Zioux [pronounced Zoo] is the third and most extravagant addition to the Marble Group’s growing portfolio of leading hospitality establishments. It opened its doors in November 2021 to high anticipation and a waiting list that stretched for three months.
As a champagne bar and cocktail lounge, Zioux is an adventurous, sophisticated, playful, and glamorous place to escape and break free from Joburg’s urban jungle. It redefines luxury and everyone’s invited – as long as they’re over 25.
Significantly, the Marble Group team partnered with GRID, Blackline Group and Redeccoto to design the look and feel for Zioux. The concept is a play on the feeling of being caged and breaking free. It indeed plays out into 400m² space as a luxurious lounge where guests indulge in champagne and cocktails. The menu features an extravagant selection of dishes designed to be shared. Every corner and surface in this space is carefully thought through and pays homage to African art nouveau.
Given that the world has changed and entered a new generation of luxury, Zioux is a space that boldly brings together luxury through experience, quality and intuitive service.
Zioux brings out the wild side in everyone.
African. Art. Nouveau.
From the stained-glass canopy and the lion’s claw door handles at the entrance, everything about Zioux speaks to African art nouveau. Reminiscent of old London’s private members’ club, Zioux nevertheless loudly proclaims the vibrancy of Africa.
Interior designer Irene Kyriacou has developed Zioux’s décor to reflect freedom of movement, contrasts between texture and colours, and also a juxtaposition between serious and fun.
The space is enclosed in monochromatic black and white, which speaks to how animals see, but also features the lines and arcs synonymous with art nouveau. By all means, the stand-out onyx marble bar in vivid green, splashes of red, animal hide and checked fabrics bring your eye to an incredible volume of detail in the design. Visual texture and contrasts are evident in the rough fabrics, slick marble-tiled floor and brass detail. Even the conservatory brings the outside closer to the inside.
References to animals and birds are apparent throughout the space. In fact, oversized ants, dragonflies and dung beetles designed by Damian Grivas crawl down the pillars. Mosaic hippos on the handmade carpets, Krisjan Rossouw’s “big five” paintings and red Springbok hide barstools round are yet more of the obviously African accents. It references heritage and fun but also connects to the presence and ambience of champagne bars and supper clubs in London, Paris, Dubai and Tokyo.
Some décor highlights
Firstly, sixteen oversized lights hang over the expansive central bar. Designer Thabisa Mjo, founder of Mash T Design Studio, says the lights remind us of the pleated sleeves and skirts of women in the 1800s. Their pleating and frills twirled overhead – but here, they are semi-transparent and made of cord.
Secondly, illustrator Sarita Immelmann’s incredible talent is on display in the drapery and in the custom-designed carpeting on the raised area. Shades of grey, black and white create a stark contrast of lines. This provides a minimal background from which the rest of the space can be discovered.
Dark wood panelling brings a moodiness and warmth but also a sophistication reminiscent of bars in the late 1800s.
Five stand-out paintings created specifically for ZIOUX by photographer Krisjan Rossouw. His brief? To depict the animal in everyone in a tasteful, artistic, yet also clever way. All the animals depicted are indigenous to South Africa – a buffalo, zebra, secretary bird, lioness and kudu. Some even have their own names, like Buff Babe and Kuduliscious.
The iconic Ghanaian (and now African) “Must Go Bag” has been brilliantly interpreted into bespoke fabric. Woven in the same fashion and design, the seating at Zioux is upholstered by The Mill’s custom weave for the team. Again, a connection between old English plaid and African art. Even the ottomans connect with a green tartan that reminds guests of a kilt.
Two different bar stools hug the edges of the bar. At the curve – leopard print and lion’s claws, designed by Damian Grivas. Flanking the sides, red Springbok hide adds flair and sophistication.
Handmade brass lights from Coote & Wenche with radiant red shades and library lights on the bar with sassy pom-poms add jewels of detail.
Surprisingly, the bathrooms are fun too. Vivid green basins are the modern antithesis to the antique mirrors and reference back to the colour of the bar.
Nothing is frivolous. Everything is in the detail. It is warm, it is luxurious, and it is vibrant.
It’s African art nouveau.
Small plates. Big flavour. Vibrant.
Significantly inspired by the flavours of Latin America with a strong focus on those from Mexico and Peru, the menu at Zioux can only be described as fun and flavourful. It’s easy, quick and tasty.
Head Chef: Moses Moloi
Moses joined the Zioux team from FYN restaurant (which ranked at number 92 on the World’s 50 Best list in 2021), where he explicitly led the team alongside Ashley Moss. He has also previously worked at The Marina Hotel in Hermanus and Greenhouse at Cellars Hohenort under chef Peter Tempelhoff and as a sous chef for Grei Restaurant at The Saxon Hotel with Candice Philip.
