Don't be scared to hold high expectations for this divine, classy restaurant- you won't be disappointed.
Steak and chips are not the first things that spring to mind when one thinks of fine dining. Foie Gras and scallops? Probably more like it. In the hands of Chef Marthinus Ferreria of DW11-13, fine dining staples receive the treatment they deserve, while a simple fillet is elevated to the realm of the spectacular.
This sort of food requires some in-depth analysis, so let me get a couple things out the way first. The interior is elegant, with a good balance between corporate chic and bistro intimate. The wine list is great and the service was excellent.
Right, now on to the food.
Because it was a special occasion, my partner and I shared starters of seared foie gras and seared scallops. The scallops were firm and fresh and brilliantly balanced with a butternut pureé and a porcini, pancetta and hazelnut vinaigrette, while the foie gras was delicious, unhealthy decadence on a plate.
We both ordered fillet for mains and we both quickly agreed that it was the best steak either of us had had: perfectly rare, meltingly soft and served with bone-marrow sauce that was intensely flavourful without ever overwhelming the taste of the meat. The triple-cooked chips were a revelation on their own, rich and buttery and requiring hardly any seasoning.
For dessert I opted for the chocolate tasting plate, which consisted of chocolate sorbet, chocolate soil, a chocolate tart and pistachio nut butter. It was quite possibly the richest thing I have ever eaten (including my foie gras starter) and I enjoyed every bite. The chocolate soil in particular added an entirely unexpected and welcome texture to the dish.
I must confess I had high expectations for DW11-13. Happily, I can say that every one of my expectations was met and exceeded, simply and elegantly.
Starters: R60 - R110
Mains: R110 - R135
Desserts: R40 - R60
Where? Dunkheld West Shopping Center, Cnr Jan Smuts and Bompas Roads, Illovo, Johannesburg
011 341 0663
by Joseph Mosselson