Carnelian at The Rock

Carnelian at The Rock offers urban relaxation at its finest


Carnelian at The Rock really stands out as somewhere special to enjoy after-work drinks on the deck, bite-sized tapas shared amongst friends, or a romantic Friday evening of live music. With a gorgeous mural leading up the staircase to the entrance; simply walking up the stairs is an experience in itself.

The ambience at Carnelian

This high-end cocktail lounge and restaurant has an amazing atmosphere that allows for intimate socialising, in a relaxed environment. It features comfy couches, leather chairs, a marble bar top, touches of gold; and other luxury accents that make for divine décor. That said, it’s definitely the beautiful Art Deco bar that steals the show; with the glass wine cellar coming in a close second.

They have an extensive menu with a lovely cosmopolitan selection – which I will definitely be back to savour more of! The food was tasty and well-presented and wow; those custom cocktails were sensational.

We were given the most exceptional service by our waiter, who was very knowledgeable and served us with a friendly smile.

Sounds great – what did you eat?

For starters, Ed and I shared some delicious cheese balls with mayo chilli sauce. He also had the roasted pork belly and kimchi; which he loved. For mains, we shared the tapas Platter 5, which was a combo of all our favourite tapas delights. For dessert, Ed chose The Rock’s signature Orange and Chocolate Sphere, which was melted with Cointreau chocolate sauce before our eyes, to reveal the chocolate cake and orange marmalade flavoured gelato beneath it. I had The Rock Baklava which arrived emanating smoky dry ice and was a great way to end off the night. Just imagine Baklava, white chocolate rose ganache, crushed pistachio and pistachio gelato – YUM!

Carnelian at The Rock can be found in the heart of Fourways (above The Rock Diner), at the trendy Design Quarter centre in Johannesburg. This also makes it the perfect central venue for a year-end function or a private party, where you can hire one of two exclusive dining areas that seat 12 to 14 people. One is a private sunken lounge called ‘The Living Room’; with a living wall of plants. The other is a striking spot next to the wine cellar.

Overall experience

Carnelian is a warm and welcoming space that exudes elegance, style and sophistication in a modern way. Owner, Chris Tatsakis, has definitely managed to create a space that is really different from other tapas-style restaurants in South Africa.

The food, service, live music and stunning space definitely make for a great experience!

Words and images by Peaches.

Disclaimer: Carnelian at The Rock invited me to dine as a guest.


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