Five years since it first opened its doors, diners still can’t get enough of Marble Restaurant. Interior designer for the Marble Group, and the creative mind behind the restaurant’s design, Irene Kyriacou explains why she thinks this is the case.

It’s the texture of the wooden butter knife as it slides across your palm, the glint of the flame off the handmade sea-foam tiles as you raise your head up from the menu and the expert service of a waiter who is seemingly both always present but never in the way.

It’s this meticulous attention to detail that creates a restaurant experience unlike any other. From the very beginning we have prided ourselves in our attention to detail and what I think keeps our guests coming back for more.

When we first opened five years ago, our interior design team comprised of myself, Redecco and GRID, knew that it was the big details that impressed our customers on their first visit. But slowly, the more people have visited, and the more time they spent in the space it’s not only the large scale Krisjan Roussow photographs that catch their attention, but also the smaller things like the texture of the napkin under their cocktail glass. Each item, clearly and carefully considered and chosen for a purpose.

Today, our team is still striving to create an elevated dining experience that is both luxurious but also comfortable and I believe it’s our attention to detail that makes all the difference.

Location matters

Our location, a prime spot in Rosebank’s Keyes Art Mile, was our first carefully considered detail. Being here allowed us to pay homage to local artists and the artisans that are at the focus of what Marble is – handcrafted, proud to be South African and essentially, art. With the works of up-and-coming artists adorning the walls and local craftspeople commissioned for our furnishings, fixtures, and crockery – down to the detail, Marble has always stood out as a celebration of South African creativity and ingenuity.

Customised art

Our art extends from that which is displayed – both on the walls and on the plates, to that which has been curated. Illustrator Sarita Immelman recognised our vision and is the talent behind our bar-back and cornicing illustrations. At first glance, both seem simple, but on closer inspection, you’ll see the intricately stylised bull heads, and decadent linework representing the muscles and ribcages – reminiscent of butterflied beef. I still have guests come to me after many a visit letting me know they’ve just noticed it!

For our furniture, we’ve juxtaposed delicately handwoven detailing with unfinished wood of the bar area couches and included functional artwork by Damien Grivas to separate the private dining rooms using complex macrame knots.

In the end, even the dancing flames of the grill and the expanse of floor-to-ceiling glass showcasing magnificent Joburg sunsets have become visual art.

Everyday detail

Our fixation with detail is a daily priority. It’s the DNA that runs through our team from Chef David Higgs of course, down to our sommeliers, managers, barmen and waiters. Plates and vessels are sourced for certain dishes or drinks, while ingredients are utilised for the way they engage with the smokey flavours from the grill and which honour our rich and varied South African heritage of gathering around a fire, sharing stories and enjoy a meal together.

Our sommelier Wikus Human carefully curates the wine list, but it’s so much more than that. It’s the perfect polish on glass and making sure that all our staff knows how to pour wine the right way. It’s those little things that we love getting right.

A sum of our parts

We strive to deliver an offering, greater than the sum of its parts, which comes together thanks to our passion for attention to detail. For while it may just be a butter knife, a tile, or a painting, when combined they create a uniquely captivating experience and one for which I like to think Marble has become renowned.

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