Indulging in local culture – and its gastronomy – is a vital part of visiting any new destination. Although most of the JG Black Book Collection’s clients offer incredible on-site dining options with carefully curated menus and high-profile chefs, they also know the value of experiencing the culture beyond the property’s walls. With the help of the Collection, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular neighborhood restaurants where you can experience authentic and delicious cuisine. From offerings such as interactive cooking demonstrations in South Africa to Lima’s Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine, you’ll definitely be dreaming to dine at these exclusive eateries.
Micato Safaris: Celebrate South Africa’s world-class gastronomy scene
Micato has celebrated South Africa’s zesty, world-class gastronomy and wine for many years, enabling travelers to indulge in Cape Town’s ever-evolving, undeniably impressive culinary scene. The favorite spots that guests rave about again and again are Foodbarn and Test Kitchen, where chefs Franck Dangereux and Luke Dale Roberts (former head chefs at La Colombe) are respectively working their magic, Leopard’s Leap Kitchen where interactive cooking demonstrations delight foodies of all abilities, the high tea at the Mount Nelson, or the low-carb high tea at Cellars Hohenort, and a favorite of Micato guests and staff alike, Truth Coffee. This only scratches the surface of the culinary delights awaiting in Cape Town, so make sure to visit Micato to experience all the local spots South Africa has to offer.
Maido, Lima’s flagship Nikkei restaurant, is all about making customers feel at home while they embark on a journey of the senses. Sparked by Chef Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura’s culinary passion, the restaurant is the result of a well thought-out combination of Peruvian and Japanese influences, where ingredients and heritage complement each other. Ranked #8 on the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Maido definitely pushes the boundaries of traditional gastronomy, taking customers on a voyage through Nikkei cuisine with adventurous dishes such as a fish hotdog, dim sum with squid and a sea snail cau-cau (the restaurant’s unique take on a traditional Peruvian dish). Maido – as the meaning of its Japanese name implies – is all about making everyone and everything feel welcome.
Opened in December 2014, Hujan Locale quickly became an important player in the Ubud restaurant scene. It is another project by Chef Will Meyrick, a brainchild of the successful eateries MAMA San and Sarong in Seminyak. The restaurant features a cozy, casual bar on the lower level, serving creative and mouthwatering concoctions, and a white-washed dining room with high ceilings on the upper level. Food and flavors are bold, yet subtle and refined. Expect Asian cuisine inspired by backstreet kitchens of Southeast Asia, including Bali! It’s home-cooking at its best with surprise finds on the menu.
The Chedi Muscat: Taste traditional Arabian starters under a starry sky
On cool desert nights that fall from mid-October to mid-April, a star-filled sky and shimmering lanterns set the scene at the Arabian Courtyard. You can unwind on plush cushions under the Arabian sky in the outdoor courtyard, accompanied by an authentic Arabic mezze selection of hummus, baba ghanoush, marinated olives, beef shwarma and kebabs aside a live cooking station and freshly grilled meat and fish. During these months, the adjacent Shisha Lounge beckons with colorful divans, shimmering lanterns and water pipes for a traditional Omani experience.
Azura Retreats: Choose a unique custom dining experience
At Azura, dining is part of the full experience! Therefore, the best “local restaurant” at Azura is enjoying an meal on-site. Think breakfast at the water’s edge, a picnic on a remote sandy island, dining on a candlelit beach beneath the stars or a romantic private dinner at your villa. Each dining scenario allows you to experience both the beauty of the island and mouth-watering dishes made with the freshest ingredients.
Azura offers guests professional and personal service. Butler-hosts look after you during your stay and take huge pride in their innovative dining set-ups, adding little touches to make your stay special. Azura not only prides itself on amazing and varied dining locations and delectable food, but also on their fabulous wine cellar for special wine tasting events and themed dinners. They even offer a selection of the owner’s wines, flown in specially from their Chateau in the Loire Valley, France.
The Stafford London: Enjoy modern British comfort food
A place to eat, drink and socialize, The Game Bird at The Stafford London offers modern British comfort food executed with style and panache, wrapped in a seductive ambiance that oozes cool sophistication. The philosophy at The Game Bird is simple – dedicated to following the seasons and supporting local artisans, Executive Chef James Durrant has created a “theater of the senses” menu based on uncomplicated excellence, where seasonal produce sits alongside time-honored British classics. At the center of attention are the traditional handcrafted trolleys that overflow with home smoked & cured fish, while the menu features signature dishes that both surprise and delight – from meat and game to puddings and stews and a mouth-watering Sunday Roast.
In a setting reminiscent of an exclusive private members club, a heady mix of classic British design captivates and enchants, while intimate dining booths whisper seduction against a backdrop of pale blue walls and specially commissioned artwork from some of the country’s leading young British artists. For those in the know, the chic Champagne Bar is the place to slip away from the outside world and into a glass of chilled champagne or a martini before dining in the restaurant.
Volcanoes Safaris: Support the local community at the Bwindi Bar
In 2015, the VSPT officially opened the Bwindi Bar, located near the Volcanoes Safaris Bwindi Lodge on the edge of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The bar provides a practical training institution for local disadvantaged youths living near the Bwindi National Park in Buhoma. The VSPT aims to provide practical experience in the tourism industry, to create more job opportunities in the region. Thanks to this program, trainees are armed with the appropriate skills set to go on to gain successful employment in hospitality in the Bwindi area. The trainees gain practical skills in food and service before they intern at the cafe for two months. They are then sent for further internships at nearby lodges. The Bwindi Bar serves a variety of coffee and tea as well as delicious breakfast options that blend international and local tastes.
47 Boutique Hotel: Experience new taste in the Eternal City
The “Parole in Libertà” restaurant is now open at 47 Boutique Hotel, using only the best ingredients from local producers to create fresh and light dishes. They pay careful attention to seasonal ingredients and use only the best for a cuisine that is both healthy and extremely tasty.