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Sirloin, sauces and sides: the best steakhouses in South Africa

From sourcing the finest cuts to perfecting the maturation process, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes before that juicy steak lands on your plate. These steakhouses do more than just serve up a tasty T-bone – they consider everything from the diet and quality of life of the animal to the careful ageing and cooking of the meat so that your steak nears perfection. Whether you’re looking for grass-fed rump topped with crispy onion rings or a dry-aged sirloin with sauce and a side, these steakhouses have your carnivorous whims covered.

 

Johannesburg

Alpine Restaurant (Randburg)

The family-run butchery next door is testament to the fact that these fellows really know their meat. While they specialise in pork and beef dishes, like the incredible aged rib-eye and pork chops, the menu caters to all with pizza, pasta, burgers and some Bulgarian specialties.

Alpine Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Alpine Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Butcher Shop & Grill (Sandton City)

Expertly aged meat and superior cuts are the order of the day at this popular New York-style steakhouse. Choose between standard aged, grass-fed and fat-marbled Wagyu cuts or try their famous oysters. A selection of seafood is also on offer.

The Butchershop and Grill. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Butchershop and Grill. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Chaplin’s Grill (Hurlingham)

Wet- and dry-aged meat is matured in-house for a minimum of 24 days and prepared to your specifications. In addition to their superior meat selection, the menu features highlights like the angel-hair pasta with prawns and pistachio pesto and brinjal mille feuille with mozzarella and olive tapenade.

Fahrenheit Seafood and Grill (Edenvale)

A treat for grownups and kids alike, the menu offers a creative selection of beef, chicken and seafood dishes. The little ones can enjoy dishes like burgers and ribs while the adults will delight in quality beef cuts, pastas, curries and seafood. The spring chicken peri-peri is a worthy challenge for chilli fans.

The Meat Company (Melrose Arch)

Enjoy the relaxed, inviting dining experience with a superior selection of aged steaks as well as seafood, salads, poultry and vegetarian options. The slow-cooked oxtail presented in a potjie is a highlight.

The Grillhouse (Rosebank)

Matured beef cuts are served with skillfully made sauces and generous sides. For steak lovers, the 400g rib-eye and New York sirloin are top notch. An impressive selection of appetisers, seafood and poultry is also on offer.

The Local Grill (Parktown North)

As winner of the 2014 award for Best Steakhouse, this steakhouse offers outstanding cuts of wet- and dry-aged meat and a warm, inviting ambience. The menu has a strong focus on the field-to-fork philosophy, featuring some excellent meat dishes like the aged sirloin on the bone and rolled pork with poached apples and curried quince sauce. See where the magic happens with a guided tour of their cold room.

A steak from The Local Grill. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

A steak from The Local Grill. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Thunder Gun Steakhouse (Blackheath)

Customers flock to this popular steakhouse for pork and beef spare ribs basted in their signature sauce. Another highlight is the carvery, which is available Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday and offers a choice of roast beef, pork, lamb, fresh vegetables, roast potatoes and gravy.

Turn ‘n Tender (Illovo)

This welcoming family-owned business offers juicy steaks, burgers and spare ribs as well as chicken and seafood options. Try their signature potjie or the rib-eye on the bone. You can even order boerewors as a side dish.

Turn 'n Tender

Rump steak at Turn ‘n Tender. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Turn ’n Tender (Parktown North)

While dishes like rump steak, grilled chicken and beef ribs are their signature, the menu features a great selection of starters, salads, poultry and seafood, including the flavoursome biltong carpaccio, and Scottish salmon with soya and sesame seeds.

Wombles (Parktown North)

Tuck into signature grills paired with sauces and generous side or superb starters like button mushrooms wrapped in bacon or escargot doused in garlic, lemon and parsley butter. The décor adds retro appeal.

