The wait is over and for those hoping to get a taste of what Nelson Mandela Square’s latest restaurant TANG has in-store – best you get your reservation in for the opening weekend.
- TANG proffers a luxurious take on the Japanese Izakaya style of dining and classic Cantonese-style cooking.
- Transporting guests on a culinary journey complemented by a lavish Asian tropical setting, TANG looks to be a hot new dining destination.
- TANG features a 60-seater Moët & Chandon bar spilling out onto the terrace overlooking Nelson Mandela Square.
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There is no debating that the interior and execution oozes modern luxury as the entrance to TANG, with its sexy water feature, opens up into the main dining area, set with cocktail and sushi bar, Japanese cherry blossoms, and rustic wooden tables. It’s a place where a fusion of casual and fine dining dance eloquently close to each other. At first, it may seem über chic and unthinkably unaffordable but, in a moment, there are elements that bring everything back to earth.
Located on the site previously operated by Wang Thai, TANG is designed by award-winning interior designer, Tristan Du Plessis, the global winner of the 2019 Restaurant and Design Awards. He has infused the 650 sqm space with his signature luxe-with-an-edge style, underscored by a strong focus on elemental design. Inspired by the works of acclaimed architect, Marcio Kogan, and the modern tropical movement, the restaurant has a restrained minimalist luxe feel using materials such as imported marble, honed travertine, wood, and granite. Hospitality entrepreneur Nicky van der Walt, hands-on as the restaurant kicks into full gear, describes his new space as ‘an oasis with a resort feel in the middle of Africa’s richest square mile on par with the best Dubai, London or Miami has to offer’.
The restaurant boasts an impressive award-winning team of culinary talents, led by seasoned chefs Lai Kuan Geo, Wesley Chen and Vixa Kalenga, responsible for TANG signature dishes including Peking Duck, Black Cod Miso, Yellowtail sashimi, Wagyu Tomahawk steaks done on robata grills, and a vast sushi and wok selection.
Chef Kuan, nominated at the Eat Out Awards for Best Asian Restaurant and the American Express Platinum Fine Dining Award, will be responsible for TANG’s sumptuous Pan-Asian flavours. As Chef de Cuisine Chef Chen, most recently Executive Chef at Cape Town’s top authentic Asian restaurant, Boudha Lounge, will ensure that the house’s classic Cantonese dishes adhere to the top quality for which he is renowned.
Meanwhile, chef Vixa Kalenga, who has worked at famed Willoughby’s in Cape Town as well as group chef for the Kove collection and who holds extensive cuisine consulting experience (most recently at the hot new modern Greek restaurant, Ethos, in Sandton) will hold Executive chef responsibilities.
Mixologist Pat Rowson, previously of Gaia in Dubai, will be responsible for creating TANG’S signature cocktails and drinks while arguably SA’s top sommelier, Tinashe Nyamudoka, previously of Test Kitchen in Cape Town, is in charge of TANG’s cellar selection and will oversee the restaurant’s curated wine list. Front of house will be ably steered by General Manager Darryll Keenan, who previously held a ten-year tenure at The Butcher Shop and Grill, with Ricky Le Roux, who recently returned to South Africa after forming part of the opening team for the Lincoln Plaza in London, taking on the role of Assistant General Manager.
Here are 4 dishes from the TANG menu we managed to try!
Pork Belly Char Sui Glaze
A great one to eat with chopsticks, this tender pork belly with a hint of sweetness is a great little starter or tapas style dish. If you’ve had your share of collagen for the day, do ask to have the cartilage trimmed off.
Wagyu Gyoza with Tiger Sauce
An ever popular dish to share, these soft pockets filled with rare ingredients are delicious. The tiger sauce could do with a little more growl though.
Rainbow Reloaded Sushi
An all-time favourite, TANG‘s sushi is fresh and full of flavour with that unmissable Teriyaki Sauce and soya sauce served on the side, for those who like to add a little more umami flavours.
Peking Duck with Steamed Pancakes and Hoisin Sauce
For those who enjoy a hands-on dining experience, there’s nothing better than folding your own Peking Duck pancake with slithers of cucumber, chopped spring onion, slices of duck drizzled with hoisin sauce. It’s filling and delicious.
It’s hard not to fall into the category of being a ‘special occasions only’ destination, especially when playing in the league of super-dining spaces, a status some other restaurants have achieved in the city. Notably, though, TANG feels different and as far as first impressions go, might manage to gain a broader appeal, if it remains true to its accessible luxury philosophy. We look forward to seeing what the full menu at TANG has in-store!
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