A throng of VIP guests gathered on Thursday evening to celebrate the Grand Opening of TANG, a new luxury Asian restaurant and bar on Sandton’s iconic Nelson Mandela Square. The latest venture by entrepreneur extraordinaire and dedicated foodie, Nicky van der Walt, TANG brings authentic Asian food with a contemporary twist to the country’s most discerning palates.

Guests were welcomed with a tantalising selection of sushi, fresh oysters, and flutes overflowing with Moët & Chandon, which set the scene for a night to remember.

Among the glitterati were newly engaged couple, Ze Nxhumalo and Dr Tamryn Green (a former Miss South Africa); superstar designer, Gert Johan Coetzee; award-winning entrepreneur and luxury brands ambassador, Johanna Mukoki; hip-hop artist, Da L.E.S.; Vanessa and Chris Coutroulis; local actor, Tarina Patel; Norma Mngoma (formerly Gigaba); and power couple Warren Wheatley and Tatum Keshwar.

The proceedings were hosted by ‘it girl’ of the moment, Lalla Hirayama, who elaborated on the innovative concept behind TANG.

Named for the Tang dynasty, which ruled in China from the year 618 to the year 907, the restaurant pays homage to what historians generally regard as a high point in Chinese civilisation and a golden age of cosmopolitan culture.

“Our aim is to celebrate everything the Tang era stood for as a reflection of our own uniquely cosmopolitan culture right here,” says Van der Walt.

Admitting that raising finances for a new restaurant during a pandemic is like “trying to finance a plane without wings”,
Nicky is buoyed by the fact that TANG is able to employ 80 people and that, with its Moët & Chandon champagne bar spilling over onto the terrace, it is set to become the ‘go to’ venue for taste-bud tingling cuisine.

The menu on opening night featured two of TANG’s signature dishes, salmon teriyaki and chili salt pepper calamari.

Other dishes that are set to become firm favourites included rock shrimp, salmon tuna tartare, tuna tataki, dim sum, a trio of Siu Mai (scallop, lobster, and caviar), and Siu Mai chicken. From the traditional robata grill came delights like prime-cut Wagyu steaks, Tomahawk steaks, smoky spare ribs, and crispy pork bellies, while a selection of gyoza or ‘pot sticker’ dishes will have eager gourmets returning time and again to try the many variations on the theme. And a new take on traditional wok cooking saw sublime dishes made with Angus Beef strips, soft-shell crab, and a seafood selection drawing appreciative sighs from diners.

The evening was topped off with a TANG signature dessert, cream cheese meringue, leaving guests eager for a return visit to this unique new eatery.

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