Silver Orange Bistro, Hartbeespoort
Did you know?
The Silver Orange Bistro prepares gourmet picnic hampers on request and hosts regular wine-tasting events.
The Silver Orange Bistro is the realisation of a long-held desire by chef-patron Leon Nel to own his own restaurant.
A classically trained chef, Nel completed his hospitality studies at the Pretoria Technikon and gained five-star experience working in some of the city’s top boutique hotels before converting his grandparents' farmhouse in the Hartbeespoort area into the 60-seater Silver Orange Bistro in 2004.
Google the Silver Orange Bistro, and you’ll find unscripted reviews from diners that only praise the restaurant's friendly, well-informed service, exceptional food and award-winning wine list.
Visually striking plates of food (that taste as delectable as they look) are a signature element of the bistro. Nel considers food preparation to be an art form, but his dishes are never contrived or pretentious. Instead, each plate is a dialogue using tastes, flavours and textures to unlock diners' emotions.
His attention to detail and use of mostly local and seasonal ingredients sees his menus, which change bi-weekly, feature starters such as roasted artichoke and butternut squash salad, seared tuna tataki or duck and fig samoosas.
Main courses include sophisticated comfort classics like slow-braised springbok shank, Scottish salmon and a Thai seafood curry – all of which elicit groans of gustatory delight.
Silver Orange Bistro's desserts change every 2nd day and are all freshly made, with natural, preservative-free ingredients. Regular diners know to request the homemade ice creams and sorbets, while one food critic described Nel's traditional malva pudding and custard as 'deeply restorative'. The frozen peanut fudge ice cream bar is so popular it has been on the menu for over seven years!
The restaurant's wine list, with over 180 wines, has been awarded Diamond status by Diners Club, the ultimate wine accolade for a restaurateur. The wine-list selection – featuring mostly local red and white wines, 11 local Cap Classiques and nine French champagnes – is personally overseen by Nel, assuring diners the best quality and value.
The Silver Orange Bistro is a gourmet interlude not-to-be-missed by epicures travelling through the North West province or who'd like to take a drive of an hour or so from Johannesburg or Pretoria.
Leon Nel succeeds in serving comfort food that is classy, modern and which reflects the terroir-specific identity of the chef and his restaurant.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Silver Orange Bistro
Cell: +27 (0)12 253 2136
Mobile: +27 (0)82 378 2948
How to get here
From Johannesburg, take Malibongwe Drive towards Lanseria. Continue until the R512 turn to Hartbeespoort. Follow this road until the T-Junction. Turn left and follow the road past Pecanwood Golf & Country Club until the Brits/Sun City turn-off. Turn right towards Brits and follow the road over the bridge crossing the dam. At the next T-junction turn right. Follow the R513 road past Kosmos until the four-way stop. Cross over the four-way stop. The Silver Orange Bistro is 400m on the left.
Best time to visit
The Silver Orange Bistro is closed on Monday, and open for lunch from Wednesday to Sunday, and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday. Breakfast is served on weekends.
Around the area
The Silver Orange Bistro is only a few minutes' drive from attractions like the Chameleon Craft Village and the Welwitschia country market. Nearby, visit the Hartbeespoort Dam wall, a mampoer distillery, the Elephant Sanctuary and the Bush Babies primate rehabilitation sanctuary.
Tours to do
You can visit the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre (tours must be pre-booked), Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre and Lesedi Cultural Village.
It's best to drive yourself around in this part of the world, so you'd need to hire a rental car.
What to pack
Dress code is smart casual. No shorts or bare feet allowed.