Restaurant Review

Proud Mary brings some glitz to the Joburg food scene

This new eatery and wine bar in Rosebank boasts a globally inspired menu, raw seafood bar and an impressive wine list, writes Steve Steinfeld

04 March 2021 - 06:00 By Steve Steinfeld
The interior of Proud Mary is trendy yet timeless.
The interior of Proud Mary is trendy yet timeless.
Image: Steve Steinfeld via Wanted

The latest project by restaurateurs Gary Hollywood and Warren Murley — previously behind La Boqueria — together with an eclectic creative team, takes shape in the form of Proud Mary: a glitzy new eatery and wine bar in the heart of Rosebank, Johannesburg.

On the ground floor of The Bank, the suburb’s latest multipurpose development (and soon to be home of SA’s first Voco hotel), is where you’ll find this exciting new venture.

The building’s black and face brick facade gives way to contrasting tones of oxblood, teal and emerald, which together with textures of plush fabrics, natural wood finishes, terrazzo and brass harks back to New York’s golden age.

The team worked closely with interior architect Enrike de Villiers to create a space that manages to be trendy yet timeless, offering diners a sense of luxurious escapism that is as chic as it is comfortable.

Proud Mary is a glitzy new eatery and wine bar in the heart of Rosebank, Johannesburg.
Proud Mary is a glitzy new eatery and wine bar in the heart of Rosebank, Johannesburg.
Image: Steve Steinfeld via Wanted

Heading up the kitchen is SA-born chef Christo Nortier, who has returned home after years abroad working in the UK and Dubai — most notably at Jamie Oliver HQ in its heyday.

Nortier brings with him a refreshing “less is more” philosophy that pairs maximum flavour with minimum fuss, showcasing the beauty of the produce he gets to work with.

A strong ethos of locality follows this produce-driven mentality, with the chef determined to support local businesses, farmers and fisheries wherever possible when creating his dishes.

The menu is extensive and draws from cuisines the world over — offering up a refined, casual and modern approach to dining — which is sure to be accessible to most, if not all, who visit.

Choose a few small plates for the table, dig into one of their grander cafe plates or perhaps go for something off the fire. The sticky pork belly with teriyaki, fresh chilli and coriander is mouthwateringly tender and bursting with flavour; but the prawns in XO butter aren’t to be missed either.

If you feel like something a bit bigger, Nortier recommends their signature porchetta: an oven roasted pork belly stuffed with pistachio mortadella.

The raw seafood bar is a particularly enticing addition to the restaurant.

The raw seafood bar is a particularly enticing addition and includes a selection of fresh seafood dishes including oysters, sea bass ceviche, tartare and sashimi. Guests are invited to sit at the bar  — a dedicated section of the restaurant — as the delicacies are created, glass of champagne in hand. Optional, but highly recommended.

A seriously impressive wine list has been conceptualised by Angela Jordaan (partner of Noble Vice wine festival). It champions small batch, local and independent wineries showcasing a host of exemplary and unusual wines at superb price points.

In addition, there’s also a generous champagne list, a selection of international wines and a cocktail menu featuring both classic and creative cocktails.

It’s safe to say that Proud Mary is set to be a fantastic addition to Joburg’s food scene.

Find Proud Mary at The Bank, 26 Cradock Ave, Rosebank, Johannesburg. Open daily from 8am-10pm. Call 010-023-3316.

• This article is adapted from one originally published on Wanted Online's website. Visit wantedonline.co.za for the latest in luxury lifestyle news.


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