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Best steakhouses in SA: Where to eat in 2017

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Whether you’re looking for grass-fed sirloin topped with a rich mushroom sauce or dramatic flambéed chateaubriand with a side of impossibly golden chips, here’s our list of the best steakhouses in Joburg, Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town, and the Winelands. The list features the restaurants included in the 2017 Eat Out 500, determined by our panel of critics around SA, plus the restaurants that won in the 2016 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Best Everyday Eateries, voted for by readers.

Later this year, we’ll announce the Eat Out Tramontina Best Steakhouse Award. Want to see your favourite steakhouse take the title for your province? Write a review now to put them in the running. (Psst: You could also win a 12-piece set of Tramontina Churrasco cutlery worth R1 500.)
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Johannesburg

The Butcher Shop & Grill (Sandton)

This iconic grillhouse has been serving great steaks in Joburg since 1994. It’s famous for the on-site butchery and an extensive menu that features seafood dishes, steaks, lamb cuts, venison, top-quality marbled beef and salads.

The T-bone at Butcher Shop & Grill. Photo supplied.

The T-bone at Butcher Shop & Grill. Photo supplied.

Che Argentine Grill (Maboneng) – Highly commended for Gauteng in the steakhouse category of the 2016 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Best Everyday Eateries

Grass-fed meat cuts are cooked over flames for smokiness that pairs well with the house chimmichurri. Highlights are roasted bone marrow on garlic bread, ribs and gloriously crispy pork belly. Finish with dulce de leche.

Fireside Bistro (Norwood)

The location on one of Norwood ’s busiest streets lends a bustling air to this grillhouse. Noteworthy dishes are the tried-and-trusted meat classics: T-bone, rump, fillet or sirloin in a lemon, peri-peri or chimichurri sauce, served with roasted potatoes and veg.

Flames Restaurant (Westcliff)

Upon arrival, your car is chauffeured away and you are transported up to the restaurant to take in the incredible view. Try the springbok carpaccio with truffle oil, artichokes and roasted walnuts, the winning Korean pork belly, and the Karoo lamb chops.

An outside view of the Flames Restaurant. Photo supplied.

An outside view of the Flames Restaurant. Photo supplied.

The Grillhouse (Rosebank)

After a bite of home-made bread and melting butter, snack on springbok carpaccio, prawns, the biltong basket or lemon-butter calamari. Then choose from the steaks, sold by weight. The New York sirloin is cooked to perfection and served with a side of crisp onion rings, seasonal vegetables and a creamy mushroom sauce. Be sure to arrive hungry as the portions are hefty.

The Grillhouse (Sandton)

This institution is known for superb steaks, ribs and a vast selection of wines. Choose from cuts of aged beef – fillet, New York sirloin, T-bone or rib-eye – paired with expertly made sauces or sides like pap and chakalaka. Finish with a homely favourite like ice cream and chocolate brownies, crème brûlée or a cheese platter to share.

The Local Grill (Parktown North)

This popular eatery focuses on a great range of meat options, from tender beef cheeks, carpaccio and marrowbones to a variety of steaks. The star of the mains is the Greenfields free-range beef. The aged sirloin on the bone, seasoned with house spice rub, has a pronounced charred note and a rich aroma of properly aged beef. Round it off with a great milk tart.

A steak from The Local Grill. Photo supplied.

A steak from The Local Grill. Photo supplied.

The Potato Shed (Newtown Junction)

Everything at The Potato Shed comes in huge portions and sharing is recommended. The meat menu is divided into fish, chicken, and the “Fire Pit” and “Embers and Ashes” options. Try ribs done three ways: in a cola and pineapple-chutney basting; slow braised; or done in the wood-burning oven with oregano, lemon and garlic. There is also slow-roasted Jozi beef, rump picanha, and fillet and sirloin on the bone.

The Smokehouse and Grill (Braamfontein)

The grub here is uncomplicated and unapologetically good. Starters on the compact menu range from spicy chicken wings and salads to mac ’n cheese, while old favourites on the mains section include fillet, and beef and pork ribs. The aged fillet, basted in a signature Smokehouse sauce, is succulent and full of flavour, and comes served with a generous number of golden-brown chips.

