At the entrance sits a piano, open for anyone to play. As you walk through the door, a poster of a smiling Sol Kerzner welcomes you in. Another piano is suspended from the strong wooden beams of the roof, along with a drum set and a couple of guitars.
The Legends Restaurant in Sun City, South Africa celebrates music by paying tribute to the many famous stars, personalities, guests and icons who have graced Sun City over the past 36 years, as well as the founder Kerzner.
On a recent visit with a group of journalists from all over Africa, we walked around the restaurant before sitting down. There is an open kitchen where you can see the chefs at work.
The restaurant has different sections where you can eat—at the main open dining area, at cosy booths, or in the semi-private Green Room and Red Carpet Room that are ideal for larger groups. The sign to the toilets has two blinking arrows, in red and white light.
The walls are exposed in brick red and grey adorned with posters from a bygone era. Eating here is like dining with the stars on a trip down memory lane. Gloria Gaynor poses next to Nana Mouskouri in the Green Room. And there are Kenny Rogers and Natalie Cole looking shiny and sleek.
There are also posters of the Beach Boys who performed at Live at the Sun City Superbowl in 1987, and Tom Jones in 2010.
Other professional performers who have have graced Sun City are Rod Stewart in 1983 and Shirley Bassey and Queen in 1984.
Back to the table to sample the culinary delights. We were seated at the main dining area, with Sir Cliff Richard watching our every move.
The menu is a metallic booklet with paper pages inside. A picture of Dolly Parton, who performed at Sun City in 1982, graces the kiddies menu page that offers marinated pork ribs, crumbed chicken strips, chips, beef sausage, and mushroom and chicken penne pasta.
From the adults menu, some people in the group had salads for starters. On offer were salmon and avocado, prawn and chicken, prawn cocktail and a Greek salad. The restaurant is big on meat, with a glass ageing room, through which you can see the different cuts.
I wasn’t very hungry so I ordered the prawns penne pasta for my main course. It was a perfectly-sized portion, and the accompanying sauce was rich, thick and tasty. Others at the table asked for marinated grilled ribs (two racks), burgers, pork chops, seafood and steaks.
The meals are large as they are accompanied by chips. I tasted some of the ribs from my neighbour’s plate and agreed with his view that it was the freshest and tastiest we had had in a long time.
Impressed by the food, I spoke to Chef Carol who runs the kitchens. She has had long experience in the kitchen, and it showed through the excellent meals and service.
“I have worked at this restaurant since 2000, starting as a demi-chef up to my current position as sous chef. I trained at a culinary school in Pretoria,” she said.
The drinks menu covers all tastes. There are soft drinks, liqueurs, Champagne—Dom Perignon and Moet & Chandon—several South African wines and others from the rest of the world. The restaurant has a fully stocked bar.
On one side of the restaurant is the Extravaganza area, where there is a stage for performances. On this particular evening, we could hear karaoke performances—enthusiastic, confident, sometimes on and more often off-key. Much like the resturant theme, it was a heartfelt celebration of music.