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Review: Fireside Bistro in Norwood

Sometimes life demands a good, old-fashioned braai. Timing and preparation are generally essential to get a fire going: prepare your perfect cut of meat, then hope and pray that a Joburg thunderstorm does not surprise you.

Not at Fireside Bistro… The brainchild of Terence Klaff, this unique concept has the grilling done for you by the owner on an open-wood fire. A true grand experience of a braai without watery eyes or the risk of rain.

Food

Start with the boerewors with cumin and chili flakes, or the queen prawns with peri-peri or lemon butter, all cooked on the grill. Never-fail options of chicken livers or calamari with garlic and tomato salsa are perfect for something a bit lighter.

Fireside Bistro's grilled prawns. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Fireside Bistro’s grilled prawns. Photo courtesy of Rupesh Kassen.

But the real heroes here are the superb meat selections prepared in front of you on the grill. With options of deboned chicken with peri-peri (my favourite), chimichurri rump steak, ostrich steak and lamb cutlets, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Fireside Bistro's deboned peri chicken. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Fireside Bistro’s deboned peri chicken. Photo courtesy of Rupesh Kassen.

All options are served with the most heavenly roast potatoes, vegetables or side salad. If you’re not a big red-meat eater, the seared tuna steaks marinated in soy and oregano, or whole baked trout from the wood-fired oven will definitely satisfy your palate.

Save some space for the marvellous desserts. A must-try is the treat of profiteroles covered with salted caramel and chocolate and filled with vanilla cream. They also offer tubs of Pete’s Super Natural, a truly superb homemade ice cream. Make sure you try the Vietnamese coffee or double Valrhona chocolate flavours.

Drinks

A small list of well-priced South African wines includes some of my favourites, like the Springfield Whole Berry Cabernet Sauvignon and the Les Coteaux Merlot. Local beers are also available.

Fireside Bistro's lamb and steak on the spit. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Fireside Bistro’s lamb and steak on the spit. Photo courtesy of Rupesh Kassen.

Service

The food takes time to prepare as it is grilled to order, so sit back and enjoy your starters. The service is efficient and friendly, and when the owner gets a chance, he’ll pop out from behind the grill to welcome you.

Ambience

Expect a cosy restaurant flowing on to covered pavement seating suitable for summer. The wood-fired grill takes centre stage in the restaurant, with guests enticed by the chargrilled aromas while watching Terence avidly attend to his coals.

The interior at the Fireside Bistro. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The interior at the Fireside Bistro. Photo courtesy of Rupesh Kassen.

And…

Try out the Sunday special lamb on the spit. Terence slaves for hours, religiously basting the lamb in lemon and herb to produce a perfect lamb cackling and tender meat. Don’t be shy to ask for more if you manage to complete the generous portion.

Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

Have you licked your fingers after a bespoke braai at Fireside Bistro in Norwood? Write a review here.

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