The building and businesses along the corner of Bolton Road and Jan Smuts Avenue has had many incarnations, I recall a Cantina Tequila upstairs during the late 1990's, not to mention a motorcycle store, on ground level. Once again the area, has been given a swanky face-lift and is now home to a clutch of new businesses, including the Bolton Road Collection restaurant and cocktail bar.
High ceilings, exposed brick, beautiful light fixtures and the use of warm tones in the furnishing, makes the place very welcoming. We arrived to a packed restaurant on a rainy summer's evening and got stuck into a cocktail while we waited for our dinner companions. The Bolton Rd Spritz was refreshing and well made, the Negroni on the other hand tasted of just Campari, despite also containing gin, caperitif and sweet vermouth. We were seated toward the back of the restaurant next to a large window, and unfortunately the later it got, the worse the lighting at the table. To avoid the frustration, I ended up using my cell phone to read the menu. A candle or 2 depending on the size of the table wouldn't be amiss and would work well with the rest of the decor. Apologies for the poor quality pictures, due to the low light conditions.
We opted for a few small plates to share as starters. The kitchen had unfortunately run out of the slow roasted beef short ribs, so we went with the honey smoked duck breast and the seared tuna. The tuna was very tasty. For mains, our choices included the restaurant's signature sea bass, the hay baked cannon of lamb and the short rib burger. The lamb was average at best, some slices were too fatty and the tortellini was rubbery. The burger too was rather disappointing with the apple and tomato jam being far too sweet. Two of us at the table had ordered the burger and we both agreed, the bacon was the best thing about that dish. The stand out meal was the sea bass, served with cauliflower puree, charred baby gem, coconut and a garam masala sauce.
We ordered one each of all the desserts, the hazelnut cake, Eton mess, chamomile parfait and the Tonka bean Panna Cotta. After a few mouthfuls, we had buyer’s remorse, apart from the Tonka bean Panna Cotta, very thing else was dull and lacking in flavour.
Service is erratic, a hostess greets you at the door and seats you, which is always a nice touch. But once at the table, our server was always in a rush, twice she left before orders were placed. Also had to ask for used cups and plates to be removed, my dessert plate just sat in front of me for ages. The restaurant has recently opened, so I do hope much of what is wrong is fixed in the months to come.
I am not going to rush back to this restaurant anytime soon.