Just over four months ago, up spouted Truffles on the Park — aptly named, since it calls Sandton’s beloved Mushroom Farm Park home. This pocket in the thick of business was begging for something new and inviting to reinvigorate the Daisy Street corner, and this chic bistro has nailed it.
The space, designed by Ryan Illgner of Blacksmith Africa Interior Design, was intended to give the feel of an oasis in the city. A gravel path to wooden stairs leads onto the grand, double-doored entrance, wrapped up in lush trees. You get the feeling you’re about to enter something spectacular, where natural elements take centre stage. And, indeed, inside you are greeted by plants aplenty, bronze and gold accents, plush velvet booths, botanical fabrics, and long, wooden tables (with the honesty of the natural wood highlighted — which I adore). The floor-to-ceiling windows offer scenic vistas of the park itself, though you can sit outside on the deck if you prefer.
In typical bistro style, the menu is vast, offering everything from tapas-styled bits to share to signature mains. Chef Lance Louise and his team create all these dishes with local and organic produce, sustainably sourced and farmed.
Nibble on their shared plates, ranging from tempura squid to Soweto spice hot wings, dukkah lamb cutlets and roasted fresh asparagus. Or indulge in generous pastas and risottos, burgers, sandwiches and salads. I have visited four times (yup, it’s that good), and can attest to the excellent black truffle fungi risotto and the vegan wild mushroom bake — because, after all, one must indulge in mushrooms at Mushroom Farm Park, no? Ordering the truffle parmesan fries to share is non-negotiable, and make sure to order extra aioli — you’ll thank me.
Selection of some of the dishes at Truffles on the Park:
The menu also offers plenty of vegan and vegetarian options that go beyond the standard salad: think warm Moroccan chickpea and roasted tomato or burnt corn and avocado. A decent wine list, artisanal cocktails, dessert and cheese board selection are also on offer. Service is a bit slow, but that is largely forgiven thanks to the atmosphere. You could sit there for hours, enjoying the view while the attentive staff fill your glasses.
Grab a drink after work and watch the sun set across the park, or allow your weekend lunch to melt into the evening.
• From the July edition of Wanted 2019.