The new venue is spread out over a number of floors; from the ground floor Ashanti Room, ascending into the Timbuktu and Kenyan rooms, and up to the Gallery, (featuring a collection of authentic African pieces) and the Kente room, so called thanks to its extensive use of the traditional cloth. The secluded rooftop garden has an evocative Moroccan theme.
The moody, softly lit rooms juxtapose raw building elements such as exposed brick and timber beams with slick contemporary finishes and subtle architectural details, resulting in a dramatic backdrop for the ‘new’ GOLD Restaurant.
Says co-owner Jan van Huyssteen, “Our lease at our old premises was coming to an end and the venue had felt limiting for a while now, so when this opportunity come up we grabbed the chance to reinvent ourselves.” The result is a sexier, moodier GOLD Restaurant that is as impressive to whimsical locals as it is to travelers looking for a trusted authentic African experience in the middle of Cape Town.
GOLD is one of the few Cape Town restaurants that can accommodate small, intimate functions in its various dining areas, but can also accommodate 250 seated. With the use of the adjoining Bennett Street space, this number can be increased to 550 (seated), and 1000 cocktail style. As such, GOLD is a favourite with FI.T.’s (foreign independent travelers), hotel concierges, guest houses, event organizers, incentive houses, tour operators and corporate clients.
Despite no longer sharing premises with the Gold of Africa Museum, the GOLD Restaurant has a treasure trove of collectables that forms part of the décor experience. Unusual items include a multi-coloured beaded tunic from Chad, Fulani earrings from Mali, original Kenyan beaded collars and Nigerian bronze and cuffs, an Ashanti stool, gold-leafed Fulani calabash lights and Dogon doors.
From the commencement of the evening with interactive Djembe drumming, to the ritual hand-washing and a multi-course gourmet feast, guests journey through a menu of African sounds, sights and flavours. Cuisine ranges from Cape Malay to North African with many influences in between. The evening also features authentic live entertainment in the form of dancing Malian puppets, singers, dancers and musicians that perform in each dining area. A final performance by the entertainers and staff lets one feel the African heartbeat.
GOLD employs upward of 55 staff, and is proudly affirmative. Says co-owner Cindy Muller; “We involve everyone in the business decisions so all our staff feel accountable for doing their bit. Our management approach is inclusive and non-discriminatory but we demand the best of the best and focus on exacting attention to detail.”
It’s a philosophy that has made GOLD a thriving host over the years, entertaining celebrities, politicians, dignitaries and countless international visitors. But it’s also an absorbing experience for locals, especially as the food is Halaal. The new venue further extends the opportunity to utilize the experience for company gatherings, celebrations and corporate launches but is also at ease for a memorable dinner for two.
GOLD RESTAURANT HIGHLIGHTS
- Four times American Express Fine Dining Award winners (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
- Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice Award 2012
- On the Top 10 recommended restaurants list at most leading hotels in Cape Town.
- Chosen venue to launch the Timbuktu Manuscripts
- Host of the World Design Capital selection committee gala dinner in 2011
- Powered by an all-woman kitchen
- Subject of a Cooked in Africa episode with Justin Bonello on BBC Lifestyle - 2011