Luce, the Italian word for light is the restaurant situated in the Southern Sun Hyde Park hotel. Formerly known as Bice, the restaurant menu has remained the same after the name change. The food is described as authentic Italian and Japanese fusion with both pasta and sushi to choose from. I generally don’t have hotel restaurants on my list of places to try but I am glad I paid Luce a visit.
I love this art installation in the hotel foyer. If you go on a Friday night expect to be greeted with loud music from the rooftop bar section. Most of this noise is thankfully blocked out once seated in the closed off restaurant.
I found the restaurant to be a lovely formal dining setting with gorgeous views overlooking Sandton. With only the sushi bar feeling out of place, the overall ambience is cosy and intimate. The perfect place for a business meeting, date or a one on one catch up with a friend.
Complimentary bread is served with basil pesto, sundried tomato and olive tapenade. I loved this unusual take which could be slightly improved by larger condiment sizes and adding butter to the mix.
For starters we had the prawns, scallops and rocket salad special. This was a beautifully plated dish with flavours that worked well together. It was great to see a scallop dish on the menu as there are very few restaurants in Joburg that serve it.
The deep fried baby calamari with zucchini and mushrooms served with a chilli and tartar sauce for R80 easily goes down as my best calamari dish ever. So damn delicious. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The crumbed vegetables were also pretty darn good.
Homemade ricotta and spinach ravioli served on a crispy parmesan basket with black truffles for R140 is another winner of a dish. There is no other contender on the menu for mains. You simply have to have this. Don’t be put off because it is a vegetarian dish, you wont regret it! Rich, creamy and bursting with flavour, what more can you ask for?
The homemade seafood pasta with prawns, mussels and clams in a light cherry tomato sauce with a touch of chilli for R140 left me underwhelmed. There were plenty of clams in the pasta but only three prawns and two mussels. Not a bad dish but also not a great dish either. I didn’t like the flavour and wouldn’t order it again.
Risotto with porcini mushrooms, asparagus and truffle for R140 felt short in the flavour department. The risotto was hard, chewy and bland.
We enjoyed the chocolate souffle served with vanilla ice cream for R60. Our souffle was served gooey inside, yay!
There is a huge wine selection on offer. Drinks are pricey with soft drinks costing R23 and water R60. Service was not great on my two visits once the restaurant got busy. I am not sure if this was because we were sitting in the corner/not drinking wine and identified as not big spenders/restaurant is understaffed. The menu is a bit of a hit and miss but if you have my recommendations I am sure you will have a great time!
Ring: (011) 341 8134
Hop: Hyde Park Corner, Corner Jan Smuts Avenue & William Nicol Drive, Hyde Park, Sandton
Luce & Light,