If you have ever wanted to be served the best steak you’ve ever had by Captain Stubing (from The Love Boat) then I have just the place for you...
1800° at the Cape Royale Hotel in Greenpoint, Cape Town.
How, when we can actually hear the final nails being hammered into various restaurants’ coffins, does this relatively inconspicuous restaurant stay afloat? (Not literally of course). It’s simple really – they have a concept - a unique selling point, and it works.
The decor is not what I imagined... and consequently my "Love Boat" comments. It’s slightly over-decorated and a bit gay for what is essentially a grill room. Picture comfortable, designer booths with vases of fuschia pink star-gazers centred on the table.
The concept I referred to earlier is their infamous signature grill – imported from New York and the first of its kind in South Africa – that literally cooks steak at a temperature of 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. It cooks from the top, forcing the moisture to the centre and sealing the meat very quickly to ensure that it retains maximum flavour and succulence.
Yes that is straight off their website but it’s the God’s honest truth. The fillet I had was beyond extraordinary, worthy of a “butter knife” award, and the selection of sauces and salts is impressive. A taster of their steak pricing:
200g rump - R99
300g - R120
200g fillet - R120
300g - R150
Sauce and side order included.
The service is detailed and polite. My complete and utter beatitude was my waiter’s sole reason for living. Which is lovely if you like a little attention, but a little long-winded (all those sauces) if you haven’t seen your dining partner for ages and you’re itching to catch up.
The wine list IS expensive, but not absurd – you can get away with a good bottle of house white for R140 or the red for R160 and if it’s something a little nicer you’re after then the Iona Sauvignon Blanc goes for R210 a bottle or a Waterford Cabernet Sauvignon for R240. An extensive list so you’ll probably find what you’re looking for.
Go there for the steak. The rest is inconsequential.
Which of your favourite restaurants are staying afloat because they’ve got that something special? Let us know.