Saxon Hotel
Candice Philip
Johannesburg restaurant

‘a modern, herbaceous journey like no other’

The Saxon Hotel is an urban sanctuary that draws discerning guests and diners seeking luxury in the heart of the city. It’s a sophisticated setting, the villas, suites and spa offering understated African elegance. Upstairs at Grei guests settle into the intimate environment to savour a sensory, herbaceous journey. Simplicity and sophistication meet as equal partners, and attention to detail is paramount in every aspect of the experience. From white-gloved, informative and charming service to a local and international wine list that has been curated to keep the most exacting connoisseur impressed.

Having spent 14 years working here under legendary chefs, when the opportunity to make it her own, chef Candice Philip grabbed it with enthusiasm. “I always wanted my own space – when the opportunity arose, I already knew the name. Grei means ‘tribe’ or ‘clan’ in Portuguese,” she says. The monotone décor in shades of grey forms an uncompetitive backdrop for her superlative, eye-catching cuisine. It’s special-occasion dining, inspired by her love of herbs, grown on site in the rooftop garden.

The menu – based on the seasons and labelled by the scientific names of equinox, hibernal, vernal and solstice – changes on the cusp but evolves constantly. Candice creates a combination of three flavour profiles and then her team of four with one trainee have input, creating unforgettable dishes. It’s a tight team that is an unparalled joy to witness as they quietly create perfection on a plate.

There are three menus: A main, vegetarian and pescatarian. Her cordials form the base of some interesting, non-alcoholic pairings with homegrown produce. Expect surprises and a touch of uncontrived, discreet ‘theatre’, subtle nuances that may go undetected if you do not involve yourself totally in the experience. Dishes like the springbok with caviar and buck leaf sorrel and the sweetbreads with scallop and wild garlic, will be remembered indefinitely. Simple yet creative plating impresses with each course stimulating worthy.

If Candice loves a dish, you know that the odds are that you will too.

“Just enjoying this moment in time for what it is.” Chef Candice Philip

Address: The Saxon Hotel, 36 Saxon Road, Sandhurst, Johannesburg, 2196

Contact: 011 292 6000

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