Many of the guests at Amanzi eat out at least once a week, and want good food close by. Here are some of my favourite restaurants which are less than or around a kilometre away from Amanzi Guest House. You are spoilt for choice, whether you want a quick tasty meal, or fine dining, you will find all of this in Craighall Park. Its a neighbourhood for families, and retains this casual community feel, yet so conveniently close to the business precincts of Rosebank, Hyde Park and Melrose Arch.
Corner Café is 550 metres from Amanzi – it’s a pleasant walk, or a R20 ride with Uber. It’s the restaurant where Rob and I had our first meeting just over 4 years ago, so of course it has a special place for us, and of course its our local favourite. We love sitting at a table outside on a balmy summer evening sipping a glass of crisp white wine, followed by Rob’s favourite, Bacon burger with chips, and I often opt for the Green salad (with slivers of parmesan and mustard dressing) with a side of warm buttery artichokes. Or if I’m not having one of the home made desserts, I love the Harissa rubbed chicken breasts served on a cauliflower “risotto” with prosciutto, mushrooms & zucchini. Check out their specials of month. Greig Walker, the sole owner, makes sure that these change regularly, and the food is made with ingredients that are fresh. He calls it “honest food”
Dolci Café is 450 metres from Amanzi , its a hands on 3 owner run little gem, which gets more and more popular daily. It feels good and clean and fresh. The pink flower pots, and crisp décor make it feel welcoming and relaxed. Enticing Italian goods are displayed for sale on the shelves. Its great for a quick cappuccino or to linger over lunch or dinner. Traditional pasta dishes are the real thing. Burgers and pizzas also feature on the menu, but do try their specials. I love the deep-fried camembert served with a bed of greens with bruschetta and carciofi ripieni (artichokes stuffed with ham, parmesan cheese and bread crumbs). Try a bottle of prosecco with the bombolone, pasticcini or cannoli
Jacki, (a co-owner ) has an impressive reputation as a pastry chef, her desserts are creative and delicious, feast your eyes on the freshly made desserts in the display fridge or choose from the set dishes on the menu. Guests at Amanzi have ordered special cakes for birthdays and I have never seen cupcakes for a child’s 5th birthday so beautifully iced.
Pronto Restaurant is another neighbourhood local favourite, 600 metres from Amanzi and in The Colony Shopping Centre. Many guests from Amanzi enjoy the casual and relaxing ambiance at Pronto, and of course the “real” Italian dishes.. Natasha Maciel, owner of Pronto says that “We love being a neighbourhood restaurant and the sense of community that comes with it. Crunchy snack portions of bruschetta are served while you ponder what to order from their menu. We ate there on Friday evening. My red-blooded husband went for a steak and claimed that it was outstanding. I struggled to choose – my mouth watering as I read through the menu. For me, there’s nothing quite as tantalizing as fresh herbs with pasta. I finally chose the artichoke hearts pan fried with chilli, lemons juice and a light tomato garlic laced sauce, topped with crumbled ricotta.
Pronto have wine tastings and snacks evening on a Tuesday.
Hodges also in The Colony Shopping Centre , 600 metres from Amanzi is a small, independent family-run restaurant which specializes in wholesome home-style cooking served in a relaxing and friendly environment. The menu varies depending on what is in season, and caters for simple tastes without hurting your pocket. You’ll get excellent service here. It’s a good spot to have a coffee and treat, or a homely evening meal.
Sunday lunch is a bargain at R100 per person, which includes roast lamb, pork (with crisp crackling, of course) and roast chicken. (They do not offer beef since they cannot accommodate individual preferences for doneness.) The roast is served with Yorkshire pudding, (a favourite from childhood) roast potatoes, peas, roast vegetables and rice.
AJ’s in the Park is a hidden gem for families in Craighall Park. Amanzi Guest House often hosts families who are relocating, so its convenient for mums to take little children there during the afternoon and its a great family dinner outing on a Sunday in a chilled, countryside-style eatery. The food is affordable with appealing options for all,( some salads, good pizza options, Burgers, and ice cream, chocolate sauce, apple crumble, or brownies as a pudding/dessert. The service is friendly & there’s plenty of place for kids to run around and play. The jumping castle, a jungle gym, huge lawn area with plastic golf clubs, cricket wickets, soccer balls for children to use, are a real win while you have a meal, or watch a game on a Saturday afternoon on their large TV or catch up with a friend. Its open every day till 9 p.m. (except for Mondays) A bonus is Live music every Sunday from 1 – 4 p.m.
Giles Pub and restaurant a kilometre from Amanzi is the place to meet for after work drinks, watch a Saturday afternoon match on one of their 8 large in-house Plasma TV screens, or have a meal on their superb deck overlooking the Craighall Valley where you can catch a magnificent view of a Johannesburg sunset. Typical Food favourites are the Grandma burger and Andy’s fish n chips.
Possums on Burnside down the road in Craighall, and just over a kilometre away, serves Dinners which are casually elegant, candlelit affairs. Light jazz music plays in the background, burning braziers, fairy lights and candles. They also have wood burning pizza ovens and you can choose a casual meal from the bistro and tapas pizza menus. The garden is a glorious mix of olive trees, roses and bay trees intermingled with the gazebo and umbrellas. Alfresco dining at its best.
DW Eleven – 13 is just over a kilometre away, and is consistently the best fine dining in Johannesburg, say the reviews on Trip Advisor. Its been voted one of 50 top restaurants in the world! It is a restaurant that prides itself in the creation of distinct flavours and you’ll experience interesting twists on familiar dishes. At DW Eleven-13 we only use fresh and sustainable produce and we pride ourselves in knowing where all our produce comes from along with how it has been grown, is the claim from the family run Ferreira business. Food is presented as an art and designed to seduce every taste bud.
And these are not all the restaurants in Craighall Park! There’s Namak and Red Chilli Spice for good and tasty Indian food, and Hyde Park a kilometre away for of a range of restaurants, from buffet style at Woolworths, to Willoughby’s famous fish restaurant…