Alice & Fifth — Johannesburg, South Africa

Daven Wu
14 Jan 2019

Since it opened in 1983, the Sandton Sun hotel has capitalised on its location in Johannesburg’s Sandton quarter, informally known as Africa’s richest square mile, by luring power suits, celebrities and top brass politicians alike. The arrival of Alice & Fifth in the hotel’s basement will only raise the stakes for competitors.

Local designer Tristan Plessis Studio has unraveled the subterranean labyrinth of varying volumes to create a series of dramatic room-sets, including three bars and dining rooms. The entrance sets the tone with a bijou corridor topped by a ceiling carved from a solid piece of hand-moulded polished stainless steel to look like liquid mercury; whilst creamy wall panels curve, Inception-like, up and over plush, crescent shaped banquettes.

In the kitchen, executive chefs Justin Josephs and Jacques Cronje have conceived a contemporary African menu that is defiantly protein-based, though you should follow the rib-eye with the Malva pudding, a local baked classic of sponge and caramelised sugar. §