Restaurant Review: A champagne brunch at the Four Seasons, The Westcliff

Once a year, I like to escape the concrete jungle (without actually leaving Joburg) and trade her in for more luxurious views. I usually pop into the Four Seasons, The Westcliff, and treat myself to a gorgeous meal this time of year. However, with 2020 being the unprecedented year it was, I wasn’t quite sure how their buffet brunches would be operating under these strict COVID conditions. So I went right to the source to find out for myself and this was my experience.

What to expect:

The most sensational views, that really put your ‘problems’ into perspective, these views overlook the Joburg Zoo and the view is even better in Jacaranda season (which has now passed) as there are purple splashes all across the horizon. I was happy to hear that their annual brunch was still happening, it was just slightly different this year. The Price is R795 pp and you can come through on Saturday or Sunday between 13h00 and 15h00. This isn’t a regular brunch as you can imagine, this is a real, year-end, ‘I survived 2020 intact’, spoil.

The food:

We were warmly welcomed with smiling faces, we scanned the digital menu and were escorted to our sanitised seats, while a rail was bought for us to hang our handbags on. We were given a glass of chilled, french champagne (not prosecco babes) which we sipped on while enjoying the view. I won’t 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 isn’t a quick in/out affair) and during that time we feasted on a cold platter for two, we each ordered a hot dish off the menu, we were given a quadrant of desserts and a local cheese board, accompanied by seasonal fruit and biscuits. It’s too much food. I dare you to finish it all. I don’t think you can.

The cold platter for two:

  • Four fresh Oysters
  • Three cheese and zucchini mini quiches
  • Avo maki and salmon California rolls
  • A citrus-infused quinoa salad
  • Prawn and avo noodle salad
  • A summer salad

The hot meal:

I would definitely recommend having your mains on the terrace, if you aren’t there already, you’ll be serenaded by classical music while feasting on these generous portions. I had the kabeljou, served on a bed of Israeli couscous, with sundried tomato and parsley beurre blanc and asparagus. While my friend had the crispy southern fried chicken, served with a garlic and sage chicken escalope, pomme puree, parmigiano-reggiano, and tenderstem broccoli. Both were equally as delicious.

The desserts:

Four desserts arrived, while artisanal and gorgeous, I didn’t have high hopes for them to taste great. I expected them to be IG 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. The lemon meringue pie was the perfect balance of tarte and sweet, I loved this!  The chocolate torte was a close contender – full of that rich, chocolate decadence you would expect from this dessert.

The cheese platter:

The cheese platter was a lovely selection of local goats, hard and soft cheese, accompanied by crackers and fresh seasonal fruit. 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. It was however delicious.

The cocktails:

You cannot leave this venue without trying one of the magnificent cocktails on the menu right!  I opted for a ‘bikini weather’ which is served in a champagne flute, it’s a well-balanced mix of vodka, bitter orange syrup, lemon juice, and sparkling wine. While strong, it was very delicious!

Candice then talked me into getting an ‘All 4 seasons G&T’, this is a G&T with a refreshing burst of grapefruit, rosemary, and thyme – this was the real winner for me. I could’ve sipped on these all arvi, until the sun came down.

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 after all.

I loved this experience and I cannot wait to go back again next year!

 

*Please note, I did not pay for this meal. I was invited as a journalist friends plus one. However, I still chose to write about the experience as I wanted you guys to all know about their offerings too.

Tamryn Sher
tamrynsher@gmail.com
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