I was lucky enough to attend the American Express® Dining Awards 2018/19 on Monday night which was hosted at the beautiful new Saint Restaurant in Sandton – amid much excitement and huge accolades for the best restaurants in Johannesburg.

Now in its 20th year, the American Express Dining Awards recognised and honoured the unique culinary contribution from some of the best restaurants across South Africa – Cape Town hosted it’s own awards the week prior, and the awards are a true celebration of South Africa’s diverse and colourful character.

Besides striving to recognise culinary excellence, the American Express Dining Awards also target those eateries that pursue new and exciting trends, thereby redefining existing notions of fine dining.

American Express has for long recognised our country’s culinary talent and as part of its promise, the brand strives to offer more than just the ability to make a purchase … it offers a lifestyle, and the opportunities and experiences that hold true to our global brand positioning.

Speaking at the American Express Dining Awards, Chris Wood, Head of American Express South Africa, said:

“My team and I are fortunate to represent an incredible global brand, one that has for many decades been a symbol for travel, hospitality, amazing food and a life well lived, but for us it’s also about Powerful Backing. Our job here in South Africa is to ensure you can accept or make payments, get rewarded, see the right customers and be noticed. Most importantly to know that you have a partner in American Express who gives you a platform to grow and to thrive. Tonight, I’m proud to share this platform with you, one that very clearly says: ‘Don’t live life without it and Don’t do business without it.”‘

Winners of the Dining Awards were awarded based on: consistency, quality, service, food presentation and the underlying requirement of being an American Express Card-accepting restaurant.

For the first time, the awards introduced the American Express Black Apron Awards, each apron included a star for every 5 years that a restaurant has previously won an Amex dining award.

The American Express Dining Awards 2018/19 Gauteng and Surrounding Regions winners are available on their website here…

I must give a notable mention to Bellgables who received their 20th award this year. I visited them recently and am obsessed with the decor, atmosphere, warm welcome and overall dining experience that we received – all in the middle of Joburg’s first thunderstorm of the season – well done Errol!

Photo Credit: MRSK.

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