With a dazzling array of eateries and bars to choose from in the heart of Sandton, there’s got to be something special about a place to keep people coming back. The Lacuna Bistro and Bar at The Maslow Hotel has that X-factor; that something special that has kept it at the pinnacle of Sandton’s selection of restaurants since it opened five years ago.
It’s no ordinary restaurant; it’s a sophisticated urban bistro overlooking a tranquil oasis garden and featuring a trendy and regularly-evolving menu, designed by Executive Chef Justin Jonah.
He’s just refreshed the menu, which he describes as “decadence, signature and unforgettable”. All of the dishes – even those that have been retained from the previous menu due to their popularity with guests – have been updated to reflect elements of Jonah’s individual style.
One of the new, from-scratch creations is the Salmononvski, an inspiring composition of salmon, asparagus, cauliflower and lime.
Says Jonah of his inspiration for the dish: “Salmon has a natural decadence and richness as an ingredient. It lends itself to beautiful platings. It takes me back to the early days of my career, working near the ocean. It is also one of my wife’s favorite dishes. I love the crispness of the flesh after it has been sealed on a skillet and rested in thyme butter. I also love the way lime cuts into the buttery rich salmon.”
Another interesting addition to the menu is the Mac & Cheese Waffle.
“This is American-styled buttermilk deep fried chicken, served with macaroni and cheese. But, we have done it with a special twist by turning the macaroni and cheese into a waffle and smothering the whole dish with smoked chicken gravy. It’s just layers of flavour and texture. We all know that the best part of macaroni and cheese is the crispy cheesy crust but there never seems to be enough. By turning the mac and cheese into a waffle, there’s just more crispy cheesy crust to enjoy,” explains Jonah.
When asked which dish he would strongly recommend, he says; “The Wham Bham Thank You Lamb. There is a lot of energy and love put into this dish. It is wholesome and authentic to its origins. We cook the lamb over coals, Asado-style for eight hours and then pull it onto freshly made cumin flat bread with chimichurri. It is quite simply scrumptious.”
While the menu burgeons with exciting new additions, he’s also kept a few of Lacuna Bistro’s characteristic favourites such as the chicken livers, which American actress Tichina Arnold could not get enough of while she was staying at The Maslow Sandton during a film shoot recently.
“Our chicken livers are a firm favourite with guests. They are still a feature on the new menu but I have added buttery polenta to the dish, included a Portuguese roll and refined the peri-peri sauce. It is that wipe-the-pan-clean with a piece of bread type of sauce,” says Jonah.
On the bar menu, Jonah has kept some welcome familiars like fish and chips, burgers, and the chicken mayo sandwich to make guests feel comfortably “at home”. But these, he says have been given a uniquely-Lacuna touch.
“How can we not blue eyed to our favourites? You just cannot go wrong with good fish and chips. Ours on the other hand is based on the good old fashioned English styled fish and chips with our touch of modernism. We have re-engineered our favorites to make them signature only to The Maslow Sandton.
The new Lacuna Bistro menu also reflects The Maslow’s special emphasis on using fresh, local and sustainable produce. The salmon in Jonah’s Salmononvski is sustainably farmed salmon, aligned with the hotel’s sustainable seafood promise. In fact, all fish and seafood products on the menu are sourced from sustainable suppliers approved by the Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI).
“Many of the herbs, edible flowers and micro-shoots used in our dishes are grown right here, in The Maslow’s rooftop garden,” smiles Jonah.
Lacuna features various interconnected spaces, integrated with the outdoors. Enjoy sushi at the bar, a business lunch indoors, or afternoon sundowners on the veranda – the choice is yours.
Lacuna Bistro is open daily for Breakfast between 06h30 and 11h00, for lunch from 12h00 to 16h00 and for dinner between 06h00pm and 22h30.