Level Four is a fine dining restaurant located in the 54 on Bath hotel which is situated on 54 Bath Avenue of course! I am not one to go and willingly eat at a hotel restaurant. The 4.5 rating on Zomato and the fact that I had an Entertainer voucher to get one main meal free persuaded me to try it out.
We visited for a relaxed and chilled lunch. Check print chairs and floors, two different types of chairs at a table together with a red print wallpaper lent to a very busy and mismatched decor. The atmosphere was sophisticated and could easily make one feel the need to speak in hush tones. I didn’t relate to the décor or ambience but it was a nice change to the restaurants I normally frequent.
The outside section which has a rooftop pool is a beautiful setting when the weather permits. I have to go back on a sunny day for high tea and sit outside. Judging from the lawn you can also enjoy a game of croquet here! The restaurant has an extensive wine list, you are sure to find something you love on it (at a cost!). Each item on food menu is accompanied by the chef’s name which is rather cool.
I love eating calamari at restaurants because it is not something that we prepare and eat at home. The calamari starter was an innovative dish of variations of calamari for R90. The different takes were ceviche, grilled and fried with a kimchi and corn salad. The fried calamari heads were my favourite and the grilled calamari was my least as it had a charred burnt taste. This dish had many different unusual flavours going on which I didn’t like as it overwhelmed the calamari.
I loved the presentation of the lobster bisque with brandy, prawn and scallop mousseline for R125. The dish is served with the mousse and prawn plated, the waiter then pours the bisque from a little black pot (its looks like a tea pot!).
This was my first time trying a bisque out. I expected it to be creamier instead of the liquid consistency. The scallop mousse and prawn dont taste like much, and neither could we taste the brandy (which is good – nothing worse than an alcohol tasting dish when that isn’t the intention). The bisque was rich and sweet in flavour. I enjoyed trying it out but its not a dish I would order again.
The Scottish salmon served with sweet potato and ginger puree, miso vegetables and lime foam for R205 was cooked beautifully. I loved the sweet potato mash and think more restaurants should start serving sweet potato instead of boring old potato. I didn’t like the taste or presentation of the miso vegetables since it looked like rabbit food and the dressing tasted awful. The dish desperately cried out for a sauce to complement it.
Braised lamb ribbetjies, lamb rump, butternut puree and pumpkin fritters for R205 is a meaty meal fit for a king. This dish focussed on the natural flavour of the lamb. The ribs were on the fatty side, but I loved the butternut purée and little fritters that accompanied the dish.
Fancy restaurants generally have more complicated starters where they play around with technique and flavour, which was certainly the case here. All the dishes were beautifully presented but the starters I tried were a miss for me. I think the tomato soup or prawn salad would have been starters better suited to my palate. Portions are quite big so best you convince your dining partner to share either a starter or dessert with you.
The service was good as one would expect from a high end restaurant. Our waiter was there when we needed him and constantly topped our glasses up. We were brought the wrong dish for one of our mains which was dealt with really well. The manager apologized and even offered to redo the other dish that had been brought already. The restaurant has good ratings on Zomato and is definitely worth you trying it instead of going to somewhere you have been before.
Food prices are steep with a small seasonal menu that only changes slightly sometimes. This restaurant definitely falls into the special occasion category. My overall experience was good but I wasn’t blown away. The dishes on the menu don’t excite me into wanting to try them and the flavours felt short. The hazelnut molten cake with chocolate, popcorn icecream and chocolate pearls or the white chocolate mousse, chocolate mousse and salted caramel are desserts I have to pop in and try. As for the mains and starter dishes, I don’t intend on going back soon. There are better tasting and better value for money restaurants out there.
Ring: 087 550 3459
Hop: 54 on Bath Hotel, 54 Bath Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg
Level & Four,