Guys, I’ve got you! Ok, so you know how when you drive to the Waterfront on the Nelson Mandela Boulevard then you drive past the Convention Center and the hugely tall Westin Hotel? I OFTEN look up at the hotel, examining the sleek blue glass and wondering who’s in the gym at the top (well, it used to look like a gym to me!). At LONG LAST this November I actually WENT to the Westin and no longer simply looked upon the pretty hotel from a far.
Zomato was kind enough to invite me to the hotel for their spring special at their On19 restaurant. I found my way inside, parked right at the bottom so that I could take the lifts up to the foyer (not too much walking in high heels please!). Next of lifts to the 19th floor and WOW!
What’s interesting about the hotel is that it feels special. I don’t really like hotels that make me feel like I’m trapped in Dirty Dancing, all resorty and the like. Corporate decor can be so drap. I like hotels that feel special and luxurious (if I’m in an urban environment, small town hotels excluded, naturally). The Westin is quite personable considering you can see that it offers upmarket accommodation for business travelers, but I think it’s homey enough for anyone to spend time there.
You can see our Zomato dinner table reflected here 🙂 I loved sitting on the harbour side of the restaurant as I’m getting married in the harbour next year and it was awesome to look over the shimmering lights of the city below.
On19 has the most epic spring special, 2 courses for R230 or 3 courses for R280, this includes a bottle of bubbly! Unfortunately, I was a bit late coming from work (what’s new?!) so I missed the introduction, however, being greeted by fresh, beautiful food was all the intro I needed. As a pre course, we had a light caprese salad with fresh breads and herb butter.
Starters at On19 at the Westin
Our 1st starter course was a showcase of a number of the starters on the menu. This included:
- Duck liver parfait, apple salad, pickled onion, shimeji a la greque, walnut, chicken crackling (R65)
- Prawn dumplings, crisp fried, pickled cucumber, wasabi and curry mango sorbet (R80)
- Lamb and goats cheese fritters, roast pepper hummus, corn rhaita and tomato salsa (R80)
I really enjoyed the lamb and goat’s cheese fritters. I’m not a big pate person, but the presentation was gorgeous and the flavour was rich. If you like pate, definitely go for this one. I also don’t eat sea food, but people raved about the prawns. Unfortunately, the prawns are not a part of the spring special so if you do want this, you will have to pay a little extra.
Second Course at On19 at the Westin
We then had an intermediate course that included fish and bobotie. Not being a seafood eater, I just had a little taste of the fish and it was INCREDIBLE!!! I ate most of it, well the side that was caramelized. It was sublime! One of the best fishes I’d ever had! Not fishy at all and a really unique, caramelized shell. My mind was then totally blown by the pulled lamb bobotie. I loved pulled meats but what was so epic was the banana puree! I like cooked banana and using it as a puree with the bobotie was ingenious. I loved it! As per the On19 menu:
- Line Fish, butternut gremolata, warm edemame bean and Bulgar wheat salad, vanilla jus. (R145)
- Pulled lamb bobotie, truffle custard, banana, gingered apricot, tomato sambal (R170)
Main Courses at On19 at the Westin
For the main course we were presented with 2 mains. Classic beef fillet with pepper sauce and roast pork belly. I’m SUCH a sucker for pork belly as I feel it’s difficult to cook at home (I tried cooking a pork shoulder once, it stank out my ENTIRE kitchen! Was revolting!), so I tend to order pork quite often when dining out. The fillet was nice but nothing spectacular whereas the pork was sublime. Crispy, deep fried cracking, soft, tender pork, YOH! As per the menu:
- Beef fillet, burnt onion and parsnip puree, baby leek, pommes Anna, smoked Bordelaise (R190)
- Happy hog Verjuice and honey glazed pork belly, bitterballen, apple chemoula, sweet potato puree, pork popcorn (R170)
Desserts at On19 at the Westin
To finish off we had a trio of desserts. I was DEAD full at this point, but there was NO chance of me not tasting each of these beauts. I’m not big into macaroons, but I love ice cream sandwiches. This was a macaroon ice cream sandwich! There was then a trio of dacquoise, which according to Wikipedia is, “A dacquoise is a dessert cake made with layers of almond and hazelnut meringue and whipped cream or buttercream.” I couldn’t quite figure it out as it was cakey, but soft. It was pretty good but the absolute WIN for me was the chocolate pudding with salted ice cream and honey comb. BOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM!!! I liked it so much that I ordered it again when I returned this week to take Mr John there for dinner. Unfortunately the cook had put the honey comb into the ice cream the second time so the honeycomb had gone totally soft. But the flavours still rocked! As per the menu:
- Blueberry cheese cake, macaroon, warm Romanoff sauce
- Chocolate pudding, salted caramel ice cream, honey comb crumble
- Hazelnut, almond and espresso dacquoise
Desserts are R30 for 1, R55 for 2 or R80 for three.
I loved my meal at On19 and it’s always fun meeting new people at Zomato Meetups. It was an evening filled with cheer, laughter, great wine and delicious food.
I loved On19 so much that I even took Mr John back this week so I could do it all again. He had the wagu burger, which was slightly over cooked (I think the chef is off on Wednesday nights as the execution wasn’t as good as the 1st time). But the chocolate dinner won the day as ever.
Find On19 on…the 19th floor of the Westin on the foreshore. The views are extraordinary and the food is gorgeous. This special really is a treat and considering it includes a bottle of Graham Beck Brut Rose, you won’t need to add extra liquor onto the tab if you don’t want to. I’m not sure how long the special runs for, but it’s a perfect summer experience. Ensure you pop by and enjoy the spoils of the evening.
PS Our servers were both Zimbabwean and they are a joy!