I became a vegetarian last year and to celebrate my week-long anti-meat policy, I went and had a steak. I understand the irony here and I also understood that as much as I commend other vegetarians, I am and will always be a meat-eater. So with a steak in mind and a rumble rivalling an earthquake in my stomach, I headed to Karoo Cattle and Land, Fourways.
Spacious, dimly-lit and deceptively large. Two points: One, don’t wear heels and then turn to talk to your date while on your way to your table. The floor slopes and you will wipe out in front of the entire session of Wednesday night diners.
And two, if you have kids and are tired of the spending your evenings at the Spur, Karoo is able to offer you a fine dining experience and the knowledge that your little rugrats are having the time of their lives. Part of the restaurant is a room where kids are supervised while they play Playstation, games and entertain themselves with other contraptions which may appeal to you should your date be boring.
It’s a vegetarian’s nightmare and a meat eaters dream. Their pay off line is ‘as South African as it gets’. Spot on. That being said, if you’re having an attack of conscience and feel more passionate about broccoli than beef, they do have a surprisingly large vegetarian selection.
I opted for the Karoo Lamb Shank and my partner chose the pork ribs. Unfortunately for him, they were not the greatest and were fatty and tough but as I pointed out, why order pork in a restaurant named after lamb? And more unfortunately for him, I became very possessive of my lamb shank and refused to share.
Karoo is not shy with its portion sizes. I didn’t know they made plates that large. Halfway through my meal, my date observed ‘You’ve done well!’ and I became aware that perhaps not finishing an entire lamb shank and vegetables was something one should do on a first date. (I asked for a doggy bag and inhaled it at home).
Value for money. Starters range from R45 to R55. Mains from R90 to R130. R60 for their burgers (amazing!) and R20 for their sauces.
Tip: Say things like ‘I’m eating for two’ if you’re embarrassed that you managed to polish off your platter of food.
A night when you’re absolutely starving, in desperate need of protein or want to give some international guests a true South African meal when you know you couldn’t possibly pull it off yourself.
• Enjoy a meal sans children without feeling any guilt. Trust me, they’re happier than you are.
• They are very aware of allergies and don’t mind if you threaten to kill them should your food come into contact with nuts
• They have a meat display area where you can buy your own cuts of meat to take home. Should you still be hungry. And if you are… I’m impressed.