After an icy Winter at home, Joburgers are ready to pack away their hot water bottles, gas heaters and cashmere blankets, and swop them out for brunch spots with a view, to catch up with friends and celebrate life, over a glass of bubbles.
While we are always on the hunt for the newest and latest restaurant to launch, we must not forget the OG’s, who have stood the test of time and for a good reason too. There has always been a level of luxurious hype around Four Seasons Hotel, The Westcliff and for good reason. Their cascading views show Jozi at her finest, you even get to see the elephants at the Joburg Zoo, which is just a stones throw away. Putting the view aside, the infinity pools, magnificent décor, and wall to wall luxurious meal options make it the destination of choice for even the pickiest of eaters.
What to expect:
Their signature brunch menu really is an opulent dining experience at one of South Africa’s most atmospheric restaurant settings. The brunch menu is available Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays, between 11h00 – 15h00. The cost is R750 pp and includes coffee’s, teas, and fruit juices of your choice. Bottled water, alcohol and soft drinks are charged separately. For the ultimate spoil, you may select one of their Russian Cru Caviars and a bottle of rare vintage Champagne to accompany your brunch at an additional cost. For your dietary restrictions, please contact the restaurant. Kids aged 6 to 12 years old will be charged at R395pp and the buffet will be cleared at 15h30.
If you are looking for an ultra-luxe, not to mention Instagram worthy setting to celebrate life’s successes, then this is the spot to be at. The late morning start means that you can sleep in, gently make your way through to Flames restaurant and then enjoy the day snacking, chatting, and snapping (pics) away with your besties. While there are more affordable brunch spots in the city of gold, brunch at the Four Seasons is not your regular weekend outing. It is an event, a celebration to be savoured, it is a reminder, that you have made it. When we go for this experience, we arrive at 11h00, take walks around the property between courses and we leave at 15h00. It is a full day affair, and we savour every moment of it.
Upon entering the venue, we were driven up to the restaurant in a golf cart and were then warmly welcomed at the restaurant entrance, by wait staff with smiling faces, and welcoming demeanours. We were then escorted to our seats, and a handbag holder was brought for us to hang our handbags on. We were given a glass of chilled, freshly squeezed orange juice, which we sipped on while enjoying the view. I will not lie, I felt very posh for a day, this is certainly a lifestyle that I could very easily become accustomed to.
We were there for about five hours in total (this is not a quick in/out affair) and during that time we feasted on cold buffet options, we each ordered a hot dish off the menu, we helped ourselves to a sea of colourful desserts and a local cheese board, accompanied by seasonal fruit and biscuits. One thing for sure, is that you will not leave hungry. It is too much food. I dare you to try taste it all.
Expect to relish the vast array of culinary delights from the restaurants lavish buffet offering which consists of a selection of artisanal local and international charcuterie, fresh home-made breads and pastries, a live sushi counter as well as bespoke popcorn and pancake station (where you can choose all your own toppings). The remainder of the buffet is the ‘Chef’s Playground,’ where he can display his creativity. These options therefore change on a weekly basis, but you can expect to experience seasonal salads, bruschetta, quiches, and carpaccio’s.
When we were there (at the beginning of August), there was a selection of the above, plus, a citrus prawn, apple and fennel salad, artichoke salad, German potato salad, cape Malay chicken couscous salad, marinated tofu salad, beetroot noodle salad, a selection of house made patisserie and boulangerie, mac ‘n cheese, spicy prawn rissoles, croissants, a selection of cereals, fruit platters, a selection of full cream red farm yoghurt pots, vanilla and basil quinoa pudding with tropical fruits, blueberry parfait with granola and mascarpone, springbok mousse filled with profiterole with lemon and dill, and more.
Hot starter selection:
Expect to enjoy starters such as mini crab cakes, spicy potato empanadas with Fairview blue cheese, jalapeno and cheese rissoles and chicken sosaties.
I would recommend having your mains on the terrace, if you are not there already, you will be serenaded by classical music while feasting on these generous portions. After your unlimited buffet starters, as mentioned above, you may then select a plated main, which also offers a selection of ever-changing brunch dishes. However, some of the dishes we saw were:
- Mzansi frittata with the option to add boerewors
- A floral shiozake royal benedict with elderflower hollandaise and caviar
- Teriyaki pork belly with fennel, sesame, and egg fried rice
- Sunday roast with potato pave, sweet potato Yorkshire pudding, veggies, and a beef jus
- Catch of the day, with pearl barley, mussels, fennel, chorizo, garlic puree, and pistachio crust
- Miso-BBQ pizza with kimichi
- King oyster mushroom with onion risotto, roasted pear, balsamic and cashew brittle
More vegetarian options are available on request.
*Please note that these descriptions have been shortened and do not highlight the full ingredient lists, as shown on the menu.
Seasonal cheese selection:
You would then move back to the buffet selection, to indulge on a selection of seasonal cheeses such as Ganzvlei Blue Moon, Klein River Overberg, Dalewood Brie, Karoo Blue Cumin Boerenkaas. Which are served with artisanal bread, water crackers, rice crisps, seasonal preserve, port chutney, grapes, fynbos honey and roasted nuts. I picked at a few slices of cheese and grapes, but honestly, I was so full, I was just eating it because it was there. They were however delicious.
While artisanal and gorgeous, I was not optimistic for them to taste great. I expected them to be Instagram desserts, great for the gram, not so great to eat. However, I was pleasantly surprised, the desserts were even more delicious than how they looked. Fresh, fruity and the perfect balance between sweet and tarte. All the desserts were so beautiful, you did not even want to eat them. They were like mini works of art and most tasted quite different to what you expected by looking at them, which was a pleasant and surprising experience. Some of the desserts we saw, were the following;
- Blueberry and Lavender Entremets, Ruby, and Strawberry Profiteroles and Koeksisters.
- Raspberry and Liquorice, Berry Verrine, Something Tropical and Chocolate and Caramel Tartlets
- Spiced Apple Crumble, served with whipped cream and cinnamon crème anglaise
- Live Popcorn and Flap Jack Station, served with assorted spices, sauces, sweets and crumbs
While not part of the brunch menu, I would encourage you to stay on the terrace a little longer and treat yourself to one of the magnificent cocktails on the menu! We tried the ‘bikini weather’ which is served in a champagne flute, it is a well-balanced mix of vodka, bitter orange syrup, lemon juice, and sparkling wine. While strong, it was unbelievably delicious! We also tried the ‘All 4 seasons G&T’, this is a G&T with a refreshing burst of grapefruit, rosemary, and thyme – this was the real winner. And I could easily see guests sipping on these all arvi, until the sun came down.
I am currently pregnant and so I opted for a ‘lil mama’ which was cranberry juice with a sweet foam on top, served in a gorgeous cocktail glass. I love that I could also be included, with my colourful, equally as beautiful cocktail, without the alcohol in it. This is a restaurant that really goes above-and-beyond for its patrons, and therefore I really look forward to going back year after year, after year.
The waiters and waitresses are well versed in the menu and make excellent recommendations. Make sure you dress up a little so you can take all those ‘swoon-worthy’ Instagram snaps and make sure you attend on a day where you have nothing else planned. A girl needs time to feel bougie and boozy.
I loved this experience, and I cannot wait to go back again next year!