tashas at Melrose Arch is a contemporary, cool, simplistic-chic restaurant in the popular Melrose Arch. It offers great breakfasts, lunches and dinners and provides everything from burgers and quesadillas to salmon ceviche and R7000 bottles of bubbly. It is incredibly popular, especially for breakfasts and brunches. We had already had a light breakfast there so gave the dinner a shot.
Despite the comprehensive and tantalising menu we kept it simple and tried the gourmet burger, topped with cherry tomatoes, caramelised onions and mature cheddar, as we were very close to driving to Gourmet Garage that night. The burger was excellent; however it doesn’t quite dethrone Gourmet Garage from the top of my list for Joburg’s best burger. The wine selection had some familiar favourites, and there were imported beers that are not found in too many other restaurants. The local beer selection was not great and I went for an imported Steph Weiss, which was enjoyable, but at R42 it would have felt better supporting a local artisan brewery providing the same style, such as the magnificent Darling Brew Bonecrusher. The cappuccinos are superb but the milkshakes give them a good run for their money as the after dinner choice.
Unfortunately, that night, tashas struggled with the disease that all too often blights South African businesses: service was poor and lessened what would otherwise have been an excellent experience. In this instance a few drops of rain came down and every table seated in the cool Johannesburg evening was ushered inside, even though we were perfectly well protected from the less than raging elements. A few tables did what we did and refused to move into the bright and noisy indoor area. Tables and chairs were then packed away around us with more than a few bumps to our table, and we were made to feel like lepers. Finally we gave in and moved inside to have dessert and get the bill, both of which took far too long to arrive. It felt as though the staff was completely disinterested and the spots of rain gave them an excuse to ensure an early night.
All in all, the ambience is relaxed and inviting; the menu is diverse and provides for all tastes, albeit quite pricey, and if the service is good it is an exciting and different eating experience to the multitude of other offerings at Melrose Arch. I will definitely go back and try something a little more adventurous from the menu, but if the service doesn’t change that will be the last time.
Update 04/03/2012: Brunch at Tashas. Service was phenomenal, food was as per the usual: scrumptious! Lucky to get a table with the demand that seems to last all day long. Well done Tashas on a fantastic establishment.
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