View, the new fine dining restaurant at Four Seasons The Westcliff, is bringing serious restaurant buzz to Johannesburg's culinary scene.

By Sarah Khan
July 08, 2015
Johannesburg Restaurant: Four Seasons The Westcliff
Credit: Courtesy of Four Seasons The Westcliff

One glance at South Africa’s premier restaurant rankings makes one thing abundantly clear: Cape Town and the Winelands reign over the country’s culinary tableau—the region is home to a whopping six out of the list’s top 10 restaurants. Johannesburg, meanwhile, hasn’t had much to boast about in the fine-dining realm, apart from chef David Higgs’ celebrated Five Hundred at the posh Saxon Hotel.

But Higgs finally has formidable competition in the form of Dirk Gieselmann, executive chef at the new Four Seasons The Westcliff. You may remember this buzzed-about hotel opening from T+L’s latest It List. Gieselmann unveiled the property’s new high-end restaurant, View, in the spring, and it seems the battle to dominate South Africa’s restaurant rankings is about to heat up in a big way.

Gieselmann brings serious culinary cred to this end of the globe. He was previously chef de cuisine at the Auberge de l’Ill in France, which has three Michelin stars, and it’s evidenced in the creative new menu he’s devised for View.

He’s presenting seasonal local produce in ways never before seen in these parts. To wit: sautéed scallops with parsnip mousseline; foie gras terrine ‘au torchon’ with sun-dried apricot chutney and star anise-infused duck jelly; and roast duck with a strudel of confit legs with dates and pistachio. It’s all presented so artfully that you’d feel guilty taking your fork to it.

As you might expect from the name, the sleek dining room has some of the best vistas of Johannesburg around. We’re hard-pressed to choose which we like better: the view from the restaurant or the view of the plate.

Sarah Khan is based in Cape Town and covers South Africa for Travel + Leisure. You can follow her on Twitter at @BySarahKhan and on Instagram at @BySarahKhan.