The LivingRoom at Summerhill Guest Estate was selected as the Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant of The Year for 2022. The restaurant is proudly located in KwaZulu-Natal and can be found in Cowies Hill, Pinetown.
The new Eat Out stars were awarded on 20 November by a panel of six judges. The restaurants rated this year were selected based on several factors – from the décor, ambience and service to the wine list, ingredients used and quality of the food. Restaurants scoring 90 and above, out of 100 on the scorecard, were awarded three stars.
Apart from The LivingRoom, these restaurants were La Colombe (Constantia), PIER Restaurant (V&A Waterfront), Salsify at the Roundhouse (Camps Bay), and Wolfgat (Paternoster).
Chief judge Abigail Donnelly commented: “With a unique sense of place, this restaurant pays homage to local ingredients, serving its diners elegantly simple food of astounding depth and flavour. From what would be considered a humble setting for a fine dining establishment, our winner connects with its community on every level – sourcing all key elements locally, from crockery to its ingredients.
Its chef combines his formative upbringing with classical training and an innovative approach to sustainable cooking to produce a deeply memorable dining experience.”
Chef Johannes Richter said, “It is an incredible honour to be recognised among some of South Africa’s finest dining destinations. We’ve worked so hard for this and the acknowledgment is truly humbling.”
“We’ve always measured ourselves against the best restaurants in the country and thought it would take much longer to reach this level of recognition,” says Chef Richter.
He attributes their success in part to an accelerated appreciation of indigenous food cultures. “As a small, very young team with humble roots, we feel unbelievably proud. From service to ingredients and cooking, our approach is down to earth. But we have a real depth of knowledge and technique that gives our food the ability to compete with other restaurants in this category. This also applies to my wife Johanna’s knowledge as sommelier and host.”
Johannes describes their vantage point as people, pride and patriotism. “It hasn’t been easy for our province these past few years. It’s fantastic to see people walk out of the restaurant with a sense of pride in Durban’s identity,” says the self-proclaimed “100% banana boy”.