A little while ago I covered great brunch spots in Sandton City, but I also wanted to share two great eateries to dine in Sandton for a more eventful occasion. Neither are new as such, just new to me because of my allergy to malls in general, but both of these are excellent and a HUGE improvement on the former restaurants that haunted these quarters.
The interior of The Big Mouth looking out to Nelson Mandela Square
The Big Mouth
With its prime position on Nelson Mandela Square, I’m so glad that somebody made The Big Mouth as stylish to match. It’s part of the same group that own the string of JB’s restaurants, which I wrote about in 3 tasty brunch spots in Sandton, but it honestly is next level by comparison.
The promise of the some of the best sushi in Jozi was what drew me in, and after a meal of Asian tapas-style dishes, I can say it is one of the best. We had the rock shrimp tempura, dim sum, a salmon sushi bowl (perfect lunch on-the-go by the way), rainbow reloaded sushi rolls, and pink roses.
The enormous loaf served warm when we arrived at The Big Mouth
Fat, juicy rock shrimp tempura
Prawn dim sum, tasty but not the best I’ve ever had
The saslmon sushi bowl is fantastic!
Each portion is very generous, which made me feel more comfortable with the prices (they’re steep), and we were absolutely stuffed after this meal, but not too stuffed to enjoy an impossibly large ice-cream sandwich. What the menu doesn’t really make clear is that you actually get two sandwiches, and it makes this the perfect dessert to share!
That’s two stacked ice-cream sandwiches, people!
Another awesome thing about The Big Mouth? They serve viognier by the glass, and not some terrible, cheap Sauvignon Blanc!
If I have one complaint though, is that the lighting in the restaurant at night is way too dim. At one stage, three tables around us were trying to read the menu using their cellphones as torches. It also made it extremely challenging to take these photos, but that aside, I love a little romantic ambience, but when I need to take out my phone to read your menu it’s a problem!
Also on Nelson Mandela Square, I had to drag Alessio along to this one kicking and screaming, because he hates coriander aka cilantro. The first meal I ever made for him was covered in it and he ate it so willingly, only to tell me afterwards how awful he found my favourite herb. To date, it’s the biggest thing we disagree on.
The gorgeous glossy interiors of Cilantros
The most perfect people-watching corner
Besides that, once we got inside Cilantros, a marble and copper universe, he was much happier when he saw the menu and its variety. Spoiler: not everything is covered in cilantro, which made me sad but relieved that we could both actually eat here.
We popped in on a Friday afternoon and the vibe was just too good. It was very relaxed inside, and the doors onto the Square were open, and it just put me in an instant good mood. The service was great and everything we ordered was tasty.
Beer and a tiny load delivered upfront to the table
Since we’re all about the sharing, we ordered starters from the tapas menu: golden squid heads, chorizo and fried olives. For the main event, we opted for pizza and sliders, they were simple dishes prepared well and with fresh ingredients.
Chorizo and prawns, a saucy little combo on the tapas menu
Deep-fried olives, not 100% sure I’d order them again but worth a try…
Squid heads, lightly dusted and served with a prego mayo
Our trio of wagyu beef sliders
I’d love to go back in the evening because the bar at Cilantros is spectacular and I have a feeling it would be a good spot to test out martinis (a new obsession I haven’t had a chance to blog about just yet).
I still need to try out the new Tashas and a few other spots in and around Sandton City, if you have any recommendations, let me know in the comments below!
The meals I enjoyed at Sandton City were sponsored by them as part of their #ComeToTheCity campaign, but as with all my posts, my thoughts are my own.