Restaurant Review

Tanen: Jozi wine bar's Middle Eastern menu is as impressive as its drinks list

01 November 2018 - 00:00 By Lucy Sarah O’Connell
Tanen serves contemporary food with distinctly Middle Eastern flavours and influences.
Tanen serves contemporary food with distinctly Middle Eastern flavours and influences.
Image: Duncan Errington

Joburg gin bar Tonic now has a new wine-centric sister next door. Called Tanen, it's owned by the same team, Caitlin and Dennis Human, and is proving to be just as popular.

“Our next love after gin was wine, and we love food so much. When we learnt that the space was becoming available next door, we knew we would have to take the chance to make something incredible again,” says Caitlin.

And they’ve certainly succeeded in doing just that – the Middle Eastern-inspired wine bar and restaurant is unique, vibey, and filled with the kind of food and wine that will keep you coming back over and over. 

Much like Tonic next door, Tanen is small, which makes eating there feel both intimate and warm and fits perfectly with the cuisine they serve.

Tanen not only has great food, but an impressive wine collection as well.
Tanen not only has great food, but an impressive wine collection as well.
Image: Duncan Errington

“We knew that people weren’t associating Tonic with food, which is why Tanen is much more food driven for us. We serve contemporary food with distinctly Middle Eastern flavours and influences, especially from areas like Turkey and Israel.

"The irony is that in many of the places we draw inspiration from, you wouldn’t be able to have a glass of wine with dinner, and we really think that it’s one of the best types of food to eat with wine,” adds Caitlin.

With dishes including duck baklava with pistachio cream and pickled cumquats, or lamb and baba ghanoush, you’ll have a hard time making your dinner decision.

Spelt in the traditional Middle Eastern way, Tanen is also living up to its name with some truly impressive wines.

As Caitlin explains, “We’ve worked hard to curate a wine selection of vintages that people don’t necessarily know. We also do what we’re calling a harvest table of wine where a glass costs R50 across the board and it gives people an opportunity to try things they might not have tried before. Ultimately, we want to encourage them to push the boundaries a bit and introduce them to something new that they might just fall in love with.”


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


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