While Social Kitchen and Bar is found at the back of the Hyde Corner Exclusive Books in Johannesburg, it is by no means an afterthought. Rather, what makes this eatery unique is that it is an extenuation of the shop, where the lines between where the store ends and the restaurant begins, are blurred. This aligns with the restaurant’s philosophy ‘for the love of conversation’ where dining is not just about enjoying a spectrum of innovative dishes, but the endless conversations about books, life and friendship that follow.
It is a fusion of space, combining good food, books and lively conversation together. The approach to food-making is similar to that of finding a book perfectly suited to an individual customer. On the menu, one is able to find dishes that are catered to differentiating tastes and budgets. Furthermore, the same level of care and attention to detail is given to each dish.
The layout of the restaurant can be described as eclectic, boasting rustic, bohemian-styled décor. Upon one’s entry, one immediately imagines a typical New York Loft meets a restorative warehouse. Patrons are seated at bare wood tables on art deco chairs, and if you look up, unique light fittings of unique shapes and vibrant colours hang from overhead. However, its main feature is the 40-metre span of glass windows which grant you full views of Johannesburg’s urban forest.
The comprehensive menu is designed by the renowned, executive chef, Russel Armstrong who prepares meals that ‘speak to us’. Meals are said to be uncomplicated yet refined and are the closest you’ll get to perfection on a dish. Diners looking for quick, post-work drinks can enjoy a range of craft cocktails (all named after famous novels) at the wraparound bar. Sip on the bar’s signature ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ – a feisty drink that’ll ebb the day’s stress away with its generous serving of tequila. If you’re looking for cuisine to enjoy with a couple of friends, the restaurant is known for their 'plates to share'. A highly recommended dish is the slow braised duck leg, served with grilled radicchio, Spanish onion and fondant potato – certainly a radical improvement to your typical bar snack platters.
Diners with hearty appetites can give the Josper Oven selections a try. The grain-fed hanger steak, served with grilled Portobello mushrooms, caramelised shallots and farmhouse potatoes, will certainly leave any meat-lover salivating! The Chef’s selection of favourite dishes is a must-try for patrons who are looking to pick and choose between diverse selections of appetisers. This special comprises of two cold, small plates; two warm, small plates and one small, sweet plate. Indulge to your heart’s content and only pay R480 per couple!
Dinner would be incomplete with a side of dessert or a cup of coffee. Opt for the Baked Crispin apple palmier, Calvados Anglaise, and vanilla bean ice cream if you’re looking for a truly unforgettable treat.
Travel from Johannesburg on the M1. Drive along De Villiers Graaff Motorway/M1. Take exit 19 from De Villiers Graaff Motorway/M1. Head west on De Villiers Graaff Motorway/M1. Take exit 14B for Saint Andrews Road toward Parktown/Johannesburg. Keep right at the fork to continue toward St Andrews Road. Use the right lane to turn right onto St Andrews Road. Turn right to merge onto De Villiers Graaff Motorway/M1.
Take exit 19 for Glenhove Road toward Johannesburg/M20. Follow M20 and Jan Smuts Ave to 6th Road in Sandton. Turn left onto Glenhove Road/M20 (signs for Rosebank/Glenhove Road). Continue to follow M20 and turn right onto Jan Smuts Avenue. Turn right onto 6th Road and Social Kitchen & Bar will be on the left at the Hyde Park Corner.
-26° 7' 30.45''
28° 1' 56.91''
Hyde Park Corner Cnr Jan Smuts Avenue & William Nicol Drive 2196