SA’s Tallest Building, The Leonardo, Is Taking Fine Dining To A New Level

From the very first blueprint, The Leonardo was going to be something special. This 55-storey building is the tallest in Africa, offering plush multi-use spaces to discerning renters in the posh suburb of Sandton. 

Those who are lucky enough to secure offices and homes in this high-end high-rise apartment block will enjoy full concierge services, 24-hour state-of-the-art security, a gym and spa, heated pool, private crèche, and housekeeping services on call. Other communal areas include a coffee shop, business centre, conference venue and a plush lobby lounge. The Leonardo is just 2 minutes’ walk from Nelson Mandela Square. 

Now, the latest addition to this sought-after address is a new restaurant on the 7th floor, overlooking the pool terrace, which is expected to serve up some of the finest dishes in the city.  It’s bound to be a hit with the city elite, so be sure to reserve your seat at the table at the same time you book your flights from Cape Town to Johannesburg, or from anywhere else in South Africa! 

Aurum – Solid Gold

The restaurant is a collaboration between Paulo Santo, Darren O’Donovan and Lisa De Beer. The latter two have spent the last few years in Europe on a mammoth hunt for the very best in food, wine and inspiration, while Paulo hails from a successful career as executive chef at Gemelli restaurant. 

The name, meaning ‘’gold’’ in Latin refers not only to its location in the City of Gold but also to the trio’s aspirations of bringing gilt-edged service and gold-standard dining to the party. 

The venue itself is super-imposing with a triple-volume dining area and 140 seats, somewhat reminiscent of a European train station. Dark wood, Namibian marble and gold finishes add pizazz to the stark industrial arches, giving the restaurant a modern, but classic feel.

A huge service bar dominates the centre of the room while a wine library towers above on the mezzanine level, complete with fat leather armchairs for maximum enjoyment while you sip on something award-winning. 

As with the overall feel of Aurum, the menu leans towards European flavours. Contemporary, clean dishes dedicated to local, sustainable ingredients. Here, the ingredients are the hero, showcased in a range of dishes that pay homage to all their best qualities. No doubt these creative interpretations will have tongues wagging long after the last course is served.

What to Expect

For now, those in the know are tight-lipped about the exact details of what to expect when they fire up the grill at the end of October. There are rumours that the menu will rely heavily on Russian, Polish, Finnish and Spanish influences.

Paulo Santo makes it all sound very promising, saying that the aim is to engage patrons on an emotional level. He adds, “We want to create experiences, share memories, build strong relationships and gain the trust of our patrons through our product and service offering”.

There’s only one way to find out…

Book Your Cheap Flights from Johannesburg and Discover Culinary Excellence

While Cape Town is hailed as the culinary capital of South Africa, Johannesburg is no slouch when it comes to exceptional dining experiences and after-hours action.  

Luke Dale Roberts of The Test Kitchen fame serves up exquisite collaboration and tasting menus at The Saxon in Sandhurst.

Level Four at 54 on Bath in Rosebank is the home of Matthew Foxon who starred in the BBC MasterChef television series before settling down in Gauteng. Here you’ll find traditional UK food with an African influence.

Just down the road, Chef David Higgs goes the whole hog at Marble with flame-grilled versions of everything from kudu to caramelised pears.  

An hour out of town in Pretoria, World’s Best Female Chef winner, Chantel Darnall, struts her stuff at Orient, which specialises in beautiful dishes crafted from ever-changing seasonal ingredients.  

The list goes on and on, and food is just one of the attractions you’ll find waiting in Johannesburg. Apart from being close to many of the country’s Big Five havens, the city is a hive of non-stop activity. 

Business, events and entertainment are eternally on the go in Jozi, and you’ll find no shortage of nightspots, pristine outdoor spaces, interactive museums, shopping and thrilling art exhibitions to keep you busy.

If you want to experience Aurum and all the other exceptional dining experiences that Jozi has to offer, you know what to do… Book your cheap flights to Johannesburg to get your share. 

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