Wombles. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Wombles. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Pretoria

Eisbein & Co. (Willows)

Hearty German food is served in large portions with unique sides that include everything from classic spinach, pumpkin and mash to spätzle and homemade sauerkraut. Try their legendary eisbein or other German favourites like pickled herring, pan-fried trout and a variety of sausages.

The Godfather (Centurion)

The slick décor and colour schemes capture the essence of The Godfather era while the menu creates some magic of its own with a selection of signature grills, seafood, burgers and starters. The specialty grill section offers unique options like chocolate chilli fillet and Godfather cheddar melt sirloin.

Heat Grill Room (Woodlands)

Heat Grill Room makes use of the finest, freshest ingredients, offering a great selection of aged meats grilled in the house barbecue basting, with a pepper-crusted rub, or dry grilled. The rib-eye steak comes highly recommended. Other choices include sirloin, fillet, rump, T-bone and some specialty grills like lamb chops and barbecue pork spare ribs.

Hillside Tavern (Lynnwood)

Steak is the signature dish at this cosy tavern, and it shows. Choose between rump, sirloin, fillet and T-bone and pick whether you’d like it smothered in gorgonzola sauce, flame grilled, filled with smoked oysters, rubbed with Cajun spice and more. A selection of pork, lamb, venison, ostrich, chicken and veal is also on offer. Adventurous diners should try the oxtail tongue slices, which arrive smothered in a mild seeded mustard sauce.

Hinterland Vleishandelaar (Hazelwood)

Described as a boutique wine bar and meat merchant, this steakhouse offers prime cuts of beef and lamb paired with your choice of chips, garden greens or salad. Their steak is matured for five weeks and dry-aged for three to four days before landing on the grill. The rump steak comes highly recommended, but be sure to ask about the specials, which could include sirloin and rib-eye.

Durban

Butcher Boys (Morningside)

Meat aficionados flock to this local favourite for prime meat cuts ranging from fillet and sirloin to spare ribs, rib-eye and game. Highlights include the boerewors bites starter, which arrives with a rich brown onion gravy and French bread for dunking, and the Butcher’s Choice (for two), which boasts a 200g serving each of fillet, sirloin, rib-eye and game with sauces.

The Butcher Block in Umhlanga

Steak at The Butcher Block in Umhlanga. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Butcher Block (Umhlanga Rocks)

Here you’ll find generously basted steaks as well as Karoo lamb chops, ribs and oxtail. A selection of poultry, seafood, burgers and classic sides is on offer for those forgoing the signature grills. The 180-degree sea view is noteoworthy.

Grill Jichana (Snell Parade)

Carefully selected steaks are seasoned with an aromatic house spice and flame-grilled with a signature barbecue basting. Pair the 500g rump steak with their 20-ingredient café de Paris butter or try one of the popular free-range chicken or duck dishes. SASSI green-listed fresh line fish is also available.

The Grill Jichana. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Grill Jichana. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Havana Grill (North Beach)

Choose from perfectly aged grain-fed or free-range grass-fed beef sourced from Mooi River in KZN. While grills are the main focus, the menu caters to all with a variety of vegetarian, seafood, chicken and venison dishes. The chef’s risotto is highly recommended.

Joop’s Place (Morningside)

Former butcher Joop Moll specialises in pan-fried fillet steaks. His signature menu items are the peppered steak, which is fried and simmered in cream and red wine and the Hollandse biefstuk, which is flambéed with brandy. Those avoiding red meat can tuck into a selection of fish and poultry options.

Little Havana. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Little Havana. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Little Havana (Umhlanga)

Prime meat cuts are available with grain-fed, grass-fed and organic options, paired with delicious sauces and sides. Other meaty options include pork ribs, pork belly, venison and a small selection of poultry dishes. A decent selection of seafood and vegetarian options is also on offer.

Cape Town

The Avenue (Claremont)

Owner Tony Mason sources high-grade meat handpicked from the finest cuts by his trusted butcher. The Avenue is best known for steaks basted in the Mason family’s secret recipe, but also caters to pescetarians, vegetarians and vegans.

