Bolton Road Collection has been hitting all the right marks since it first opened on the corner of Jan Smuts Ave and Bolton Road in Rosebank. Whenever I hear it spoken of, it’s always with enthusiasm. I enjoy the classy feel and look of the place immensely. Where so many establishment opt to go for quirky or trendy (which can be hit or miss), BRC’s decor and design is all cool, modern class with a splash of industrial. The result is a warm and welcoming space that brings to mind timeless and chic classics with just the right modern twist.
The recent introduction of their new menu is a great way to keep regular patrons interested, while seducing new diners to the fold. We had the privilege of tasting some of the new fare on offer during a recent visit.
We arrived absurdly early for our lunch date. This is entirely unlike us. As luck would have it, it meant we had the restaurant all to ourselves for a good half an hour before they officially opened the doors. We made full use of the opportunity, inspecting all the nooks and crannies, and taking loads of photos of the restaurant, getting to see it in a way we hadn’t ever been able to. All this before finally settling at our table. It’s not often that you have a place all to yourself, so why not take advantage.
We must have pored over the new menu for an absolute age. There were so many appealing choices. Not one to be indecisive, I nevertheless struggled to narrow it down. In the end, I left it to Tall Dark & Handsome to make the choices. And so, the pressure was off. For cocktails, we deferred to our waiter, Vusi. We knew we were in good hands. He asked some expert questions and then nodded before dashing off to place our drinks order.
We love a good cocktail and vapidly, I enjoy it all the more when it looks gorgeous. So when Vusi arrived with our cocktails, I gave a happy nod. Beautiful presentation, and best of all, BRC is definitely not shy on the tipple. Since the cocktail choices were made for us, we had to ask what they were, which turned out to be the Mint Julip, and the absolutely stunning Bolton Road Spritz. The Spritz comes with a side of caramel popcorn utterly impossible to resist.
Drinks were not why we were there, though. That was just a happy bonus. After a brief chat to the manager, Thulani, about the new menu, Tall Dark & Handsome placed an order. If I had been able to order absolutely every single Small Plate menu item, I might have. Luckily, reason prevailed. And because he knows me so well, TDH ordered me cheese. What a rock star.
The Baked Camembert with Balsamic Caramelised Garlic is currently in the running to be my favourite thing on earth. I cannot even begin to successfully describe the pleasure of this dish. If you are a cheese lover, and perhaps like myself, into your garlic, this marriage of flavours is the ultimate in food porn for your taste buds. It was going to be difficult for anything else on the menu to come close.
It’s fortunate that this arrived at our table last of the three small plates. Else I might not even have glanced at anything else surrounding it. For Tall Dark & Handsome, his cheese equivalent is lamb and that’s why he enjoyed the Spicy Lamb Won Tons so much. Bite-sized pieces of lamb bursting with flavour, wrapped in a crunchy package.
That’s not to say that our third small plate of ceviche deserves any less praise. I love ceviche. Marinaded raw fish is probably not for everyone. However, if you enjoy your zesty lime flavours, I would definitely recommend you give it a try. The fish was lovely and fresh, and had just the right amount of spicy bite. We couldn’t quite find out from anyone which particular fish had been used, other than it being some sort of seabass, so we had to hope the fish was from a sustainable source. I couldn’t get an answer from our SASSI app on “seabass”, which I presume is too vague.
After the exquisite small plates, it seemed impossible that we still had mains on the way. I had truly gorged myself on the Camembert dish. Since it was filled with garlic, Tall Dark & Handsome had mostly avoided it, much to my disappointment. I would be the only garlic-breathed person but it was far too delicious to have it any other way. We were eyeing the steak but Vusi had talked up the Moroccan Chicken Skewers main. I am always extremely skeptical about ordering chicken, truthfully, but he insisted it would not disappoint. He was right! The chicken arrived still succulent and yet well roasted. It arrived with pitas and various dips. I haven’t enjoyed chicken this much in a some time. Kudos to BRC!
Tall Dark & Handsome chose the Salmon Teriyaki salad bowl to try something completely different. I do believe I ended up enjoying most of his healthy salad bowl, while he enjoyed quite a bit of my chicken. This salad bowl has incredible flavour and comes loaded with all the good stuff: wild rice, avo, peppers, pineapple and a lovely miso ginger dressing. I wish I could eat this for lunch every day. Brain food, healthy fats, a bit of fruit along with your veggies and a lovely complex carb to keep you fuller and going for longer.
We were well and truly stuffed and had to admit defeat. There are still some incredible options on the menu that we can’t wait to go back and try. Just the list of small plates alone would keep me coming back again and again. Bolton Road Collection’s new menu impresses with great, interesting dishes, plated with care, created with fresh and tasty ingredients, and promising something for everyone.