Beast Grill House, at the Rock Cottage Shopping Centre in Weltevreden Park, is one of the latest additions to a wide range of steakhouses in the area.
I’m not crazy about steak, but having heard rave reviews about Beast and its creative side dishes, I decided to go try it out with my partner, a steak lover of note. We are familiar with the venue as one of our favourite gems used to be located on the same premises, but we were pleasantly surprised to see that Beast had taken over the property and transformed into something new and really quite wonderful.
The restaurant has a primal décor theme, complete with its hallmark beast symbol painted on the walls and visible everywhere else. It’s definitely the kind of setting where you feel free to go wild on meat, but that doesn’t mean the setting itself is primitive. On the contrary, it’s quite sophisticated and offers the standard of dining experience you’d expect from any high-end steakhouse in Johannesburg – our bill came to R640, and it was largely worth it.
The wide variety of dishes on the menu came as a pleasant surprise. With most steakhouses the formula seems to be pretty predictable and safe: various cuts of red meat and lots and lots of alcohol. But Beast isn’t just any old steakhouse, and the team behind it seems intent on raising the game.
All steaks are grain fed, South African A-grade and 14-days matured. While Beast does all the traditional steak cuts, it also offers other grilled meats, including seafood, as well as vegetarian dishes. I was blown away by their side dish menu, which extended well beyond the standard salad, chips or veg options. What immediately stood out were the mac ’n cheese (with cheese or cheesy jalapeño sauce) and the twice-baked potatoes. I’d heard that these were the sides to go for, so my mind was made up.
To get the first course out of the way without compromising our appetites, we opted to share the smoked half chicken wings (R55), which were divine, having just the right hint of smokiness, complementing the boldness of the barbecue basting. I could’ve had that as my main, I soon realised, but my partner was not allowing me to chicken out at that point. More animal flesh awaited us.
After some deliberation, I finally decided to go for my default safe bet – lamb chops marinated with thyme, maple and olives (R180) – and my partner ordered rib-eye steak (R190). As it was a cold night and the fireplace did not seem to make us feel any warmer, we also ordered hot chocolate while we waited for our mains.
The meals did not take long to arrive, well-presented on boards. My lamb was rather ordinary, I found it quite bland but well cooked. However, my partner loved his rib-eye steak and I agreed with him, after appropriating a third of it, that it was very tasty and juicy and of a very high quality. The flavour – with overtones of a secret marinade unique to Beast – made it stand out.
We barely had room for dessert, but decided to go ahead and order them anyway as a perfect ending to a wonderful meal. Of the six relatively standard South African sweet options, my partner ordered malva pudding (R49) and I went for the chocolate brownie decked with chocolate mousse (R49). Order envy struck again, as his pudding was an absolute delight while my brownie was too dry for my liking, even with the chocolate mousse.
While the competition among steakhouses in the West Rand is tough, I get the sense that Beast may just be here to stay. It’s innovative, yet reverent of the tradition and art of steak making, with a wide array of dishes and that memorable secret marinade. Beast has definitely shaken things up in this neck of the woods.