Disappointing DW ELEVEN-13, 3 Dec 2014 | By Ben | Friday, 05 December 2014
My first impression was very negative, brought on by an almost dismissive front of house receptionist. Thank heavens for Emily, our waitress for the afternoon, who had a wonderful sense of humour and delightful personality! Her service is commendable.
The breads were interesting, the best the freshly baked corn bread bread. I did not think the butters were that interesting. Very difficult to get anything out under the display.
We ordered the pork belly, which looked lovely on arrival. Very nice plaiting indeed. Pork belly should ideally have a nice crisp skin with most of the fat cooked out. And it should most definitely be cooked throughout, without any red blood still lurking, which was the case. Whilst the combination of flavours worked well, unfortunately my pork belly was undercooked, resulting in a soggy mixture of meat and fat. The triple fried chips and broccoli brought as extras were fine. In fact, it turned out to be the best part of the meal.
The wine list is not interesting, nor unique, and comes with a heavily overpriced price tag. The starters are completely overpriced. I will most definitely not return. This experience also leaves a big question over the criteria used by the Eat Out awards team. It is difficult to understand why this institution is so highly rated when the basics are certainly not in place.
Sophisticated lunch venue, outstanding staff | By Francois | Friday, 06 September 2013
Underrated as an elegant, nearly perfect lunch venue; sophisticated food and quiet ambience enhances discreet business conversation. Tasting glass makes wine at lunch possible. Knowledgeable and confident, yet quietly efficient and adaptable staff of a quality not equalled at its peers. A successful lunch with international business guests, every time.
Really Good Food | By Anton | Sunday, 16 June 2013
Not having been to DW 11-13 for some time, I was a shade apprehensive having read the indifferent reviews submitted by some of your readers. I was hosting a birthday for 8 many of whom considered themselves foodies - my anxieties proved totally unfounded and everyone in the party agreed that this is undoubtedly the best fine dining experience in Johannesburg.
The menu is limited. 5 starters and 5 mains which were supplemented by 3 "specials". We all tasted one another's meals and the pick of the starters :
The wines were interesting, but I thought a bit pricy. The meal with wine and a tip came in at just over R500 a head which for Jo-burg is expensive, but in my view for a special occasion worth every cent.
Sweet and khaki | By Ekes | Saturday, 08 June 2013
Not that great, unfortunately, despite some promising elements. My salmon with grapefruit glaze was just too sweet. There was none of the acid one would expect from grapefruit, just the fragrance and sweetness of the fruit. That would've been ok, but the dish is topped with caramelized rind and some kind of super-sweet green chip - I never figured out just what it was. The combination overpowered all other flavours. The result was like a weird take on duck a l'orange. A pity, since the fish itself, and some of the other elements, such as the smoked butternut, were good.
My companion really enjoyed his beef fillet, though.
Before the mains, an amuse-bouche of puff pastry and smoked salmon pate made us think we'd gone back to the 70s.
Other reviewers have enjoyed the decor - I found it off-puttingly odd, with cut-out metal trees on the walls, and an overall feeling of beige and khaki.
Get focused! | By Erwin | Wednesday, 27 March 2013
Have crossed the boerwors curtain from Pretoria 5 times to dine here, so that says a lot. Objectively though our last 2 visits proved to be the least inspiring. Chef has worked with both Blumenthal and Ramsay, was also recently one of the 2 judges for the P&P Braaimaster competition. I believe the singular attention to detail has derailed. Still has all the ingredients though...
Not altogether satisfying | By Ken | Saturday, 02 March 2013
I had been meaning to try this place for some time, so was pleased to be invited for lunch by a friend who is also a restaurateur. The ambience is pleasant, if a little brittle and hard edged, with the noisy car-park intruding jarringly through the open-fronted elegant room, which also rendered the air-conditioning unusable on an extremely hot day. Spacious and comfortable, the table setting was pleasing, with good quality napiery, crockery and glassware. The menu is small, classy and interesting. I didn't see the wine list as my host took care of the ordering, but the wine was slightly too warm upon arrival. We were offered a complimentary appetiser of deep-fried courgette flowers on a creamy savoury paste, novel and tasty.
I ordered a lamb shoulder dish which was artistically presented, and comprised two small cylinders of what appeared to be shredded and reconstituted meat, a few tiny chunks of roast beetroot, and little else. Our other dish was pork belly, which also was approximately one or two square inches of pork, and little else. Side starches are charged for separately, which I found a bit mean-spirited, especially at the prices they are asking per plate.