Belthazar Restaurant and Wine Bar (V&A Waterfront)

Be prepared to splurge on export-quality steak, game and venison dishes. A selection of poultry and seafood is also on offer. All sauces and sides are ordered separately, but do try the Madagascan green peppercorn or chocolate chilli sauce.

The Butcher Shop & Grill (Mouille Point)

Here you’ll find wet- and dry-aged steak, juicy marinated ribs, homemade boerewors, classic steakhouse starters and more. Order off the menu or pop down to the deli, where the butcher will help you choose your cut of meat.

The Butcher Shop and Grill. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Butcher Shop and Grill. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Carne (Constantia)

This new extension of Carne SA continues to offer premium cuts of meat, including Romagnola beef, Dorper lamb and game sourced from owner Giorgio Nava’s own Karoo farm. Cuts are aged for a minimum of 28 days and steaks are served with a complimentary side. Be sure to make room for the Karoo lamb shoulder ravioli.

Carne on Kloof (Gardens)

While the smaller version of Carne SA offers a slightly trimmed down menu, you can still enjoy quality meat cuts and steakhouse fare, ranging from beef carpaccio and veal sweetbreads to hanger steaks and free-range pork sirloin on the bone.

Carne Constantia. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Carne Constantia. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Carne SA (City Bowl)

This is not your run-of-the-mill steakhouse. The meat, some of which hails from chef-owner Giorgio Nava’s own farm, is expertly dry-aged and arrives with your choice of side. Before ordering, choose your cut from the platter presented by a knowledgeable waiter.

City Grill (V&A Waterfront)

Gourmet steaks are signature here. They include the spicy mushrooms sirloin topped with a wine, cream and creole-spice sauce and oven baked with mozzarella cheese; the halloumi and avo steak; and steak Diane, served on a toasted baguette with a mushroom, garlic, red wine, cognac and cream sauce. These gourmet steaks are served with chips or mash, but interesting extras sides include sautéed mushrooms and pumpkin pie (in phyllo pastry with nutmeg and cinnamon).

Dias Tavern (Zonnebloem)

While this Portuguese tavern is by no means an upmarket establishment, its flavourful fare and hearty portions attract a loyal following. Look out for dishes like lamb shank with roast potatoes and Portuguese fillet steak or pick from a variety of poultry, seafood and combo meals.

Don Armando (Green Point)
Juicy steaks are grilled on charcoal – a reference to the Argentinian tradition of asado (barbeque). With the exception of the fish, main meals are made up entirely of meaty grills and feature everything from classic sirloin and grilled short rib to lamb chops, T-bone and a whole butterflied baby chicken. While all red meats are served with chimichurri sauce and chips or salad, it would be a pity not to sample some of the unusual sides, which include everything from cauliflower mash to a white bean salad with rocket and pickled red onion.

HQ (City Bowl)

Located in Heritage Square, this Parisian-inspired steakhouse is centered around one signature offering – a classic salad starter followed by a free-range wet-aged sirloin with café de Paris sauce made with 18 ingredients, and shoestring fries (R179). A tapas bar menu is also available to complement those after-work cocktails.

HQ. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

HQ. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Hussar Grill (Camps Bay)

Quality beef and wild game are aged on site and lathered in the top-secret basting sauce. Order rump, sirloin, fillet and T-bone steaks paired with garlic rolls, mushroom sauce and fried onion rings and select a bottle from their award-winning wine list.

Hussar Grill (Rondebosch)

Located in the leafy suburb of Rondebosch, this branch of the famous steakhouse offers the same quality meat cuts and impressive wine list in a bustling setting. Their house specialities feature everything from the classic fillet béarnaise and Madagascan pepper fillet to the unusual Hussar carpetbagger.

