The lamb al pastor dish at Séjour.
The lamb al pastor dish at Séjour.
Image: Steve Steinfeld

Séjour Restaurant is a fantastic new addition to Joburg’s dining scene, with chef Freddie Dias at the helm. Drawing inspiration from his heritage, experiences and travels across the world, Séjour offers diners a culinary journey across the globe — from Mexico to Japan — so expect some seriously stellar, modern cuisine.

Having first made a name for himself heading up Cape Town’s restaurant du jour, The Pot Luck Club, Dias made his way to Joburg where he first settled in at The Peech’s eatery, Basalt, before embarking on this latest project.

Séjour, situated within the recently opened, luxurious Houghton Hotel, overlooks the sprawling greens of the golf course and offers diners a refreshing and unique escape within the city. The restaurant’s modern, minimalist interior, with floor to ceiling windows, makes the view the focal point. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy one of Joburg’s magnificent sunsets while sipping a glass of bubbly.

The food is very much in line with Dias’s celebrated talent for showcasing global cuisine with modern twists on dishes that he’s grown up with, experienced during his many stints abroad or been inspired by during his travels. It’s very clever cooking using produce, texture and technique symbiotically to deliver big, bold flavours.

The menu is concise and well-considered with great balance, ensuring there’s bound to be something for everyone. Start off with a few small plates for the table: highlights included the west coast oysters with forbidden rice dressing (an excellent exercise in texture); the crispy calamari with lemon grass, coconut and an outstanding tomato and mustard sauce; and the asparagus chawanmushi (a gorgeous, Japanese savoury custard) served with black truffle crumb and seaweed vinegar.

Séjour at The Houghton.
Séjour at The Houghton.
Image: Steve Steinfeld

Mains are an equally delectable affair. Everything from the lamb al pastor — succulent, soft, shredded lamb shoulder to be scooped up in tortillas with chilli-pickled pineapple, mint crème fraîche and lime purée; to the octopus served with a blood orange glaze and fennel salad — demonstrating Dias’s passion for global flavours and his skill at mixing, matching and pairing unique ingredients, influences and ideas.

This trend follows through to dessert with unusual and interesting flavour combinations. Think dark chocolate délice and smoked popcorn ice cream; white chocolate mousse with honeycomb and saffron sponge; or even textures of strawberry and olive paired with goats cheese.

West coast oysters with forbidden rice dressing.
West coast oysters with forbidden rice dressing.
Image: Steve Steinfeld
Octopus served with a blood orange glaze and a fennel salad.
Octopus served with a blood orange glaze and a fennel salad.
Image: Steve Steinfeld

The wine list is nothing to scoff at either with an excellent selection of celebrated local producers, such as Mullineux, Delaire Graff, Newton Johnson and Luddite, among many others.

Séjour is open for lunch from Tuesday to Sunday and for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday at The Houghton Hotel, Lloys Ellis Ave, Houghton Estate, Johannesburg.

Bookings are essential, call +27(0)11-032-5535 or e-mail cara@sejour.co.za.

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