The iconic Sun City resort has been part of the South African hospitality landscape since it first opened its doors in 1979; now, the resort is undergoing a dramatic R 800-million rejuvenation.
“Sun City forms part of Africa’s largest tourism, leisure and gaming group. It has a special place in the hearts of the millions of people who visit the resort each year. Its rejuvenation is to ensure that it stays at the cusp of experiential entertainment and leisure experiences. This substantial investment is part of our promise to give our guests a destination of unmatched experiences, to create lasting memories,” says Mike van Vuuren, the Managing Executive at Sun City.
The resort’s four hotels, the entertainment zones as well as the food and beverage outlets are being revamped, so we took a closer look at three of the resort’s newly launched restaurants.
The Brew Monkey
Sun City’s upgrade of the iconic Valley of the Waves area saw the opening of a new fast food area – Food Factory – and a couple of days later, above it, The Brew Monkey. With a spectacular view over the tidal pool, The Brew Monkey is a rustic gastro pub with an on-trend microbrewery feel. Open from 12h00 to 22h30, the menu boasts crowd favourites such as gourmet burgers, sandwiches and hot dogs, including the Smoked Crispy Pork Belly gourmet sandwich and the Spicy German and Chicken Footlong.
There’s also a great selection of beer on tap, from SAB favourites to craft brews such as Striped Horse Pilsner, CBC Amber Weiss and Citizen American Amber Ale. “The Brew Monkey takes beachside refreshment up a notch at the Valley of Waves. It is a place to kick back and relax while indulging in exciting craft beers and gastronomical burgers and gourmet sandwiches. Guests can also share tasty nibbles from tins instead of the usual pub type baskets,” says Bruce McKay, General Manager: Food & Beverage Operations at Sun City.
The service is also unusual in that it’s European style, so all drinks and food should be ordered at the bar and then orders are delivered by service staff. Heading up the restaurant is executive chef Xanthos Giannakopoulos who says that the restaurant has been received very well by patrons: “The Brew Monkey is the right kind of restaurant at the right time – there’s definitely a market-related need for this style of cuisine – it’s informal and unlike any of the other offerings in Sun City. In season, we served 800 burgers a day! On a regular day, it’s still quite high at between 200 and 400 burgers a day.”
Sun City has played host to a number of well-known entertainers and sportsmen since it first opened, and Legends plays tribute to all of the famous faces that have graced its stages and fields. Decked out in bright lights and memorabilia, the grill house is an upmarket retreat from the Casino floor inside the ‘always on’ Sun City Hotel.
Said Raul de Lima, Group Executive, and Food & Beverage at Sun International: “We wanted a place to remember the razzle dazzle of yesteryear, to take a trip down memory lane. It’s a large specialty grill house in which we showcase the artists and sports people who came through these hallowed halls.”
The restaurant serves fine cuisine laced with nostalgia – everywhere you look there’s a famous name featured inside a Hollywood Walk of Fame-style star, a picture of a legend in action, or a sparkly costume framed and showcased on the wall. There’s also a stage and dancing area for live music, keeping alive the Sun City energy. The food perfectly accompanies the luxe surrounds – grills with great sides, interesting starters and desserts, all plated up in a style that’s informal, but with a bit of an edge.
Replacing Santorini, Sun City’s five star Cascades Hotel welcomed a new, upmarket Mediterranean restaurant last year. Bocado captures the beautiful outdoor space perfectly – with a crisp, white-walled setting and turquoise blue swimming pool surrounding the restaurant, it’s a great spot to kick back and enjoy timeless Mediterranean cuisine. Menu highlights include spicy trinchado, kleftiko, moussaka and Mediterranean-style lamb chops, with an array of perfectly cooked seafood dishes such as traditional sardines, seared salmon, prawns and paella on offer. A choice of meze platters laden with savoury treats are also popular, with baklava, affogato and a light strawberry pannacotta rounding off the menu.
“We are delighted to introduce Bocado. The restaurant offers a relaxed, no-fuss style of dining with great choice, friendly service, and fun atmosphere. It’s a family restaurant with a wonderful vibe and something for everyone, including the kids. Diners are assured superb quality and great value,” says Bruce McKay, Hotel and Food & Beverages Operations for Sun City.