Sandton Central is the heartbeat of the Sandton municipality. It’s alive with culture and vibrancy. For those looking to satisfy their hunger for gastronomic quality, there is no better district in town. Every month, we’ll be looking at some of the eateries on offer for the discerning palate.
Adjacent to the towering statue of Madiba, the Greek restaurant resonates with its own unique magic. Stepping within, one is immediately engulfed in the warmth of Greek hospitality. The music is Mediterranean magnificence and sets the scene perfectly. There’s a hearty menu to select from. Recommended is the Fillet Camembert, a house speciality.
It’s an explosion of flavours, with camembert cheese, caramelised red onion, and pepper sauce all imbued together over a flame grill. Its immensely tangy and savoury, and only slightly burny with a pleasant warmth. Tempting as it was, we didn’t devour our meal, but kept pace with the restaurant’s laid-back atmosphere. Outside, people milled around snapping pictures of friends by the impressive statue of our democratic country’s first president.
People-watching is immensely satisfying from the one-storey up window, while one makes lively conversation. Finally, it was time for dessert. As difficult as it seemed to fit in another course, the loukomades simply sounded too indulgent to miss: deep fried dough balls, dipped in syrup, and topped with cinnamon. It was no disappointment.
The loukomades tastes heavenly. Those watching their sugar intake should consider their outing to Pappas a cheat day.
Pappas is the perfect ambassador for Greek culture, and should definitely be added to your must-eat-at¬ list. Visit the Sandton Central district restaurant soon and celebrate as the Greeks do: enjoying food as part of the richness of life.
Just remember, the breaking of plates is saved for special occasions, though if you slip by accident, you’re sure to hear Opa!
Gautrain eateries: a treat after your last stop
Outside the Gautrain station, and up West Street, are several coffee places you can visit for a satisfying lift before going about your business. We visited Krispy Kreme for a sweet ending to our Gautrain journey (we were in Pretoria to visit an old friend). The selection of donuts is unbelievable, and enough to cause a sugar rush just on sight alone. Wanting to avoid diabetes, we only picked one: an amazing melktert donut. It was incredible, melt-in-mouth experience. A true South African melding of different cultures experience. But there are simply too many different flavours and types to choose from.
You’ll want to take them all! The staff are incredibly friendly, and ready to engage you in easy banter.
It’s said humans have a primal drive, from our caveman days, to enjoy succulent meat. We hunted mammoths across great plains in order to satisfy that hunger. But these days, you don’t have to go further than 20 Maude Street in Sandton Central. The Bull Run provides all the sustenance you need while pleasing your palate with delicious steaks.
The Bull Run pre-renovation had a genteel atmosphere, almost of days long since gone by. A gentleman’s arena. The restaurant had a mellow deep, rich colour due to its well-polished wooden floors and red-brownish brick walls. The ambient lighting provided a cosy feel for its visitors.
However, it’s currently going through an upgrade process now. But the new Bull Run will be open soon, next month (early July in fact). That’s the estimation, of course, but we’ll keep you informed.
Still, it’s worth going to the Protea Balalaika hotel it’s part of. That’s because The Colony, Balalaika’s restaurant, serves a limited Bull Run’s menu, cooked to perfection just as it would have been pre-renovation. We just had to order the 250gm fillet steak, topped with pepper sauce and mash as a side. It sounded too good to pass up.
The mash complements the steak, with the pepper sauce bringing a satisfying small sting. This unlocked the fillet’s full flavour. Served with crisp garnish, slicing up the meal and mixing it together is the suggested way to enjoy it. And enjoy it you will. It truly is succulent. So, whatever you do, don’t order it ‘well done’. This will kill the juices that make the steak such a treat. We had ours ‘medium-rare’, where it had some pinkness to it. That’s our recommendation.
It’s certainly delicious enough that, if we had a time machine, our distance ancestors would have sworn off mammoth meat and switched to grade-A beef.
Lord’s Cigar Bar: The gentleman’s stop
Following a hearty meal at the Bull Run, one can retire to Lord’s Cigar Bar to partake in the afterglow of a satisfying dinner. This is done best by imbibing imported whisky or cognac. The atmosphere is most delightful – golden-brown rich colours from a brush that painted its interior in a wooden glow. The aroma of the finest cigars permeates the air – cigars which provide a soothing, relaxing experience.
Cubans aplenty are available, so you’re spoiled for choice with the best tobacco leaves in the world. And they’re perfect to pair with a quality whisky on the rocks or a mixer while watching sports on the large overhanging television. It’s a great place for reading the news on your iPad, or making muted conversation with your dining fellows. Or even persons you’ve just met.
On occasion, pigeons will drop by the bar, merrily wandering about the floor. No starling flight, no swift swinging of wings. It seems even they have the qualities of a calm, well-to-do gentleman in this most eloquent cigar bar.
Besides the above mentioned dining experiences there is an array of choice in Sandton Central. Visit any one of these restaurants today.