Situated in the trendy hub of Maboneng district and set in a rustic restaurant space, Che Argentine Grill bagged a highly commended award in the Best Steakhouse category of the 2016 Eat Out Mercedes Benz Best Everyday Eateries. It is, without doubt, a meat lover’s dream, says Eat Out critic Zodwa Kumalo-Valentine.
Best for: Tasty steak and sharing platters with friends
Cost: Average price main course is R140
Serves: Argentinian-style steakhouse fare
Star rating: Food and drinks 5, service 5, ambience 5
If it’s your first visit, a great entry point into the meaty menu is the parrillada (mixed grill) for two or four people. Charred on a wood-fired grill and served with your choice of salads, vegetables and/or ‘cheeky fritas’ (thinner-than-ordinary fries), generous cuts of pork belly, chicken, and rump are plated up for you to sample.
The meat is prepared simply, allowing its true flavours to be the hero – so you won’t find basting or sticky sauces here. What you will get, however, is a side sauce of Che’s home-made chimichurri (cilantro, garlic, parsley and oregano) that you’ll want to pour over everything.
Starters include a selection of platters for sharing. The Picada De Campo, for example, features Italian-style salami, olives and cheese. And then there’s the very rich Provoleta, which is the trademark Argentine smoked provolone cheese served with pepper and salsa, tomato, red onion and parsley. Also delicious is the ossobucco (marrow bone) served with toasted garlic bread.
Definitely try the empanadas, for which Che garnered a following at Maboneng’s Market on Main. The filling options range from chopped beef, onion and red pepper to ham, mozzarella and oregano. If you’re there for lunch, try the pork belly or rump steak served with salad or chips for R85. Still have room for dessert? Try the flan, the very light pancakes, churros with ice cream, or the cremoso, which is a yoghurt dessert with white chocolate mousse.
There’s a great selection of local wine, but it’s best to let your waiter suggest an Argentine malbec or shiraz to complement your mains.
Service at Che Argentine Grill is quick and efficient. Waiters know the menu inside and out and are confident enough to recommend certain dishes.
Even though it’s set in a rustic, slightly industrial-look space, complete with lace curtains, long wooden tables, mismatched chairs, and projected images of early Argentina on one wall, there’s a certain easy elegance you experience when dining here. It’s almost as if you’re part of a group who are in on the best-kept secret in town.
Phone ahead to find out when Che is hosting live bands. The private dining room upstairs, which seats around 20-25 guests, can be reserved for functions.
Che Argentine Grill is one of our partners at the Eat Out Steak Out on 26 August, brought to you by Tramontina. Some of Joburg and Pretoria’s best steakhouses will be setting up their braais on the rooftop at Bryanston’s Copper Bar and serving up portions of their best steak. Find out more here.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.