Where to Go for Valentine’s Day – Joburg

February 4, 2015

If you have had a peak at my blog or my Instagram account, for that matter, you would know that I am a major foodie. I would rather save my money for a good meal out than a night on the town. There is nothing wrong with a party animal; I am simply not wired that way. It will probably hit me when it’s too late to take advantage. But as of right now, food is a major passion of mine. And while I have posted a few of my favourite dessert recipes over the past few months, I thought it was about time I ventured into the restaurant business.

I have teamed up with Zomato, the ultimate food app and website in South Africa (and 18 other countries), to create a series of blog posts focusing on, what I believe to be their most unique feature, their ‘Collections’. Some of the collections include, “Hidden Gems”, “Try Before You Die” and “Romantic”. I figured Valentine’s Day would be the prime event to start the series off by gaining inspiration from Zomato’s Romantic Collection.

As per my usual organised way, the post has been divided into date type – where to go if you and your partner want to splurge; want to save; if it’s a first date; or if you just want to have sundowners with your gal or guy. So, scroll down and find the date that suits you. Plus, there is a giveaway involved – head to the bottom of the post for details.


Splurge Date




Fine dining at its finest. There is no detail too fine for Signature and you are sure to be treated like royalty when dining at both its Johannesburg and Pretoria restaurants.

Go for the prawn ravioli (R120) or the pork belly (R110) as a starter, and then move onto the beef medallion (R215) or the Signature trio (R230) for your main. For desserts, I would suggest the white chocolate brûlée tart (R75) or the pear malva pudding (R80).

Here is where the giveaway comes in – you could win one of two R500 vouchers to enjoy with your loved one at the Pretoria Signature. All you have to do in Instagram a picture of you and the person who you would share the voucher with and tag me (@thefashionfreckle) or tweet me (@JessVanWyk), telling me who you would take! Winners will be announced on Sunday.


First Date




You know those meals that make you think, where has this been all my life? Yeah, well that is every meal at Licorish, especially their famed tasting plates (R150). With a choice between fillet, fish and game you will experience the flavours of your pick in three different, contemporary, taste bud-singing ways.

Or you can change dinner up a bit – order four starters and have a tapas party. Plus, when you order four you get a fifth free. Ones to try – goats cheese samosas (R65), mussels in a coconut and apricot curry broth (R75), rooibos tea smoked ostrich (R60), and chickpea fritters (R60).

In terms of dessert, you cannot go to Licorish without eating dessert. Screw your diets or your full tummies. You have to try their strawberry crumble with licorice ice cream (R65), toffee apple cheese cake with naartjie and cinnamon jelly (R65), or the coconut panna cotta with passion fruit jelly and koeksister parfait (R65) – or have all three, #living.


Thrifty Date




While Paris and romance may be as conventional as butter to bread, it does not remove the truth of the connection. This cozy, French-inspired restaurant is the spot to dine at for a romantic, inexpensive date.

Have a mussels starter (R58) to share and a Fillet Bordelaise (R128) for your main. For dessert, my favourite part of the meal, go for a chocolate pizza (R43) or a classic crème brûlée (R37).


Sundowners Date

ISLAND BAR (Hyde Park Southern Sun Hotel)

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Hands down the best Piña Colada (R50) I have ever had in Joburg, and trust – I have had plenty. If your plan is to have a romantic meal in on Valentine’s Day but you still want to celebrate, sundowners with a stunning view is the way to go. And the Island Bar in the Hyde Park Southern Sun Hotel would be my first pick. Sip on some tasty cocktails, beers, whiskies or whatever your preference, on a cloud of a lounger on the deck of the bar overlooking Joburg.

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