While my lamb was tasty and exceptionally tender, it was not quite the expected appearance and texture one would expect from lamb shoulder, a cut I am particularly fond of. The pork belly was judged as having 'many interesting flavours', but the 'triple-fried' potato wedge side dish tasted like three-day old reheated to me, and the extra price asked for these was frankly absurd.
We skipped dessert, settling for espresso and grappa, which was served in a shot glass embedded in ice - a bit of a cop-out, I thought, for the liquor not being cold as it should have been. The espresso didn't quite make the grade - acceptable is probably the right word.
Service throughout was efficient but haughtily impersonal, (although glasses were allowed to run dry)and the bill astronomical for what was by no means an exceptional meal.
The overall impression I left with was of having been slightly cheated of what should have been a wonderful experience - great company aside, presentation overshadowed content, prices are unjustifiable, and somehow something is missing.
Bad attitude by the Manager | By Lele | Sunday, 18 November 2012
I had lunch at DW 11-13 on Saturday 17th November 2012 with three of my friends. The wine was great and the starters were awesome. Everything was going well until the main course arrived. I had ordered their stuffed chicken, and unfortunately their stuffing wasn't rinsed properly and it felt like I was biting into spinach immersed in sand! I called the Manager (short blonde guy) and told him that the spinach was not properly rinsed because it felt like I was biting into sand. Instead of being apologetic, the Manager attacked me with words and refused to accept that the spinach that I just had, wasn't properly rinsed. I tried explaining to him that I wasn't complaining just for the sake of complaining, but that their stuffing was honestly not rinsed properly.
I feel like the Manager needs more grooming, especially in terms of dealing with customers. His approach was in poor taste, and frankly I expect better from a high-end restaurant like DW eleven-13. He stood there for 10 minutes defending the spinach when I was the one that had it! All he did to address my complaint was try to make me out into a liar and I did not appreciate that. Again, I did not appreciate his attitude!!
Those we trust to apply their minds when they rate have failed us | By Christo | Friday, 12 October 2012
I really feel like some fish tonight! Shut up and eat the tasting menu like the rest of them.
Are you sure that whitish beverage is a red wine? Shut up I am a sommelier.
Chef we all are still hungry. Shut up.
The gargantuan bill nearly wipes us out, but desperately there's some coins left for a burger at mcds.
Top 5 Jozi dining | By Craig | Saturday, 04 February 2012
I have often frequented DW11-13 since it took over from where Cite left off about 2 years ago.
My impression is that it is improving with age.
Starters were excellent - beetroot Carpaccio with Gorgonzola & Melon balls with Parma ham and Fior di latte.
Mains – my partner had steak and chips – “delicious”, me risotto with cauliflower – good.
The vegetarian options are too limited in my opinion.
Wine list is comprehensive with excellent choices. Sommelier is knowledgable, and wines are priced at the market.
Decor is chic, service attentive from very well trained staff. We had a mishap with our order and the manner in which the maitre d’ was exceptional.
Best of Jozi | By Andries | Thursday, 27 October 2011
We have eaten at many Michelin star R's in Europe previously so we know what the benchmark is. And also at some of the Cape's best (e.g. Jordan). DW11-13 is certainly in the top 5 of the country. The balance and flavour combination of the limted menu is really great. Will go back many times.
Happy Anniversary | By Paul | Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Dear oh dear. Getting a little bit tired of Joburg restaurants that think they are more important than their customers. They knew it was our anniversary, so I'm not sure why I had to wave to get a waiter's attention after 10 minutes without. Starters - tomato tart for me and prawns for the wife, very nice, no complaints about content so far. Then we just waited. Luckily my wife is excellent company so the time didn't drag, but after 50 minutes our blood sugar levels were starting to influence the conversation. Finally it came, my rack o'lamb was delicious, though I can't believe my cubed potatoes totalled up to even a quarter of a spud, and I object to having to pay R30 for an extra 6 chips (even if they were triple-fried). My wife's chicken and mash was inedible, the chicken fatty and the mash too salty with a child's puree-like consistency. The real issue was both the waiter and the maitre d' had no idea what to do with our complaints - 'um, well I'll have a chat to the waiter' (not sure that will help, she had no more idea than you did). For the first time ever, we refused to partake in dessert, and simply paid and left. We won't let it ruin our anniversary, but we really can't understand why this restaurant has won so many awards ....