Flames at The Four Seasons, The Westcliff: Review and Décor Match
The Westcliff - grand Colonial charm, dainty pink façade and of course a marvellous view. Showcasing Johannesburg as though she consisted of nothing more than a vast amount of trees and a few skyscrapers. That and the high tea you’re enjoying from the comfort of the Polo Lounge. This was one of the things that made me fall in love with this city.
Understandably, I was apprehensive when I heard they’d been taken over and revamped by The Four Seasons group. It’s also understandable that, hearing they no longer offered high tea, I was very disappointed. Unwilling to fall victim to disappointment and miss out on better things though, we opted instead for the highly acclaimed Flames restaurant at the Four Seasons, The Westcliff with their much publicised artisan braai.
Upon arrival all seemed as it should. Dapper hosts carted us up the hill in a golf cart and we arrived at a clear glass lift. I was happy to exchange the old fashioned stairs for the beautiful view of our city the modern addition offered. Cloaked in her evening gown now and dotted with bright diamond lights.
Reception at Flames was however cold and although we reserved a table, it seemed we were not expected. Service throughout dinner was friendly but tardy on a quiet Sunday night and the comfortable chairs were too low for the tables, making it very difficult to eat without your elbows next to your ears.
Some of the dishes were overpriced and below average, like the spice crusted seared tuna loin starter, with tomato reduction, rocket and watercress salad and cucumber spaghetti for R120.
Others, like the main of Karoo lamb chops marinated with thyme and garlic, ratatouille vegetables and lemon mashed potatoes for R214, were exceptional! I never quite got the braai taste or experience though, which in my opinion should somehow be different from a normal “flame grilled”.
Desert on the other hand was everything I hoped it would be. We shared a coconut crème brûlée and it was superbly silky and subtly flavoured.
Once I made peace with Colonial departure from The Westcliff, I noticed that the latest décor trend (Art Deco revival) had arrived and settled nicely in Africa. Geometrical patterns and dashes of gold contrast with beautifully textured, natural materials and African motifs. This creates a clean, chick combination of the two worlds.
I’ve gone out to find pieces similar to some of my favourites at Flames: