19 May 2014 by Kate Turkington

Lunch at the Hyatt Regency Johannesburg

I rarely ‘do’ business lunches, but when I was asked to have a lunch meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Rosebank, one of Johannesburg’s trendiest shopping and business areas, I jumped at the chance.

The Chef's Table

The Hyatt Regency Johannesburg has been an established mecca for business and tourism for over a decade. Its central position (just over the road from the Gautrain) and its comfortable rooms and state-of-the-art business and conference facilities have made it a firm favourite with locals and international visitors alike.

Executive chef Andrew Atkinson

To make sure it continues its levels of excellence, a massive R80-million upgrade recently took place, and has certainly achieved what Hyatt Regency GM Michael McBain calls a ‘wow effect’.

So, after walking through the glossy white marble and black granite reception area, I made my way to the oneNINEone restaurant and terrace.

I know (from experience) that the days of the leisurely boozy business lunch are long over (certainly in Johannesburg where the pace is fast, the Highveld air like champagne, and busy, motivated people are always on the move). So what can this restaurant offer?

Firstly (apart from its convenient position and easy parking), you’ll sit in a lovely airy open area looking out on to small tranquil gardens. If you need more action, then face the interactive kitchen where the creative staff prepares the dishes of the day, or your special request. Secondly (and this is really important for people on the go), you’re guaranteed to be in and out in less than an hour (of course, you can linger on if you wish, or even take yourself off to the wine and cigar bar.) Thirdly, the versatile menu changes on a weekly basis and is served Mondays to Fridays between 12.30pm and 2.30pm.

Chef Andrew Atkinson, who originally hails from Cardiff, told me that his priority is good, tasty, food made from the freshest ingredients possible. When I asked him what he likes to cook best, he laughed: 'I love all cooking, so don’t have any favourites.'

I know that the days of the leisurely boozy business lunch are long over (certainly in Johannesburg where the pace is fast, the Highveld air like champagne, and busy, motivated people are always on the move).

I started my lunch with seared salmon, followed by a South African favourite, delicious Karoo lamb. 

A glass of excellent Cape red wine washed the whole meal down, and even after a generous cup of filter coffee, I was in and out in just under an hour, although never felt rushed or pressurised.

If I’d been staying at the hotel I could have had access to the Regency Club that takes up the whole of the hotel’s eighth floor. Here you enjoy private check-in and check-out facilities, complimentary use of the boardroom, all day tea and coffee, and drinks and snacks in the evening.

And, of course, you can always treat yourself to a visit to the gorgeous on-site spa or keep in shape in the fitness centre...

The oneNineone open kitchen

Category: Food & Wine

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