapioca crisp, carrot mousse, burnt orange

Cuisine

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. 

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 Salt baked carrot, pearl barley risotto, carrot chipotle purée, hazelnut butter, glazed baby carrot

Salt baked carrot, pearl barley risotto, carrot chipotle purée, hazelnut butter, glazed baby carrot

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!    

 Panko beef fillet, mushroom purée, pommes Anna, confit carrots, charred butternut, jus

Panko beef fillet, mushroom purée, pommes Anna, confit carrots, charred butternut, jus

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. 

 Avocado mousse, rice puffs, lychee jelly, compressed apple, lemon cream, lychee sorbet, spun sugar

Avocado mousse, rice puffs, lychee jelly, compressed apple, lemon cream, lychee sorbet, spun sugar

 Chocolate cremeux, tonka bean mousse, cocoa nips, vanilla tonka bean ice cream, bitter chocolate sauce

Chocolate cremeux, tonka bean mousse, cocoa nips, vanilla tonka bean ice cream, bitter chocolate sauce

My thoughts

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

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The Black Bamboo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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