The latest project by restaurateurs Gary Hollywood and Warren Murley — previously behind La Boqueria — together with an eclectic creative team, takes shape in the form of Proud Mary. A glitzy, new eatery and wine bar in the heart of Rosebank.
On the ground floor of The Bank, the suburb’s latest multipurpose development (and soon to be home of SA’s first Voco hotel), is where you’ll find this exciting new venture.
The building’s black, deep facebrick facade gives way to contrasting tones of oxblood, teal and emerald, which together with textures of plush fabrics, natural wood finishes, terrazzo and brass harks back to New York’s golden age.
The team worked closely with interior architect Enrike De Villiers to create a space that manages to be both trendy and timeless, offering diners a sense of luxurious escapism that is as chic as it is comfortable.
Heading up the kitchen is SA-born chef Christo Nortier, who has returned home after years abroad working in the UK and Dubai — most notably at Jamie Oliver HQ in its heyday.
Nortier brings with him a refreshing “less-is-more” philosophy that pairs maximum flavour with minimum fuss, showcasing the beauty of the produce he gets to work with. A strong ethos of locality follows this produce-driven mentality, with the chef determined to support local businesses, farmers, and fisheries wherever possible when creating his dishes.
The menu is extensive and draws from cuisines the world over — offering up a refined, casual and modern approach to dining — which is sure to be accessible to most, if not all, who visit.
Choose a few small plates for the table, dig into one of their grander cafe plates or, perhaps, go for something off the fire. The sticky pork belly with teriyaki, fresh chilli and coriander is mouthwateringly tender and bursting with flavour; but the prawns in XO butter aren’t to be missed either. If you feel like something a bit bigger, chef Nortier recommends their signature porchetta: an oven roasted pork belly stuffed with pistachio mortadella.
The raw seafood bar is a particularly enticing addition and includes a selection of fresh seafood dishes including oysters, sea bass ceviche, tartare and sashimi. Guests are invited to sit at the bar — a dedicated section of the restaurant — as the delicacies are created, glass of Champagne in hand — optional, but highly recommended.
A seriously impressive wine programme has been conceptualised by wino Angela Jordaan (partner of Noble Vice Wine Festival), that champions a veritable host of small batch, local and independent wineries — showcasing a host of exemplary and unusual wines at superb price points. In addition, there’s also a generous Champagne list, a selection of international wines and a cocktail menu featuring both classic and creative cocktails.
It’s safe to say that Proud Mary is set to be a fantastic addition to Joburg’s food scene.
• Open daily from 8am — 10pm. The Bank, 26 Cradock Ave, Rosebank, Johannesburg, 2196. Call 010-023-3316.