The hottest new restaurants to check out in Joburg and Durban

Obscura Cocktail Bar & Eatery. Picture: Supplied

Obscura Cocktail Bar & Eatery. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 19, 2024


Of the many, many spectacular things South Africa is known for, the country’s restaurant scene is usually close to the top of the list.

This stellar reputation has been known to attract a visitor or two to explore the country’s award-winning culinary options.

Whether you are looking for an experience or simply want a tasty meal, here are some of the best new restaurants to dine at this winter.

Agrilla Meet & Cocktail Bar. Picture: Supplied

Agrilla Meet & Cocktail Bar

Located at Time Square in Pretoria, Agrilla Meet & Cocktail Bar is a concept designed by friends and business partners, Paul de Jager and Jon Sarris.

The restaurant’s unique offering is an engaging “theatre of dining”, using butcher blocks to slice the customers meat at their table.

“We make our own dry wors and biltong, our steaks are 21-day wet-aged in-house, and we offer the best pap and sheba. We are a steakhouse for adults and our menu is based upon what South Africans like to eat best,” said executive chef, Justin Jonah.

The menu is influenced by the Afrikaans and Greek roots of the owners, offering dishes they enjoy such as chicken livers, trinchado and grilled halloumi.

Starters include mushrooms, bruschetta rubbed with garlic and topped with black pepper cream, heirloom tomatoes and onion salsa; American-style buffalo chicken wings tossed in barbecue sauce and marrow bones with toast.

The restaurant also does a mixed grill for sharing, with steak, boerewors, chicken wings and a choice of sides including twice-cooked potato wedges, buttery Parmesan mashed potato, wedges and creamed spinach.

In keeping with its patrons’ requirements, the restaurant has a wide selection of whiskies and high-end cognacs.

“We want people to get together and enjoy cocktails inspired by top mixologists around the world. Think old-school flavours with modern influence – instead of a whisky sour, we have a blueberry sour, made with tequila,” said Sarris.

Donna Modern Italian. Picture: Supplied

Donna Modern Italian

Donna Modern Italian boasts a modern Italian menu that celebrates rich culinary heritage, incorporated with innovative techniques and contemporary design, to allow for a family-style dining experience.

The vibrant ambience makes it the ideal spot for an afternoon with loved ones, a refreshing cocktail or an intimate celebration. You can also let the kids play in their supervised playground whilst you enjoy some Italian classics.

The restaurant is owned by twin brothers Andile and Ayanda Ngidi, who are the founders of the La Vie Hospitality Group.

Based in the heart of Salt Rock, at the new Salt Rock Centre, this upscale restaurant guarantees exceptional cuisine, elevated cocktails and unrivalled service for foodies and families alike.

Obscura Cocktail Bar & Eatery. Picture: Supplied

Obscura Cocktail Bar & Eatery

Obscura Cocktail Bar & Eatery is the brainchild of three industry titans: entertainment and hospitality mogul Ricardo da Costa, legendary hospitality and bar guru George Hunter and leading businessman Leren Govender.

Their combined expertise and passion for exceptional service have culminated in a venue that promises to redefine the Rosebank social scene.

The culinary offerings at the eatery are centred around tapas-style plating, with a particular emphasis on key signature dishes for everyone to savour and share.

The food menu is designed to be flexible and evolves every so often, ensuring that each visit brings a new and delightful gastronomic adventure.

Favourites include their signature Cape Malay charred broccoli dish, the to-die-for Korean panko chicken wings, the mouth-watering carrot and baba ghanoush, sumo fries, and the scrumptious umqombothi banoffee tartlet.

On the drinks menu, they have a curated list of signature cocktails that occasionally change with the seasons, ensuring a fresh and dynamic drinks menu throughout the year.

“At Obscura we pride ourselves on creating the best hospitality experience for all our patrons, making them feel like guests in our home rather than customers.

“Our team goes the extra mile to ensure that every ‘guest’ receives impeccable service in an intimate and welcoming environment,” stated Hunter.