More than four years after opening and Kream Restaurant in Mall of Africa continues to turn tables – and require reservations. It shouldn’t be a surprise, given owner Tufan Yerebakan’s penchant for nailing straightforward but innovative modern cuisine. Making the all-important date day or night decision can be difficult, but you can trust us when we say that this is one of the best restaurants for a romantic day or night in the City of Gold.
Special but not clichéd, buzzy but not loud, intimate but not awkward – Kream Restaurant is perfect for first dates, anniversary dinners and everything in between. In our opinion, Joburg is a lunch town, so we recommend booking for lunch; an especially grand time of day to dine. You’ll find that diners in crisp seersucker suits or flamboyant hats and high heels – who are decidedly in-the-know professionals looking for the next ‘it’ spot – typically fill the sleek establishment’s tables by noon.
Cocktails kick off each meal and extravagant sweets signal that dinner is just around the corner. Saturdays are especially festive: Many Joburgers start their weekend with a spirited lunch, likely with a gin cocktail or bottle of champagne. And much like leisure time, lunch is taken seriously at Kream Restaurant, where almost everything is about as laisse-faire as it gets. The artistically designed space is romantic but not overly so, falling somewhere between sophisticated and relaxed. The outdoor space isn’t quite like the interior, but on the perfect day when the sun is out, it’s still equally appealing.
With formidable wine recommendations that don’t feel rehearsed to some of the friendliest sommeliers in the business, we suggest starting your meal with an icy bottle of champagne that’s just begging to be popped. The wine list is exhaustive, offering some of the finest and rarest choices of tipples available, but it also caters to gin, whisky and cognac lovers. Here, you can taste some of the best cocktails in the city such as our favourite, the crisp and refreshing Cape Gooseberry.
With a gem of a menu, whether you’re digging into sushi or duck leg confit, it’s guaranteed to be a soul-soothing, unforgettable experience. Begin your decadent daytime meal with the wild oysters served with smoked salmon, onion, tomato, basil, salsa, cream cheese and roe. If you don’t already have a love affair with the aphrodisiac snack, you will after trying these. Then, move onto the slightly sweet, buttery and soft scallops that melt fabulously on the tongue for starters. Served in their beautiful fan-shaped shell, the ocean jewels are done in a garlic and herb butter with a side of toasted ciabatta. We also highly recommend the rich, flavourful beef bone marrow, which is a carnivore’s delight served with toasted garlic, rosemary salt, port wine caramelised onions rocket salad and fresh lemon.
No matter which way you steer for mains – fillet camembert, smoked pork belly, seared Norwegian salmon, kingklip on the bone, chicken kiev or vegetarian risotto – the chef pulls out all the stops. Our top picks are the plump, juicy king prawns immersed in your choice of lemon butter, garlic butter or Mozambican peri peri sauce and the unbelievably tender pepper-crusted rump served with a pepper sauce, chive mashed potatoes, beans and onion. The Norwegian salmon served with a zesty pea purée, chive new potatoes, fennel, beans, peas and a crispy puff pastry round is also a fan-favourite, as is the elegant linguine dish with a creamy mushroom truffle and broccoli sauce and Parmesan cheese.
Finally, to end off, go with the light and creamy vanilla bean crème brûlée, a pefectly smooth custard with a brittle top of melted sugar served with almond biscotti and fresh fruit, or the silky-smooth ‘candy crush’ rainbow cheesecake with crushed candy cane, tonic jelly, candy floss, candied popcorn and bubblegum ice cream. You can ask the charismatic but unobtrusive staff to box up what you can’t manage. Take our advice and come with plenty of time – and elasticated trousers.
Mall of Africa, Magwa Crescent, Waterfall City, Midrand
010 591 0023