The name of a restaurant is everything, and pronouncing it correctly matters too.
Situated in the heart of Morningside, Johannesburg, LUXO Restaurant could easily be pronounced short for luxury.
However, we were told that the right way to say it is Lusho. LUXO is an authentic African cuisine with a fine dining touch, infused with global flavours. The design of the restaurant is in harmony with its high-end target market and intimate dinners.
Luxo Restaurant is located in The Wedge Shopping Centre Morningside, and has undergone a rebranding and brand new menu.
Previously the executive chef of Signature, Chef Mpho Kolokoto has had his fair share of cooking in top restaurants around the world, so we expected the best of the best.
Luxo’s ‘Blooming Affair’ menu:
A group of us were treated to Chef Mpho’s curated five-course menu, in partnership with Boschendal and Icelandic Glacial Water.
The theme was celebrating summer and seasonal ingredients, a “blooming affair.”
The menu has a fine dining restaurant servings continental food with hints of African flavours. You will see dishes such as Jollof rice, oxtail and African spices infused with Europe’s sweet spices.
The first two courses were grilled prawns and beetroot and halloumi salad. There were also arancini balls crusted in panko (bread crumbs), plated with a tomato and basil dip, wasabi mayo and a soya and lemon sauce.
The flavours worked really well together, as the basil dip shone through the plate, but the beetroot and halloumi salad was scrumptious.
Fruit in vegetable salads can be deemed a no-no, however, the green apple really gave the dish added crunch, while the grilled halloumi acted as a beautiful “meaty” texture.
These courses were paired with a Boschendal Sauvignon Blanc, which was a subtle and complimentary choice.
You can’t call it fine dining unless there is a palette cleanser between courses.
The tropical mango sorbet can act as a dessert on its own, it was fresh and heavenly to get our palettes neutral before the main course was served.
A staple in Western African homes, Jollof rice, is usually made with rich spices, tomatoes and onions. Personally, I prefer the drier and fried Jollof rice with grilled chicken and potato salad.
Luxo serves theirs with grilled salmon with crispy skin and grilled vegetables.
The Jollof instantly took me back home, the rich spices were quite familiar, a reminiscence of seven colours and home curries in South Africa. The sauce paired with the salmon could have been richer, however, the salmon was cooked well.
The meaty option, beef fillet with roasted potatoes, asparagus, cabbage and red wine jus, is a classic main course meal. These dishes were paired with the Boschendal Chardonnay, a well balanced and complex choice.
What curated this five-course menu brilliantly is not to over-serve you with food, so you are able to enjoy every course until the desserts arrive.
In terms of desserts, Luxo’s plantain pudding. was a pleasant surprise, especially the chilli ice cream balanced out with vanilla ice cream. The spicy and sweet is an addictive combo, but the two have to be paired together because the chilli ice-cream packs a punch.
You know you had a great meal when you ask for an extra takeaway in the end, but that was indeed the case for Luxo’s signature dessert, with their tiramisu served as a layered opera cake, each layer clearly visible.
The coffee flavour was flavoursome and aromatic, the sponge light and fluffy. Cleverly plated with coffee jelly, fresh strawberries and a Ferrero Roche truffle.
The extra tiramisu was devoured the following day. LUXO is a restaurant for special moments, the pricing is high-end, budget from R600 per person.