Ride a rodeo bull to Flavourtown at Guy Fieri's new Pretoria restaurant

26 March 2017 - 02:00 By GABI MBELE

Guy Fieri leaves viewers salivating when he bites into delicious meat and fast-food dishes.

And in a few weeks, the international food TV personality will be tantalising South Africans with his mouthwatering culinary feasts.

Known for his shows on Food Network, Fieri is bringing his global brand to Pretoria on April 1 when his restaurant, Guy Fieri's Kitchen + Bar, opens at the new Time Square hotel and casino development.

The restaurant would offer "real deal, scratch-made food, killer cocktails and a rocking good time", Fieri said.   

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"Whenever we open a new restaurant, we look to stay true to our own style, flavours and level of hospitality, no matter where we are," said the 49-year-old, who hosts Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives; Guy's Big Bite; and Guy's Grocery Games on the network channel.

Fieri will be bringing his "award-winning burgers, like the one-and-only Bacon Mac-N-Cheese Burger and signature sandwiches such as the Motley Que, which has real-deal American barbecued pulled pork".

He said: "We take pride in our big-time hits ... killer burgers, buffalo wings and craft cocktails ... but we also take a look around the local area and see what's special.

"I mean, if you're going to do South Africa, you got to have some scratch-made rubbed and sauced peri-peri chicken wings, right? You're not going to find grilled springbok loin from Mokopane in New York City but after trying it in South Africa, I may have to change that ."

South Africa was the kind of place that "Americans dream of visiting" and for him to bring his restaurant was a "huge honour", he said.

"In 2016, I was approached by the team at Sun International after they had checked out some of my restaurants in Las Vegas and New York City. They were looking for a new partner for their new Time Square casino and once I heard about what an amazing property it was to become, I was all in."

His restaurant is part of the R4-billion Time Square development in Menlyn Maine.

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It features a 22-storey luxury hotel, an 8,500-seat arena, a casino spanning 7,530m² on two levels and 18 restaurants and bars.

Three of the restaurants are unique establishments on the upper level - Fieri's restaurant; Forti Grill by South African chef Fortunato Mazzone; and Something's Cooking by J'Something, from MiCasa lead singer Joao da Fonseca.

Fieri - a hotel management graduate who owns more than 50 restaurants around the world, including Guy's Vegas Kitchen + Bar on the Las Vegas Strip and Guy's Burger Joints on Carnival Cruise Lines - said his restaurant would have "comfortable seating, a great bar and rocking music - making it the place to be not just for a great meal but to party as well". 

He does not intend to charge an arm and a leg because "South Africans work hard for their money and they deserve to be able to take their family out for good food and a good time. We're bringing the heat and excitement of Flavourtown but at local market prices so it's accessible to everyone," he said.

"You know I got to keep it funky in Flavourtown! My South African Kitchen + Bar is gonna have a first for me ... a mechanical bull!"