The interior at The Smokehouse and Grill. Photo supplied.

The interior at The Smokehouse and Grill. Photo supplied.

Turn ‘n Tender (Parktown North)

The menu at this meaty haven is dotted with fish, chicken and salad, but these options pale in comparison to the superb selection of meat. For mains, you’ll find every cut displayed on the boards for your viewing pleasure. The point rump melts in your mouth, the T-bone packs a flavour punch, and the ribs (pork or beef) are the perfect combination of sticky and sweet.

Wombles Steakhouse Restaurant (Bryanston)

The luxurious location of this steak favourite showcases superb quality beef and venison. Star dishes include starters like duck-liver pâté, oysters and escargot, and steak mains served with roasted baby onions, peas and pumpkin mash. The steak selection includes the usual suspects: fillet, rump, sirloin, T-bone and prime rib, but there are always speciality steaks on the specials menu, including a succulent fillet and rib-eye, when available. The fillet and rump on the bone are outlandishly good.

Pretoria

Eisbein & Co. (Menlo Park)

Eisbein & Co. offers comfort food to the max. Starters include crumbed mushrooms or peri-peri livers, while mains offer generous meaty dishes of eisbein, pork shoulder or pork belly with your choice of starch and sauerkraut. For something sweet, the apple strudel is a treat.

Hinterland Vleishandelaar (Hazelwood)

Lamb and beef are crowned king in this well-loved establishment. The carpaccio is truly delicious, as are the popular marrowbones. For mains, choose between Kalahari or Karoo lamb chops, prepared to your preference, or go for the fillet, T-bone, rump, or sirloin steaks with your choice of sides.

A steak at Hinterland Vleishandelaar. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

A steak at Hinterland Vleishandelaar. Photo supplied.

Durban

Butcher Block (Umhlanga Rocks)

Catering to carnivores, this eatery make choice cuts the hero, with various iterations of flame-grilled beef, wet-aged for a minimum of 21 days. The rib-eye steak with bordelaise-and-bonemarrow sauce is tasty, as is Argentinian chimichurri steak. Decadent endings include the likes of deep-fried Oreo and a chocolate soufflé.

A steak at Butcher Block. Photo supplied.

A steak at Butcher Block. Photo supplied.

Butcher Boys (Morningside)

This is unashamedly a meat lover’s paradise, with the emphasis on succulent rump, sirloin, rib-eye, fillet, espetada, T-bone or prime rib. All the beef here is either wet- or dry-aged for 25–35 days, basted and expertly grilled on an open flame to your taste. Dive into culinary experiences like côte de boeuf, chateaubriand and slow-roasted lamb shank.

Little Havana (Umhlanga Rocks)

The perfectly executed free-range and hormone-free steaks – mostly wet aged – from the on-site butchery are what this eatery is known for. Try the risotto rump or the entrecôte béarnaise for standout mains. Pair this with some of SA’s best wines.

The interior at Little Havana. Photo supplied.

The interior at Little Havana. Photo supplied.

Cape Town

Black Bull Steakhouse (West Beach)

Wildly popular since its opening, this steakhouse focuses on meat, but you could always start with creamy garlic snails or excellent chicken livers. As for the main event, there are sticky barbecue pork ribs; sirloin, rump or fillet steaks; lamb chops; and ostrich options.

The interior at Black Bull. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The interior at Black Bull. Photo supplied.

The Butcher Shop & Grill (Mouille Point)

This has become a go-to spot in Mouille Point for all meat lovers. Mains simply have to be meaty: Select the cut and size from the menu or the butcher counter. The sirloin on the bone is perfectly cooked and seasoned, and the classic fillet is an intense and juicy choice, with a surprising amount of flavour.

Carne Constantia (Constantia)

Award-winning chef Giorgio Nava sources many prime cuts from his own paddock in SA, prepared with fine artisanal ingredients from his native Italy. Apart from the benchmark grass-fed sirloin, rump, T-bone and rib-eye, unusual cuts star, too, from spider steak to hanger steak. Enjoy with a side of shoestring fries.

