Not cooking this year? Eat Out suggest you book a table at one of these:
Mount Nelson – the Oasis restaurant will be in full swing for Christmas with all the pomp, ceremony and good food this grande old dame is so well known for. Christmas is always a treat in their serene surrounds, and the food never disappoints.
La Mouette – a great place for lunch, with English chef Harry Vigar at the helm. Ultra cool and trendy, it's the place to go on the Atlantic Seaboard. Try the roasted kingklip with Provencal ratatouille, parsley oil and tapenade.
Chapman’s Peak Hotel – an institution, where the hot pans of mixed seafood is matched by magnificent views over Hout Bay. Wonderful, though basic, outdoor seating, but the food makes up for that. They also have a great cellar, and it's perfect for a day outing - neither too close nor too far.
Melrose Arch Hotel – this one was voted 'the place to see and be seen' for 8 consecutive years, so you can't go that wrong. They focus on the tastes, colours and textures of the season and dish up a sensory experience that's certainly impressed the Eat Out crowd.
The Westcliff - For those of you not rushing down to the coast, instead choosing to really relax at home and enjoy the leafy green traffic-free streets of Jozi over the Christmas and New Year period, splash out a bit and treat your family to Christmas at The Westcliff.
Roots - Chef Alistaire Lawrence creates sublime food experiences, from quirky flavours like blue cheese marshmallows to a tiny portion of great butternut soup with ricotta, popcorn and prawn. One is bound to find some interpretation of pork belly, slow cooked to perfection and served with white cubes all similar in colour, but totally different in flavour: turnip, tofu and calamari.
Hyde Park Hotel - The Bice Ristorante moves into Africa to offer diners some of the finest Italian food using Bice’s famous, authentic recipes. This stylish restaurant with its gorgeous views has made it one of Johannesburg’s favourite eateries.
Le Must - Le Must brings a touch of fine dining to the banks of the Orange River. Starters include a pile of springbok carpaccio and biltong and a hefty, artery-clogging blue-cheese soup as tasty as it is decadent. Even the (vegetarian) salad could feed a horse. Flesh-lovers will swoon at the juicy lamb chops, perfectly grilled steaks and rare local specialities, such as curried lamb tripe.
The Colonial Restaurant at De Oude Kraal - Traditional food presented the French way is what you can expect from renowned chef-patron Marie Lombard. The ever-changing five-course set menu usually includes a roulade, soup and fish for starters. The main course comprises meat with fresh vegetables (caramelised sweet potatoes and the likes) and the desert is angelic – it’s your lucky night if it's the white chocolate meringue roll.
De Kelder - You can practically order blindfolded at this classy culinary attraction where you’re spoiled for choice. Experience and enthusiasm are evident in the stylish presentation and awesome flavours. A good choice.
Ginger - A fresh look at fine dining, day or night, with a few more traditional recipes for good measure, suitable for conventional and more adventurous eaters. The mostly locally influenced dishes include some unexpected combinations that work really well, substantial salads and more than lip-service to vegetarian options.
Oyster Box - The main dining room of this hotel still has its charm, its polished antiques, dance floor and lofty ceiling taking you back to the days when dinner was a serious affair. It offers everything you would expect of a traditional grillroom: prawn cocktails, steaks to order, sole and more, plus fine curries. Seafood takes pride of place, so get messy with good grilled LM prawns.
Gigi's at the Izulu hotel - The diverse menu’s carefully considered flavour combinations and dishes look and taste sublime. Pool-side luncheon dining has the added bonus of offering most dishes in starter portions too.
Find directions and details on www.eatout.co.za