It’s upstairs at the Saxon Hotel’s legendary fine dining restaurant with its sleek backdrop of the open kitchen, where head chef Candice Philip is realising her own sensory vision.
After 13 years of working alongside the likes of David Higgs and Luke Dale Roberts, Grei is inspired by her love of Scandinavian simplicity, and the décor is all shades of grey – to allow the dishes to stand out. Although the hotel’s 18-year-old rooftop garden has always been a source of inspiration for the Saxon chefs, Candice is taking things one step further and focusing on less traditional heroes: humble herbs.
As Candice says on her six-course tasting menu, Grei’s philosophy, “Seeks the sensual understanding and usage of understated herbaceous ingredients”. Don’t expect anything traditional – Candice embraces the unusual and has artfully curated the textures, colours and ambience. The herbs themselves don’t compete, “they just do their own thing”. Each dish is an ‘installation’ – a masterpiece – designed to alter your perception of certain foods, at the same time a celebration of technique and expertise. This is presentation we seldom see in bustling restaurants, with surprises like cinnamon dust, whiskey jelly, charcoal honeycomb and beetroot ‘glass’. All served by waiters in white gloves – very theatrical.
You will be delighted by ‘snacks’ – a beautiful mirrored platter showcasing delicate morsels like a mushroom meringue with a filling of mushroom gel and mushroom dust, and palate cleansers like lemon and Cinzano ‘pebbles’ served on dry ice. Candice refreshes the menu every six to eight weeks; and the tasting menu highlights only the three ‘anchor’ ingredients – explained by the waiters or the chefs themselves. Enjoy the tasting menu with exclusive wines, tea or specially blended juices and infusions.
“Grei is just an honest, seasonal representation of colours and flavours, and a sensual herbaceous experience.” Chef Candice Philip
Address: The Saxon Hotel, 36 Saxon Road, Sandhurst, Johannesburg, 2196
Phone: 011 292 6000