Sanctuary is the best way to describe the Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa in Sandton, Johannesburg. The entrance to the hotel is grand, the hotel grounds are immaculate. My friend and I were warmly welcomed both at the gate and at the beautiful French inspired entrance with a book wall.
The warm welcome extended into the newly renovated restaurant as we walked along the passage with mirrored walls and the newly laid black and white tiles. I forgot I was in the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg.
The Terrace Restaurant has cream and white table settings with resplendent silver cutlery and beautiful classical background ambient music. The dining area in The Terrace restaurant is spacious.
Sparkling water, a dry port for starters and sauvignon blanc.
The bite-sized salmon was packed with flavour. Even as I type this I am salivating as I vividly recall the punch the amuse-bouche packed.
Palates suitably cleansed we were ready for starters.
The drop in temperatures in Johannesburg created a great excuse to have soup.
Pea and chorizo
Smoked cucumber and lemon
(which was the soup of the day)
My choice was the creamy and flavourful pea and chorizo soup. I really enjoyed the different textures consisting of a creamy base, whole peas and chorizo.
My friend had butternut soup, which was light with a hint of citrus. It was the tastiest and lightest butternut soup I have ever had (and that was not even my starter).
Lime sorbet – so refreshing!
The whole night was a progressive play of flavours. This was the masculine part of the meal. Generously sized elegantly plated South African food. My friend ordered the lamb off the menu and I had beef fillet, rare of course.
Beef fillet, asparagus, carrot and mash and jus
Lamb, asparagus, carrot and cashew nut puree tomato pannacotta and bordelaise jus
The fillet was not officially on the menu but such is the indulgent nature of the Terrace Restaurant and the Chef. It was specially prepared for me – the fillet was rare and oh so tender!
Dessert (the finale!)
Having been spoilt by Chef Ben the whole night, we asked him to choose our desserts – and it is as if he knew our personalities. I was given and indulgent chocolate dessert, my friend was served a light condensed milk dessert.
Crème brulée, meringue, lime and lemon sorbet
A fresh light dessert to balance off a soulful meal.
Vairhona Chocolate Fondant
Hazelnut crème, mini poached pear, chocolate ice cream
The different chocolate components had different intensities of flavours, varying textures, warm and cold sensations – sublime and oh so chocolatey! Chef Ben read me well.
On that chocolate note our night wound up. We took a little walk around the majestic gardens.
I can best describe my evening at the Fairlawns as relaxed elegance, inviting, soulful and a great place to have a meal with friends, business partners, or the love of your life. There was a great mix of diners in the restaurant. The Fairlawns staff was very attentive and the Terrace Restaurant setting is gorgeous, give it a try!
Thank you our lovely server Prince and Chef Ben!