Aurum's menu a dazzling event for the taste buds

Summer never tasted so good

Londiwe Dlomo Journalist

Is there anything better than dining at an aesthetically pleasing establishment with a great wine list and exceptional food?   

Members of the media were invited to taste the new summer menu at Aurum at the Leonardo in Sandton.

The service from the staff was exceptional, from the moment we set foot in the establishment until the moment we left. They were always on hand and knowledgeable about all the dishes. A few of us at our table changed some of our orders due to the waitron's recommendations and we were not disappointed.   

Aurum is situated on the seventh floor of the Leonardo, with a pool that patrons can dine next to and take a dip in. There is a supervised children’s play area, an adjacent Legacy Balance spa and the Octo Bar, which is perfect for some drinks after work. 

Another attraction at the restaurant is the huge golden metal mesh 'cloud' that adds character and appears to hold up the room. This sculpture is complimented by the spiral staircase, with wooden steps that lead to the second floor of the establishment where their wine library is situated. It makes you think that you'll discover a box of valued gemstones sparkling languidly in glass cases somewhere. The décor is sumptuous and elegant.

The launch of the summer menu was a dazzling event for the taste buds. Patrons can look forward to starters such as salmon ceviche and Saldanha Bay oysters. I had sirloin crudo, which is cured beef sirloin served with a Thai dressing, garlic emulsion and charred leaks. It was a fresh, slightly crunchy flavour explosion. 

For the mains you can choose from a variety of dishes such as pork belly, beef fillet, prawn risotto and an exotic mushroom risotto that is their vegan option, among other dishes.  I opted for the lamb chops and I was not disappointed, perfectly cooked lamb that was juicy and flavourful.

Then the night was drawing to a close, and it was time for dessert. I opted for the citrus and white chocolate; the dessert was pleasing to the eye as well as delicious. The alchemy of the citrus ice-cream and the sweet pineapple, as well as the decadent white chocolate was just the right touch. Some of the dessert offerings include the signature Aurum ‘Magnum’ (frozen caramel mousse, hazelnuts and dark chocolate) and vegan coloda, made from coconut, lime, pineapple and mint.

Aurum dessert citrus white chocolate.
Aurum dessert citrus white chocolate.

The eatery has an extensive range of beverages ranging from luxury teas to cold-pressed juices and various alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

“Changing the menu seasonally is a chance for our chefs to deliver new expression and for us to progress as a restaurant. It also allows for our team to develop, and for us to deliver new knockout showpieces for our patrons to indulge in,” says Paulo Santo, MD and senior partner of the establishment.  

Aurum was opened this year just a few weeks before the Covid-19 pandemic forced the country into a hard national lockdown. The eatery describes its food as ‘inspired by contemporary European cuisine and delivered with a South African touch’.

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