Hilltop Dining in Johannesburg

Situated on a hilltop the FourSeasons The Westcliff, has opened a restaurant under the direction of executive chef Dirk Gieselmann.

Named View, ‘in celebration of the landmark property’s magnificent views’, the restaurant is said it offer ‘a thoroughly modern, unpretentious approach to high-end dining that will appeal to both local residents and international visitors to this dynamic, fast-paced African city.’

The emphasis at View ‘is less on traditional fine dining and more on being delighted and entertained with exceptional food and wine pairings in an inspiring setting’

Purported to be ‘almost gallery-like’ in its contemporary design, the dramatic décor references the city’s exciting, emerging art scene. A series of intimate, indoor dining spaces flows outdoors onto a terrace where tables are already highly sought after, especially on starry Highveld evenings.

While the interior palette reflects the gradual darkening of the evening sky from palest blue to deep indigo. Tablecloths give way to the raw integrity of solid granite, setting the tone for the deceptively simple plates that emerge from Gieselmann’s sleek kitchen. 

Prior to the Four Seasons, Gieselmann completed a seven-year stint as chef de cuisine at a three Michelin-star restaurant in France’s Alsace region. The chef’s style is modern and understandable, each plate focused on no more than three or four core elements without unnecessary embellishment. It’s about technical precision, the skill of a well-made sauce, and the pure beauty of natural colours and organic shapes. 

Grounded in South Africa, the menu is inspired by fresh, seasonal ingredients of superior local provenance. ‘I’ve been having a lot of fun playing with local ingredients. I love the quality of the venison, and am busy developing a springbok Wellington for the winter menu,’ says the chef.  A dish of carrots in different textures with roasted Mozambique prawns and coriander pesto exemplifies the chef’s expertise when it comes to balancing flavours and textures. ‘I also enjoy pairing ingredients that are poor and rich, humble and extravagant, such as skate wing and truffle, or salmon trout and Oscietra caviar,’ he adds.

Currently, there is a three- or four-course set menu with choices as well as a seven-course degustation menu. Enticing choices include sea bass and West Coast oyster tartare with watercress and ocean spume with Oscietra caviar; garden pea royale with seared langoustines in a light almond broth with a crisp Parma ham stick; Karoo lamb rack, seasonal stuffed vegetables, preserved lemon jus and chickpea fries; and desserts such as banana and peanut parfait, Jivari chocolate, caramelised popcorn and milk tart gel or Cape gooseberry tarte tatin with Champagne sabayon and gooseberry cinnamon sorbet. 

Complementing the menu is a wine list showcasing some of South Africa’s best boutique labels, award-winning estates and pioneering winemakers, as well as a selection of top international wines.

View is open for dinner only, Tuesday to Saturday. Booking is essential, either by telephone +27 (0)11 481 6180 or email reservations.johannesburg@fourseasons.comwww.viewrestaurant.co.za