From the succulent stout-braised beef short rib to a truly South African take on the classic Baked Alaska (a Baked ‘Serengeti), Aurelia’s Restaurant at Emperors Palace is set to become Johannesburg’s new hotspot for authentic, contemporary African cuisine.
Located in the stunning five-star Peermont D’oreale Grande hotel at Emperors Palace, conveniently next to O.R. Tambo International Airport, Aurelia’s offers a world-class fine-dining experience in a warm and welcoming atmosphere – and with Chef Andre Bezuidenhout now at the helm as Chef de Cuisine, patrons can look forward to an exciting new range of inspired dishes coming out of the Aurelia’s kitchen.
Chef Andre, who recently joined Aurelia’s as Chef de Cuisine, discovered his love of food as a small boy, cooking in his father’s kitchen. Armed with a Diploma at the internationally accredited HTA School of Culinary Art, Chef Andre has cut his teeth as Senior Sous Chef at The Bull Run in Sandton, Executive Sous Chef at The Palazzo Monte, Executive Chef at Emerald Casino, and Executive Chef at the Inanda Polo Club.
Along with a mouth-watering stout-braised beef short rib that falls apart at the slightest touch, expect new takes on old classics, like salt and pepper pork belly with crispy crackling cooked to perfection, confit peri-peri duck and parmesan-infused samp simmered in coconut cream. For seafood lovers, the ‘Under the Ocean’ vichyssoise, served with smoked mussel tortellini, beetroot brulée, dried lemon cells, and rocket dust is a dish not to be missed.
Chef Andre and his team have also added a delightfully modern twist to a range of traditional side dishes, including a confit garlic custard guaranteed to have you ordering seconds, putu pap with Maas dressing, and a Zimbabwean-inspired pumpkin maize puree. However, despite the modern influence evident in the new menu, Aurelia’s still offers old classics like steak Diane, using the 700g prime rib, which is flambéed at your table and served with traditional sides.
Make sure you leave room for dessert, because you’re not going to want to miss out on trying the signature Baked Serengeti, with orange marshmallow centre in place of the traditional meringue. Chef Andre’s take on classic South African desserts will also leave you salivating – patrons can forward to malva pudding served with Amarula ice cream, and melk tert truffles with a biscuit soil base and cinnamon meringue that will satisfy any sweet tooth.
For those hoping to pop in at midday for a quick bite to eat, Chef Andre’s lunch menu includes a variety of simple and delicious light meals, each with Aurelia’s signature elegant twist. Enjoy a gourmet burger with a satisfying side of fries cooked to perfection and elegantly prepared for a fine-dining experience. For a healthier option, try the barley falafels or one of the many fresh and inviting salad varieties on the menu.
The new menu takes traditional African cuisine to a new level, where we’ve built on the signature Aurelia’s dishes everyone knows and loves, to offer something that’s more unique and exciting,” says Chef Andre during a rare break from the kitchen. “Instead of simply incorporating existing food trends from around the world, we wanted to pay tribute to African flavours and set the trends people want to see in South Africa, and the new menu achieves this. It took us two months to develop this menu and make sure all the flavour profiles were perfect before being able to launch it to the public. The new menu is a labour of love, and a testament to the incredible things that can happen when you are passionate about creating incredible, one-of-a-kind food.
Chef Andre Bezuidenhout
Aurelia’s restaurant is one of the few fine dining locations that offers a ‘degustation’ menu – an eight-course menu in smaller portions, expertly paired with wines chosen by resident sommelier, Boitumelo Maphela, to compliment the unique flavours of each course. The degustation evening is an indulgent affair, with an Amuse-bouche, small plate, entrée, pallet cleanser, large plate, dessert and after dinner tea, coffee and friandises all included in the menu, which are guaranteed to fill your Instagram feed.