South Africa’s culinary landscape has broadened considerably over the years, but it always had a strong foundation to build upon.
What makes a restaurant truly iconic? If you notice, the most iconic restaurants have one thing in common – strong staying power that only grows with time.
The restaurants that have lasted for years and surpassed the harsh competition have been following certain practices that resonate with their customers.
Thus, it would be right to say that the longevity of any restaurant brand depends on three things – consistency, high-quality food and the overall experience.
While there are still so many new restaurants to discover, these restaurants have stood the test of time.
1. Roma Revolving Restaurant – Durban
This legendary, exclusive revolving restaurant was officially opened in February 1973. The restaurant is situated on the 32nd level of the John Ross House, overlooking the whole of Durban and surrounding areas with excellent sea and bay views.
It has a speed control mechanism that allows a revolution of anything between sixty and ninety minutes.
The restaurant specialises in Italian cuisine. Delicacies include continental dishes, seafood, and fresh game dishes. While it rotates, diners can see the city from all angles, with a spectacular view of Moses Mabhida stadium.
2. Anatoli – Cape Town
Anatoli is one of Cape Town’s longest-established restaurants which has received a rejuvenating makeover, with a transition to authentic Mediterranean food.
The kitchen is headed up by passionate Chef Jacques du Toit, a master at bringing out the best in his dishes with a mix of Mediterranean spices.
Established in 1984, it is an informal, homely, friendly, lively and authentic Mediterranean restaurant serving generous value-for-money portions of flavourful foods, including magic mezes, aromatic main courses, and delicious desserts, all beautifully presented.
3. Circus Circus Cafe – Durban
Or, if you prefer, pop in for a cortado, flat white, cappuccino or the like, perfectly brewed by one of its baristas.
4. KREAM Restaurant – Johannesburg
Founded in 2007 by Tufan Yerebakan, Kream has established and developed itself into a trendy, one-of-a-kind experience for many.
Serving delicious modern cuisine in an artistic environment, it provides a great sensory experience.
Kream is a stylish, upmarket restaurant that strives to provide only the best food and service, bringing this together to create an unforgettable dining experience.
5. Vasco Da Gama – Cape Town
Vasco Da Gama is an authentic Portuguese restaurant that has been around since 1972.
Since its early days, it was owned by the same owner for many years, and after changing ownership a few times, it has finally settled with Bryn Ressel who is the sole owner.
It continues to sell delicious Portuguese-inspired dishes accompanied by litres of Castle’s finest tank beer to go with it.