(Image by The Local Grill)
South Africa is undoubtedly one of, if not the best place for premium quality steaks in the world. We have so many steakhouses dedicated to keeping up this title. Our steak guide has tried to delve a little off from the obvious well-known, brilliant steak joints, namely The Hussar Grill, HQ, Turn and Tender, Nelson’s Eye and The Cattle Barron to name a few. So here is a list of some of the most brilliant steaks across the country.
The 60s deco setting tells the tale of a once very well-to-do and fancy restaurant. Buzbey Grill remains one of the few restaurants that choose not to give into the modern times. It’s stayed true to it’s original state, and for that reason it’s a real treat to visit. Regulars will tell you the steak is just as good as when they first started decades ago, and if a charming setting is as important as the food itself, then Buzbey is your steakhouse.
The appropriately named ‘meat’ in Italian, Carne offers a huge variety of A-grade cuts that you won’t find anywhere else, aside from a very specialised butcher. Cuts are brought out on a silver tray for you to choose what you like, with the option of a side and extra sauce – the usual suspects of pepper corn and salsa verde. It’s a proper steak experience in an ultra cool setting below ground level and hidden off a side street in town.
Still fairly new, but hugely popular, NV-80 is the product of two restaurateurs with 30 years of experience in the industry. With a stylish setting that pays homage to the 80s and the vibrancy of Cuba, NV-80 offers sophisticated dining over aged prime cut steaks of Chalmar beef, other grill options and seafood.
The Butcher Shop and Grill
The Butcher Shop and Grill is a family run business that dates back to the 60s in Johannesburg. The family started by owning a butchery but realised the potential of combining both a shop and restaurant. They brought this concept to Cape Town a couple years ago, a space that signifies the modern steakhouse with brown leather seats, white tablecloths and good red wine, with the added bonus of floor to ceiling windows providing the perfect seafront backdrop.
Although the menu changes regularly dependent on availability of cuts, you’ll usually find the 30 day dry-aged beef on the menu served with a side of gravy. Ash is a very appropriate restaurant for the modern-day meat-eater, with cuts ethically sourced by Frankie Fenner, under nose-to-tail ideals. The quality is always evident as is the flair for cooking meat right, which is done over open flames.
The Grillhouse (Sandton and Rosebank)
A local institution and a solid contender for the best steak in the city, The Grillhouse is a classic with over 20 years in the business. Both restaurants boast that distinct New York steakhouse feel with white tablecloths, red face brick walls and stained dark wood chairs. They complete the experience with a wine cellar and private dining room options.
Che Argentine Grill
An Argentinian restaurant wouldn’t be complete without steak. Che is set in an old industrial building in Moboneng and has effectively kept the original look and feel of the space, refining certain elements aptly in the name of style. They offer fillet, sirloin, rib-eye and others all served with their signature chimichurri.
The Local Grill
The meat is sourced following a ‘field to fork’ approach, and sourced with the utmost consideration for quality. These guys are really passionate about serving their customers the best steak possible, which is why they also offer kitchen tours and classes to showcase their concept and to educate people on cooking and choosing steak. The restaurant itself is a classic, unpretentious steakhouse where you can enjoy a variety of cuts cooked over a flame grill.
The Potato Shed
The name indicates the building’s prior use, when it was an actual potato shed, hence the vastness and industrial features that have been worked into the space’s current state. The space is lively mimicking the marketplace it once was, with much goings on from the bar, brewery and smokehouse kitchen. On the steak side, enjoy rump picanha, fillet on the bone or sirloin on the bone.
Bolton Road Collection
Bolton Road Collection is far from being a steakhouse, but they do offer a delicious rib-eye and Point rump on the menu. The restaurant is a fairly new addition to the Rosebank area and has been beautifully styled with an eye for a natural aesthetic. The warm space embodies a refined rawness with a concrete floor, wooden bistro chairs, a high exposed ceiling and decorative plant life. The food is a modern array of small and big plates drawing inspiration from multiple European cuisines, but you won’t be sorry going for the steak option.
