Dunkeld West Shopping Centre, Jan Smuts Avenue, Dunkeld West
Ten years later and DW-eleven-13 still offers incredible experimental cuisine and remarkable service to its patrons. Perhaps the secret to remaining one of the top fine dining restaurants in Johannesburg lies in its owner and executive head chef Marthinus Ferreira’s firm, hands-on approach and his dedication to giving diners high-quality dishes made with sustainable ingredients from local and artisanal suppliers, bringing his culinary imagination to life on our plates.
If ever just staying in your lane and doing your own thing in a very difficult industry is working out for anyone, then it’s for Ferreira. His unique style of cooking has led to one of the most memorable food experiences I’ve ever had. Every meal is hauntingly good – from aroma to taste – and consistent from one course to the next.
The tasting menu, which my colleague Charl Blignaut and I tried, offered incredible layers of flavour, with a clever balance of textures. Each was paired with a glass of wine, whisky or non-alcoholic beverage to add to the well-thought-out experience.
The four-course tasting menu is R650, with non-alcoholic pairing it’s R800 and R900 when paired with wine. And the eight-course tasting menu (believe me, you will be motivated by the previous dish to get through it) is R900, R1 125 with non-alcoholic pairing, with wine pairing it’s R1 375 and R1 500 for the whiskey pairing experience.
The eight-course menu changes often to reflect the changing seasons and bring attention to the finest produce that’s locally available. There are a lot of great things to say about every impressive dish on the menu, but it was the gnocchi with spinach purée, seeds, raisins, capers and karoo crumble paired with the exotic and last year’s flavourful white blend Alheit “hemelrand vine garden” that took my breath away.
It perfectly showed off Ferreira’s instinctive understanding of flavour pairings. It’s a beautiful dish with the most exquisite aroma.
On the dessert front, the goat cheese, guava, peppers and honeycomb is a culinary crescendo.
This combination of flavours brings new life into what you think dessert should be.
And yes, the peppers are a perfect touch, enhancing what is an already enchanting experience.
DW-eleven-13 definitely gets my hug-from-the-inside stamp of approval.