REVIEW: dw eleven – 13 raises the bar once again

review dw eleven 13 raises the bar once again 1200x1800 - REVIEW: dw eleven - 13 raises the bar once again

Since its inception in 2009, dw eleven – 13 has proudly offered experimental cuisine to fine diners in Johannesburg. 

High-profile restaurants often close their doors for good. It’s a big achievement when restaurants in Johannesburg, or any location, make it through a year or two – let alone 10. And that’s exactly what dw eleven – 13 has done. 

From a comparatively modest start by fine dining standards – with just three chefs and a manager in 2009 – the restaurant now operates with eleven chefs, three managers, two sommeliers, a maître d’ and seven waiters. 

DW1 - REVIEW: dw eleven - 13 raises the bar once again
Cured Linefish with curry pickle, mint, coriander, buttermilk raita, cucumber and tempura. Picture: Supplied

Their roast chicken and mash was a fan-favourite in 2009. Today, their offering has developed with a four-course menu and an eight-course tasting menu, with the dishes being paired with either wine, Japanese and Scotch whiskey or non-alcoholic cocktails. 

The menu has a beautiful selection of boutique wines – some international, some local and some very rare varietals. The whisky pairing features extraordinary finds from all corners of the globe – think Eigashima Shuzo White Wine Cask #61091. Delightful bursts of flavour await those opting for the non-alcoholic pairing, with cocktails and stimulating blends of exotic fruits, vegetables and herbs.

DW2 - REVIEW: dw eleven - 13 raises the bar once again
Gnocchi, spinach, seeds, raisins, capers and Karoo crumble paired with 2018 alheit vineyards ‘cartology’ (chenin blanc) or ancnoc ‘peatheart’ whisky or Tuscan fresco. Picture supplied.

A contemporary and unexpected twist on Cape Malay pickled fish is featured on both the four-course menu and the tasting menu – and it’s the star of the show. This cured Linefish with curry pickle, mint, coriander, buttermilk raita, cucumber and tempura is a far cry from the traditional fried fish dish, but it still creates a heightened sense of nostalgia. 

In the name of true provenance, the Linefish is thoughtfully procured by dw eleven – 13 via the sustainable fresh fish app, Abalobi. It is prepared with buttermilk rather than yoghurt, due to its higher acid content. With tempura adding a textural element, the dish is finished with fresh herbs and a hot Cape Malay-style curried oil.  

DW5 - REVIEW: dw eleven - 13 raises the bar once again
Goats cheese with guava, peppers and honeycomb paired with a 2017 keermont ‘fleurfontein’, 18-year-old glendronach ‘allardice’ or grapefruit passion. Picture: Supplied

You have the option of pairing this with a 2016 Leeuwenkuil (Marsanne), which  is a lovely white blend with fragrant aromas of white blossom and ginger, ripe tropical fruit and vanilla. 

The whisky pairing features Eigashima Shuzo White Wine Cask #61091, a unique blend of sherry, brandy, bourbon, wine, in American oak and even ex-shochu barrels. The non-alcoholic pairing features a cocktail of cucumber and lime. The freshness cools down the curry and complements the flavours.

DW3 - REVIEW: dw eleven - 13 raises the bar once again
Dulce with blackcurrant, feuillantine and meringue. Picture: Supplied

Throughout the last 10 years, dw eleven – 13 has remained consistently excellent. This can be measured in a number of ways: Time on several restaurant award lists, both locally and abroad; exceptional service delivery from the "family" that is the establishment’s enthusiastic team; and loyal diners – some of whom have chosen the venue for their proposals, anniversaries, birthdays and other special occasions each and every year for a decade.

To make a reservation, call 011 341 0663 or send an email to info@dw11-13.co.za.

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