A night laden with mystery and decadence. Expect nothing less from The Gentlemen’s Arthouse, a gem of the Joburg inner city. We were taken on a journey of burlesque culinary delights by the charming Roy Minnaar and his team.

The venue (a restored Edwardian Gentlemen’s Washroom) dates back to 1911 and has been deliciously restored to create an elegant venue for those looking for fine dining with more than a touch of enchantment.

The experience starts as soon as you enter. We were ushered into a candlelit, absinthian-walled  world and seated at our table. Plush padding has turned the old urinals into beautiful seating, adding yet another element of wonder.

After our welcome drinks of cucumber infused gin and tonic we were presented with our first palate teaser, nuts in a bombe, lobster bisque, truffle oil emulsion and Riebeek Kasteel and Nero olives.

With the ring of a bell, Roy expertly introduces our next course, an amuse bouche aptly called The Garden. Parsley escargots, wakame wrapped portabello mushroom and brie mousse, fermented garlic and herb foam, parsley and tarragon hollandaise, marinated shimeji mushrooms, caviar and nasturtiums.

The six course feast for the senses was punctuated by burlesque belly dancing complete with swords and fire. Next came the appetiser of beef civilité, biltong cured beef fillet tartare, smokey parsnip puree and caper berries. A seafood dish soon followed, bouillabaisse with Guillaume Sorrieu’s saffron infused seafood broth, clams, mussels, linefish and phyllo crisp.

A second palate cleanser, litchi and lime volcano fruit soup with hints of rosemary, prepared us for our main course. The Feast is exactly that – lamb leg, suckling pig, venison, pumpkin bruleé, potato churros, onion tart tartin, textures of parsnip and asparagus with lamb jus.

The evening was rounded off with a beautiful crèpe suzette topped with Van Der Hum liqueur, vanilla anglaise and Callebaut 70.5%

If you’re looking for an evening of cheeky splendour that will delight all your senses, Gentlemen’s Arthouse is definitely worth a visit. The menu changes seasonally and be sure to book well in advance on reservations@gentlemensarthouse.com.


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Photos courtesy of Gentlemen’s Arthouse.