Chef David Higgs has revealed further titbits about his new restaurant, which is opening in Rosebank in Johannesburg, now delayed to open in May.
Interviewed on the Dan Nicholls Show and released yesterday, Chef David announced that he will add a butchery and wine bar on the ground floor of their building, which is being erected in partnership with Gary Kyriacou. It sounds like a Publik/Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants model in Church Street Cape Town, and could well see Andy Fenner opening a branch there, given that he has already opened a second branch in Cape Town.
Further information gleaned from the interview is that a Chef Werner Spöhr (previously at The Saxon) has been appointed. The menu will include ‘easy eating‘, ‘comfort food‘, and ‘good well-executed cocktails‘. They will be ‘appealing to a wider audience‘, and will be ‘lot more affordable’ (one assumes relative to his former five hundred restaurant at The Saxon). In New York they looked at a ‘beast of a piece of (kitchen) equipment, the Rolls Royce‘.
Additional information we already have is that the restaurant will be a 250-seater, will be meat-based, and preparation will be wood fire cooking. Union Square Café in New York will be a benchmark, following a visit to New York. It is located next to the Circa Gallery, on Jan Smuts Avenue in Rosebank. It has a roof deck with good views. It will be warm and welcoming, to women in particular, and will offer an escape from the busy Johannesburg lifestyle. It will be truly Johannesburgian rather than South African. The restaurant name is still unknown.
It is clear that Chef David wants a lifestyle change, after a number of years in the fine dining scene, in which he reached the pinnacle. When he was at Rust en Vrede the restaurant reached the number one slot, and he was named Chef of the Year whilst at five hundred. Now he ‘wants to have a laugh and enjoy myself‘!
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.whalecottage.com/blog Tel 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@WhaleCottage Facebook: click here