Oh mon dieu! This French restaurant by chef Robert Baxa at the brand-new Giglio (pronounced ‘jee-leo’) Boutique Hotel in Bedfordview will make you go ‘ooh la la’. The Giglio dining experience begins before you reach the restaurant as you drive down an avenue of giant pin oak trees and the rush of the city life slips away. When you enter the idyllic and exclusive haven that is this five-star property, you’ll feel like you’ve arrived somewhere in Constantia in the Cape.
The intimate, exquisitely appointed Giglio dining room is a place where you can enjoy polished French-inspired food without the usual killer prices or fawning service. There are solid timber floors, chairs fashioned from repurposed wine barrels, mood-enhancing chandeliers and a cellar behind glass as well as a pool deck. It’s been designed around the culture of wine appreciation, so wines come first, of course, but you’ll be wanting something to eat too.
Not all dishes are strictly French, but there’s no disputing the Gallic presentation and service. We recommend starting with the duck carpaccio and seared duck breast served sliced with honey, olive oil, sesame seeds and sliced Turkish apricot or the gravadlax of Norwegian salmon cured in coarse salt and sugar with dill, lemon zest and sour cream. When it comes to mains, you can taste the joie de vivre in every dish, from the rack of lamb served with a mustard and herb crust, sautéed greens and tomatoes, and a lamb jus, to the oven-baked line fish of the day served on a pea puree with beurre blanc sauce.
Puds come up trumps too – think vanilla crème brûlée, frozen nougat and triple chocolate soufflé. The food is lavish French fine dining at its best, while the magnificent wine list caters to novices and connoisseurs alike. If you’re hell-bent on impressing a loved one, paying this restaurant a visit is a must-do!
84 Van Buuren Road, Bedfordview
082 789 5328