Jakes in the Village (Tokai)

The main restaurant offers an upmarket venue to enjoy a social lunch or dinner while the outdoor garden area beckons for sundowners and cocktails. The meat selection includes the nut and herb butter fillet, sirloin with Café de Paris butter, and pork loin ribs. All are served with your choice of salad or starch.

Jakes in the Village. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Jakes in the Village. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Jakes on Summerley (Kenilworth)

Perfectly cooked steaks are served with a choice of sweet potato fries, French fries, mash, onion rings, avocado, chopped chilli or vegetables. Like Jakes in the Village, the Kenilworth branch offers a superb meat selection as well as seafood, poultry, starters and the original Jakes burger.

The Local Grill (Woodstock)

Expect wet- and dry-aged Chalmar grain-fed and Greenfields free-range beef served with desirable sides like mashed potatoes with beef jus, pap, seasonal vegetables, onion rings and corn on the cob. Try the Karoo platter starter and pick the 200g wet-aged sirloin or dry-aged T-bone as your main.

Nelson’s Eye (Gardens)

Superior quality beef is wet-aged for up to 21 days, grilled to your specifications and served on your choice of board or plate. Game and speciality cuts like springbok, ostrich and lamb are also on offer. Those looking for a lighter meal can indulge in a creamy pasta or seafood.

Pirates Steakhouse Pub & Grill (Plumstead)

Here you’ll find juicy fillets and flavourful rump steaks complemented by a variety of toppings, stuffings and sauces. The ribs are a highlight.

Pirates Steakhouse Pub & Grill. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Pirates Steakhouse Pub & Grill. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Theo’s Grill and Butchery (Mouille Point)

Quality is a tradition at Theo’s, which has been serving up first-class aged steaks for over 30 years. Though they offer a broad selection of starters, poultry, seafood and game, their most popular offerings have to be their steaks and grills. Try the fillet on the bone or Hollandse biefstuk.

Winelands

5 Ryneveld Restaurant (Stellenbosch)

This quirky yet sophisticated meeting place offers a wide selection of quality steaks and game, ranging from rib-eye and sirloin to springbok fillet and ostrich fillet. Choose from a variety of sauces, including reduced red wine and bone marrow, mixed mushrooms and brandy, cracked black pepper, and blue cheese and cape fig.

96 Winery Road (Stellenbosch)

Free-range beef is carefully matured then dry aged on the bone to bring out its natural flavours. Try their popular Hollandse pepper fillet, which is rolled in crushed black pepper, pan-fried in a cream and brandy sauce and flambéed at the table. Pay a little extra to pair your steak with one of their gourmet sauces and butters or add an additional side. All steaks arrive with a side of hand-cut chips.

The Big Easy (Stellenbosch)

While this popular restaurant and wine bar offers an eclectic variety of mains, their grill selection features quality options like char-grilled fillet steak, rump, sirloin, braised lamb shank, and venison loin. A gourmet venison burger topped with beetroot, cumin marmalade, wild rocket and tomato, and served with garlic focaccia and sweet potato sticks, is also on offer.

Hussar Grill (Stellenbosch)

This iconic steakhouse offers class-A grain-fed beef and prime wild game cuts in this beautiful setting. A great selection of starters, lighter meals, poultry and seafood is also on offer. Dine alfresco on warm summer nights.

Kalfi’s Restaurant (Franschhoek)

In addition to their famous bobotie, this cosy family-style restaurant offers a variety of grill items, including the popular 600g sticky spare ribs, T-bone steak and 200g rump steak. Steaks arrive with a choice of two sides, which range from chips and crispy onion rings to salads and vegetables of the day.

Overberg

B’s Steakhouse (Onrus)

This small-town steakhouse delights the locals with generous portions of quality grain-fed beef steaks, pork ribs, lamb chops and seafood. Try the substantial T-bone steak or the 250g rump.

Please note that while we take care to ensure the accuracy of our information, some items and offers may change without our knowledge.

Do you have a favourite steakhouse not listed here? Tell us all about it in the comments.

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