The Black Bamboo restaurant in Pretoria is more than a boutique hotel restaurant. White table cloths and sumptuous velvet seating add finesse, befitting the elegant art-and-wine theme. Here patron chef Pellie Grobler, internationally trained but locally lauded, is always doing something different. He acknowledges that diners are seeking lighter, more contemporary fare – with a twist.
Plates are engaging in terms of presentation, taste and texture, and innovation. Choose from the á la carte or seven-course tasting menu. The menu is refreshed every fortnight. “We have two dishes that guests always phone ahead of time and request – our egg yolk gnocchi (egg yolk wrapped in gnocchi with roasted mushrooms and a mushroom broth) and our lemon meringue which has had three different versions in the restaurant.” Pellie’s ingredients of choice in spring include avocado and blackberries, in summer asparagus and artichokes. In cooler months expect aubergines, beetroot, fennel and turnips. Look out for his surf ‘n turf starter, the chicken Ballantine, mushroom risotto and the unforgettable chocolate cremaux. Service staff are genuinely service-focused.
Pellie loves using and learning new techniques, it keeps him engaged and his team on their toes. He claims to constantly be thinking about food, and when travelling, seeks out spots where locals eat. Heritage and nostalgia influence his food. “There are always pull-backs to things I learned eating and tasting as a kid. Trying to find ways to incorporate this is always fun as it brings back memories,” says Pellie.
“As you grow older and wiser you realize that great food is all about great products. Chefs are merely the vehicles to showcase that.” Chef Pellie Grobler
Address: 207 Tugela Road, Ashlea Gardens, Pretoria, 0081
Phone: 084 508 9752