The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa is one of our city’s most gorgeous hotels … and I’ve made no secret of my obsession with it. A few weeks back, a small group of friends and I went for dinner at Qunu Grill, which is one of their two divine restaurants. It was such a special evening … let me tell you all about it!
Qunu is a tad more affordable than Five Hundred, The Saxon’s other restaurant, but still has that upmarket, glamorous feel that the hotel exudes. The restaurant has a somewhat Parisian feel … which is probably why I fell in love with it from the second I stepped through the door!
My friends and I were seated at a beautifully set table in the middle of the restaurant. Our waiter, who was welcoming, polite and smartly dressed, immediately brought over a basket of fresh bread rolls, and then took down our drinks order.
Our whiskies arrived promptly. While sipping on my drink, I perused the menu, which got my mouth watering rather quickly. Qunu’s menu offers a lovely variety of soups, salads, starters, fish, seafood, pastas, meats, poultry and desserts. Dishes that caught my eye immediately included the prawn and avocado salad, pan-fried salmon, seared pole caught tuna, goat’s cheese risotto and chicken penne … yum!
To start, my friends and I decided to order three dishes to share – the Vietnamese spring rolls (with prawn and chilli sauce), the hand-cut beef tartare (with quail’s egg and a petit herb salad), and the cured ostrich (with strawberries and whipped brie).
The starters arrived within good time and were all beautifully presented and very flavourful. I especially enjoyed the spring rolls … they’re more like crystal rolls than spring rolls in my opinion, but were so deliciously crispy on the outside with a succulent prawn filling on the inside.
For mains, the girls all opted for the seared pole caught tuna (with Asian vegetables, egg noodles and lemon and soya), while the guys all went for the Steak Diane (beef fillet with mushroom, cream, onion, garlic and brandy).
The mains took a bit of time to get to our table (all good things take time, right?), but when they arrived the reason why was clear … the amount of effort put into plating each dish was exceptional! Before tucking in, we all watched one of the chefs flambé the steaks for the guy, which made for a wonderfully unique dining experience.
The tuna dish was cooked to absolute perfection, and the portion was pretty generous, too. I enjoyed every mouthful, as did my girlfriends. Every ingredient that went into the dish packed so much freshness and flavour … I’m not exaggerating when I say that my taste buds were taken on a journey! The guys said the steak was just as divine, so it’s safe to say that the food was faultless!
For dessert (because what’s a dinner without a sweet ending, right?), we had a few different plates on our table for everyone to taste, such as the chocolate and walnut tart, the light lemon pudding, and the deconstructed red velvet cheesecake. My favourite was by far the red velvet cheesecake … I adored the presentation, and the dish itself was so sweet, creamy and decant! I loved the combination of crunchy, creamy and jelly textures in it as well.
All in all, I loved every moment of my evening at Qunu. It sure is the perfect choice for a special dinner. If you’re looking for a superb place to have dinner with a loved one or some close friends, give Qunu a try. You can be sure that The Saxon seldom disappoints!
Address: The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa, 36 Saxon Road, Sandhurst, Sandton, Johannesburg
Phone number: 010 500 9906