Sphere Monk brings fine dining to downtown Joburg

Chef Liam Bloy tells us more about his new Maboneng eatery that offers innovative set menus which hero a handful of ingredients

19 August 2017 - 00:00 By Lucy Sarah Heaney
Liam Bloy, 26, interned at a two-star Michelin restaurant before returning to South Africa.
Liam Bloy, 26, interned at a two-star Michelin restaurant before returning to South Africa.
Image: Supplied

At 26, chef Liam Bloy is already making culinary waves with his new Maboneng restaurant, Sphere Monk.

Having trained at Cesar Ritz Culinary Arts Academy in Switzerland and interned in a two-star Michelin restaurant before returning to South Africa, Bloy’s young and dynamic team have found their home in the iconic Cosmopolitan building.

He tells us more.

What’s Sphere Monk all about?

We like to think of Sphere Monk as a space where fine food meets art, but we approach it in as uncontrived and unpretentious manner as possible. Each plate is inspired by around three components because we believe that simplicity equals beauty.

Here, you can enjoy high-quality food in a classic yet comfortable and accessible setting. In time, we’ll also offer a full music line-up to follow your dinner.

Plating is an artform at Sphere Monk.
Plating is an artform at Sphere Monk.
Image: Supplied

Where does the name Sphere Monk come from?

Sphere Monk is named after the great jazz musician Thelonius Monk, who was affectionately known by his middle name: Sphere.

He was revered for playing to his own tune and famously said, “I say, play your own way. Don't play what the public wants. You play what you want and let the public pick up on what you're doing.”

This ties in with the way we approach our food, entertainment and service.

What inspires your work?

People inspire the work that we do. I come from a large coloured family where food is so often the response to every problem, celebration and success.

Also, most of my family are academics, and so people thought I would follow in their footsteps. The kitchen is where I found solace: here I was able to express myself and not necessarily live in their shadows.

What would you say is your Sphere Monk signature?

As I'm only 26, I don't feel that my career has even begun to define my capabilities in the kitchen. However, we offer a set dinner menu of either five or seven courses, with each dish inspired and carefully created around only a handful of flavours. As such, we find that guests have their own favourites, which we take as a good sign that we are on the right path!

This article was originally published in one of the Sunday Times Neighbourhood: Property and Lifestyle guides. Visit Yourneighbourhood.co.za