An exciting new addition to Johannesburg’s dining scene, Séjour restaurant has opened its doors within the luxurious Houghton Hotel, situated in the upmarket suburb of Houghton Estate. The new project is the cumulative effort of The Houghton Hotel, creative director Nikki Raciti and head chef Freddie Dias.
Chef Freddie, who has cooked in top kitchens the world over – including four years at the celebrated Cape Town eatery The Pot Luck Club, brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the kitchen. Driven by his natural curiosity and eagerness to always learn more, the acclaimed chef draws influences from all aspects of his life whether it be his upbringing, travels abroad or his many years in service.
As such his menu is a delectable amalgamation of all that is learnt from a life spent travelling, exploring and asking questions combined with a love of food and finesse for storytelling.
“I want my food to tell a story – yes it’s about feeding people but it’s more than that it’s about telling stories, evoking curiosity and creating a conversation around a table. I love that food can do that,” says Chef Freddie.
The name Séjour, is French for sojourn – defined as a temporary stay or visit. The idea is to create a space that could be an escape from the hustle and bustle of Jozi. It’s a place where all are invited to indulge in incredible food, fine wines and splendid views with exceptional service to match.
The concept is a modern take on fine dining – it’s fine without the fluff, allowing guests to both enjoy the space and it’s offering in utmost ease and comfort.
The dining room is an elegant and minimalist ode to the natural surroundings and greenery onto which the restaurant’s floor to ceiling windows overlook. Tones of blues, greens and soft earth tones, pair with elements of bronze, wood and marble to create a chic yet welcoming environment.
Freddie’s food is a celebration of his personal journey, a true reflection of himself, served up an exceptional interpretation of modern global cuisine.
“We loved that Freddie takes inspiration for his food from all over the globe, be it from the Americas through to Asia or anywhere in between, creating food that is big, bold and vibrant,” says Jaco Minnaar, GM of The Houghton Hotel. “With our restaurant based in a hotel, it’s a perfect fit for the local and international visitors to the venue.”
The current menu features the likes of Freddie’s fine twist on Mexican tacos, crispy calamari – an excellent integration of Asian and Malay flavours, and many more internationally influenced and exceptionally tasty dishes.
In addition to the main dining room Séjour also boasts a beautiful terrace, three dining rooms available for private bookings and a magnificent wine cellar – stocked with a selection of impressive local and international gems.
Astra Lounge & Champagne Bar, the tapas meet cocktail area adjacent to the restaurant, is too overseen by Dias and his kitchen team. Rather than the fine fair of Séjour, the menu here features a more casual small plate offering.
Séjour is situated on the first floor of the Houghton Hotel and is accessible through the main lobby or the hotel’s underground parking. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Saturday and for Sunday lunch.