The Asian luxury restaurant and bar, designed by award-winning Tristan Du Plessis and set in one of Joburg’s most iconic addresses overlooking Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton, marks a return to the city’s restaurant scene by hospitality entrepreneur Nicky van Der Walt.
Van Der Walt, who cut his teeth at just 20 years old when he opened his first restaurant in the city’s busy Rosebank precinct – and who drew kudos after taking over the celebrated Greenside address, Circle, and opening 1886 – is set to unveil Tang
in the sprawling location previously operated by Wang Thai.
The seasoned businessman, who has until recently worked on various hotel and beach club projects in Cape Town and abroad, has assembled an impressive award-winning team of culinary talents led by seasoned chefs Lai Kuan Geo and Wesley Chen. Chef Kuan, nominated at the Eat Out
Awards for Best Asian Restaurant and the American Express Platinum Fine Dining Award, brings a wealth of Pan-Asian cooking expertise. The chef, whose extensive culinary resume includes consulting chef duties to five-star hotels in the Maldives, India, Turkey. Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam - and who drew industry kudos during his three-year stint at Hout Bay’s celebrated Kitima at the Kronendal - will be responsible for Tang’s
sumptuous pan-Asian flavours.
Chef Chen, most recently executive chef at Cape Town’s top authentic Asian restaurant Boudha Lounge and who previously headed the kitchen at popular Cape Town Cantonese and Sichuan cuisine spot Mr Chan, will take on the role of Chef de Cuisine. The chef, whose extensive experience includes a ten-year stint spanning Tao Yuen and Tong Lok under the same ownership, will ensure that the house’s classic Cantonese dishes will adhere to the top quality he is renowned for to tantalise taste buds.
Meanwhile, Chef Vixa Kalenga, who has worked at famed Willoughby’s in Cape Town as well as group chef for the Kove collection and who holds extensive cuisine consulting experience (most recently at the hot new modern Greek restaurant, Ethos, in Morningside, Sandton) will hold executive chef responsibilities.Tang
will transport guests on a culinary journey complemented by a lavish Asian tropical setting created by award-winning interior designer, Tristan Du Plessis. Du Plessis, the global winner of the 2019 Restaurant and Design Awards, has infused the 650m² space with his signature luxe with an edge style, underscored by a strong focus on elemental design. Inspired by the works of acclaimed architect, Marcio Kogan and the modern tropical movement, the restaurant will have a restrained minimalist luxe feel using materials including imported marble, honed travertine and granite.
“I have loved this site for over 20 years, and knew it would be the perfect setting to showcase what I believe a pan-Asian offering should be - high end, yet accessible luxury. Prepare yourself to be immersed in an oasis with a resort feel in the middle of Africa’s richest square mile on par with the best Dubai, London or Miami has to offer,” says van der Walt.
A first for the Square and Johannesburg will be a 60-seater Moët & Chandon bar spilling out onto the terrace overlooking the square and will boast a striking art installation by a hot new local artist. Tang’s
signature dishes will include Peking Duck, Black Cod Miso, Yellowtail sashimi, Wagyu Tomahawk steaks done on robata grills and a vast sushi and wok selection. Focus will be on Japanese Izakaya-style dishes and classic Cantonese style cooking.