Cattle Baron (Bellville)

Obviously the thing to eat here is meat, but the vast menu offers some unusual options. Various cuts of steaks include excellent prime rib, fillet on the bone and pork ribs, but the pièce de résistance is the famous chateaubriand – flamed at the table. The knockout dessert is the silky crème brûlée.

Steak at Cattle Baron. Photo supplied.

Steak at Cattle Baron. Photo supplied.

Don Armando (Green Point)

The fare is predominantly for meat lovers, but starters include a few veg options. The mains consist of everything from classic sirloin steak and rump to grilled short rib, T-bone and lamb chops. All are served with fresh chimichurri sauce and papas fritas or salad. The dulce de leche pancakes are a must.

The Eatery Wood Fired Grill (Claremont) – Highly commended in the steakhouse category for the Western Cape at the 2016 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Best Everyday Eateries

Simple, honest food is the winning formula of this unpretentious venue that offers a retro mix of South African steakhouse fare. Carnivores will be in a quandary over a hearty rack of signature barbecue pork ribs, rib-eye, sirloin or tenderloin – all grilled to your exact order over the coals.

Hoghouse Brewing Company (Ndabeni) – Wildcard in the Western Cape at the 2016 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Best Everyday Eateries

Order a host of sides and meats and share them family-style. Starter highlights are pigs’ tails with sticky marinade and wild-mushroom arancini. The barbecue section offers various cuts, some of which are smoked on site. Dessert consists of dainty tartlets and superb gelato.

Ribs at Hoghouse BBQ

Ribs at Hoghouse. Photo supplied.

HQ (City Bowl)

Diners get a simple salad of lettuce with pine nuts, high-quality parmesan shavings and mustard vinaigrette along with the main event, which is sirloin steak – either local or Australian Angus – with café de Paris butter and shoestring fries. Crème brûlée is an excellent finish.

Steak and wine at HQ. Photo by Claire Gunn.

Steak and wine at HQ. Photo by Claire Gunn.

The Hussar Grill (Rondebosch)

The Hussar Grill is one of the oldest grillrooms in the country, where a healthy appetite is a prerequisite. Fillet, rump and sirloin are grilled to your liking and served with fries, mash, baby potatoes or a salad. End the evening with a gooey fondant or the chocolate-vodka martini.

Pirates Steakhouse and Pub (Plumstead)

This is a nostalgic landmark for great burgers, steak and ribs in the ‘burbs. Choice cuts – fillet, rump and pork ribs – are fall-off-the-bone tender, basted with house barbecue sauce, and flame-grilled to order. Nothing much ever changes around here, which is how the locals like it.

Winelands

The Fatbutcher (Stellenbosch)

These guys deliver on their name with a choice between burgers, grills (pork ribs, lamb rump and lamb T-bone), steaks (200g–300g sirloin, rump, fillet, dry-aged, New York cut, côte du boeuf, T-bone) and a few local favourites (pork belly, lamb shank, pie of the day, risotto and oxtail). Roasted bone marrow comes standard with steaks, plus you can add sauces or sides like onion rings, crumbed mushrooms and signature chips.

a dish prepared and served at The Fat Butcher

A meaty meal at The Fatbutcher. Photo supplied.

Vote for your favourite steakhouse and win with Tramontina

ChurrascoReview your favourite steakhouse to put them in line to win the title of Eat Out Tramontina Best Steakhouse and you could win great products from Tramontina each month. Find out more here.

Tramontina’s Churrasco range is made with high-quality treated steel and Polywood – a shock- and heat-resistant wood that is dishwasher safe. The knives are long-lasting and feature a five-year warranty against manufacturer defects.

The Churrasco range also includes grills, tongs, serving dishes and carts to make your braai experience as effortless as possible.
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By no means a complete list of all steakhouses, this list comprises the top restaurants rated and reviewed by our critics for the 2017 Eat Out magazine, which is on sale now.

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