He has also worked internationally at the Ritz Carlton Naples in Florida with George Fistrovich and Juan Pablo de la Sota. Moses is a former bursary recipient and top-performing student from the South African Chefs Association (SACA). He also holds his Advanced Diploma in Culinary Arts with a focus on French classic cooking from Olive Chef School in 2012. In 2022 he was named “Rising Star” for the Hospitality Counsel’s (HOSCO) Luxe Restaurant Awards, sponsored by Nederburg. He was chosen for his blend of classical expertise and fine-honed Asian-inspired technique that he has brought to Zioux’s exciting menu.
Head Pastry Chef: Megan Meikle
Megan Meikle is the head pastry chef of the Marble Group and one of the country’s top pastry chefs. She joined the team in 2021 and since then has been responsible for the incredible confectionary creations at Marble, Saint, Zioux and The Pantry. Megan graduated from the Culinary Art at HTA School of Culinary in 2010, but in 2013 she decided to specialise in pastry and completed her advanced diploma in pastry at FBI Chef School and Patisserie.
She started her career at the Pot Luck Club in Cape Town, but in 2014 made the move back to Joburg and joined the Saxon Hotel Villas and Spa team, where she worked with both David Higgs at Restaurant 500 and later with Luke Dale-Roberts at the Saxon and, Candice Phillip at Grei. Megan was also a member of the South African Culinary Team for five years, representing South Africa in South Korea and France. In 2020 she was invited to be a participant in the Hoteliers Guild Initiative called EXTRAVAGANZA culinaire, the premier virtual gourmet safari for pastry chefs across the globe.
The menu is dominated by a selection of small plates and a few main options. All are designed to bring flavour to the fore – even the dishes with chilli. What they lack in heat, they make up for in taste. The food is designed to suit the environment – playful and adventurous, and paired well with cocktails and Champagne.
So, what is on the menu, and what do the kitchen trio recommend? Firstly, the ceviches – some of the best you’ll get in the country. Favourites include:
- Guajillo chilli cured yellowtail, naartjie aguachile, corn, coriander
- Cape salmon tiradito, coconut tigers milk, fresh truffle
- Cape salmon ceviche, Morita chilli and ponzu, cucumber, crisp wakame
- Swordfish tiradito, capers, yellow habanero, nasturtium
- Moonfish ceviche, salsa macha, radish
Alongside Latino flavours, home-grown South African favourites also make an appearance – game loin, chorizo, white bean and XO sauce; buttermilk fried chicken with caviar and tangy cream served on a doughnut; and oxtail vetkoek with tamarind, ginger, jalapeño and spring onion salsa.
There are also a few “bigger meals” for hungrier patrons, tacos and a shellfish bar serving oysters, caviar and a salad of crayfish, prawns, ceviche, oysters, mussels and octopus.
Lastly, for dessert, a decadent selection was designed by top pastry chef Megan Meikle. The top sellers include the guava poached in jalapeno syrup, hibiscus jelly, jalapeno salt with guava foam, pineapple soaked in mescal, fermented pineapple sorbet with tapioca and salt, and Zioux’s take on churros with pecan puree and Tres Leche sauce.
The menu encourages a flavour-packed adventure – one small, vibrant plate at a time.
Small. Classy. International.
Stellar wine and bubbles
The sommelier team of Wikus Human – recently named as the Moët & Chandon Best Sommelier in South Africa for 2021 – along with Stephanie Cartwright have pulled together a stellar list of top quality South African and international wines, Cap Classiques and Champagnes, all served in the Spiegelau Definition glasses.
Zioux Curated cocktails
As a matter of fact, the central onyx marble bar, illuminated in brilliant green, creates a focal point in Zioux from which glamour and sophistication exude. A premium cocktail offering, curated by George Hunter, was designed to be coupled with the menu and reflect the global flavours. Expect classic cocktails with a twist and a small, classy selection of signature drinks reflecting habanero tinctures, Latin American flair and super-premium spirits. Look out for Snake Eyes, a Nitro Pink Panther and an Apothika. George’s favourite? The Agua de Me-hee-ko – a playful mix of Blanco Tequila, Orgeat, Lime Juice, Horchata, Mango Juice, Habanero Tincture and Peach Bitters –served with a beaded chameleon, of course.
Sound & Tech
Zioux features one of the best VOID sound systems in the country – with enough tech and volume to satisfy the fussiest DJ, under the guidance of Operations Director Dino Constantinou. Guest DJs are a regular appearance on Friday and Saturday nights.
Zioux Contact details
Upper Retail Shop, The Marc, Corner Rivonia & Maude St, Sandton