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Visitors to Joburg have long known about The Peech, the boutique hotel in Melrose that feels like a lush urban hideaway. While the hotel has always had its own small restaurant for guests, owner James Peech has now replaced that with Basalt, a restaurant targeted to both in-house guests and local Joburg patrons.

Basalt is the final step in The Peech’s 2018 renovation, which saw an addition to the existing hotel of 14 new rooms and a two-bedroom villa. The restaurant has some serious pedigree behind it: it’s head chef is Frederico Dias, formerly of Cape Town’s Pot Luck Club, and at the front of house is Lyle Scott, who previously worked at the Westcliff Four Seasons and Marabi Club in Maboneng.

Chef Frederico describes his menu as “contemporary global cuisine”, and aims to bring an authentic and real approach to food using local produce and a straightforward selection of entrées, mains, and desserts – with specials added as ingredients allow. This is reflected in starters such as the braised harissa-spiced purple cabbage and salted cod brandade, and mains like the pan-fried kabeljou with cauliflower, lime and curry leaf butter, and the slow roasted duck breast with teriyaki sweet potato and miso glazed bok choy. Dessert is a choice of meltingly delicious salted chocolate tart served with churros and a shot of Amarula, or local cheeses if you have less of a sweet tooth.

While Basalt’s wine list is impressive, their cocktails are noteworthy and the perfect way to start the meal (or punctuate courses) – try the “Madam Melrose” with gin, dry vermouth and peach puree, the “Monsieur Spice” with bourbon, cinnamon and bitters, or the very fresh “Berranged” with rum, raspberry, lime and bitter orange.

The restaurant is small and intimate, seating just 38 patrons in a sophisticated interior of cool greys, natural woods and plush velvet chairs, with a “basalt” bar on one side. Situated in the hotel’s original heritage house, the feeling of laidback luxury for which The Peech is known definitely carries through here.

For James Peech and his team, Basalt marks a new chapter in the hotel’s evolution. “We’re incredibly excited about taking this opportunity to showcase our evolved food and beverage offering to guests and the addition of an exceptional dining option to the local food scene,” he says.

Situated in the hotel’s original heritage house, the feeling of laidback luxury for which The Peech has become known definitely carries through here

The Peech Boutique Hotel | 011 537 9797 | thepeech.co.za