Heat Grill Room
Heat Grill Room is a stylish expansive city restaurant that spills over 2 floors. The setting is elegant yet understated with a dining and lounge area. They describe their cuts as ‘super-aged’ offering all the classic steaks including ostrich fillet. Accompanying sauces include mushroom, pepper, oregano, cheese and mushroom and more.
Carbon no doubt indicates the charcoal cooking taking place beneath the grill, and gourmet grills are what they do best. They serve quality and specialised meat like dry-aged Kalahari beef cuts and sort-after Wagyu steak. They also serve a huge 750g Kalahari T-bone if you think you can handle it!
Malt Bar and Restaurant
Malt is a causal and modern pub and grillhouse. They are known for their huge selection of beer, as well as great cocktails, milkshakes and scrumptious pub snacks. Aside from that, they do 21 day wet-aged steaks that are grilled in either the house basting or beer basting. Choose between a rump, fillet or T-bone.
Brasserie de Paris
This restaurant is an incredible destination before you’ve even sat down at your table. The house it sits in is an architectural landmark with a modernist 60s design developed by Karl Jooste. It’s only suited that one of Pretoria’s most esteemed restaurants sits in such a masterpiece. They serve the traditional French and Chateaubriand fillet as well as a beef fillet with cauliflower and truffle purée.
This restaurant is South African thought and through. It’s an ode to the classic steakhouse with a modern local focus. Hinterland Vleishandelaar also offer an extensive range of quality and vintage wines realising the importance of the marriage of read wine and meat. They serve premium quality Chalmar beef in traditional cuts with a side of shoe string fries and salad. Sauces are also an additional option.
A Durban favourite, and one that comes to mind immediately when looking for a good steak. Butcher Boys keeps things traditional with the regular prime cuts, accompanying classic sauces like Madagascan peppercorn and Roquefort, and comforting sides like creamed spinach and onion rings. They also have a well-stocked wine cellar, making sure your quality steak is enjoyed with quality red wine.
Joop’s is a Durban classic and will often be referred to as the best steak in town. The owners have previous experience as butchers so they know a thing or two about meat and how it’s prepared. Prepare for a mammoth sirloin or T-bone with a sauce of your choice and watch it get fired up through the kitchen window.
The Grill Jichana
Situated in the Tsogo Sun hotel, The Grill Jichana is an upmarket affair that executes the look and feel of an elegant, old-school grill house. It’s always a good sign when a menu discloses where the meat is sourced from and this spot does just that. All beef is premium grade and supplied by Karen Beef just outside Heidelberg. Choose between rump, fillet and T-bone and do not forget to order their signature 20 ingredient Café de Paris butter.
The Shed offers a great outdoor setting situated in The Litchi Orchard in Salt Rock. The food lends itself to this laid-back environment with a menu serving gourmet pub-grub and comfort food. They do a beef fillet and sirloin or if you’re feeling like a bit more of a feast, the meat board with beef brisket, sirloin, and Asian ribs is superb.
Boccadillos is a charming café that welcomes PE locals, who enjoy hearty food and a relaxed outdoor atmosphere. They have a huge menu which either makes it really easy to find what you like or incredibly difficult. But whatever you do, don’t miss out on the grill section. Choose between fillet, rump and sirloin with various choices on sauces and sides like chimichurri and onion rings.
Blue Waters Café
Situated on the shore of PE’s flawless coastline, Blue Waters Café is the ideal place to enjoy a steak while soaking in the best views of the ocean. This stylish, café-type restaurant has a pretty big menu with one of the focuses being their specialty steaks. Take your pick of char-grilled sirloin, rump steak, fillet steak and more served with your choice of seasonal vegetables, potato chips or sweet potato fries.
The Backstreet Grill is a fairly new steakhouse that’s been running for almost a year and in this short period they’ve built up a good reputation for themselves. The menu is simple and concise but it does the trick and their customers are constantly raving about their kudu steak. Their locally sourced meats are fire-grilled to perfection and served with your choice of chips, salad or veggies.
Splurge: Kitima Situated in a beautiful historical Cape-Dutch building, Kitima draws inspiration on the culture and cuisines surrounding the Dutch East India trading company, that operated through the Cape of Good Hope. There is a particular focus on Thai cuisine with hints of China and Japan.