Butcher Boys walks the journey of its founding – well-aged and obviously grain-fed for sublime steaks offered in every conceivable cut. All the beef is either wet or dry-aged, between 25 and 35 days depending on the cut, basted and expertly grilled on an open flame to customers’ demands and the outcome is meat that can virtually be cut with a butter knife.
This is unashamedly meat lovers’ paradise, with the emphasis on succulent steaks, be they rump, sirloin, rib eye, fillet, espetada, T-bone or prime rib, ranging between 200g and 800g. There are also lamb or pork chops and pork ribs, while the white meats embrace staple chicken and seafood dishes and combos.
Vegetarian options are limited to a handful of starters, three salads and the vegetable side dishes.
The higher-priced Lazzie’s Legendary menu selection boasts culinary experiences like Côte D’Boef, a 600g dry-aged French-trimmed prime beef rib served with marrow bones, or the signature herb-stuffed Chateaubriand for two – the finest fillet cut, infused with garlic and fresh herbs before being pan-seared and glazed with a sherry demi-glace and is then served on a hot skillet with roast vegetables and béarnaise sauce. Another classic favourite is slow-roasted lamb shank with garlic and onions, basted with fresh rosemary and served with Mediterranean vegetables.
The opportunity to taste venison is also not overlooked, with waitrons on hand to advise on availability.
The extensive wine list, complete with full descriptions and tasting notes (including champagne as well as Méthode Cap Classique (MCC), has an impressive array of wines by the glass. Wines are cellared in temperature-controlled environment, itself a restaurant feature, and the manager’s far-reaching wine knowledge provides ideal food and wine matching. The Socialës Malbec (currently the 2012 vintage) is specially produced and bottled for two Durban restaurants, including Butcher Boys. An easy-drinking red wine with characteristic spicy tones, it is a perfect foil for meaty steaks. There are also brandy and whisky lists and a selection of craft beers.
Professionalism is king, with knowledgeable staff and waitrons.
The ambience is warm and inviting despite the size of the room and the encompassing dark wood, chocolate brown seating, glass and brickwork. The outside canvassed area adds charm to Florida Road’s street scene experience.
On Wednesdays for R210 patrons can choose from three starters; move on to a 300g fillet, rump or sirloin with a sauce of their choice and top off the evening with a 500ml Peroni draught. Thursdays are for couples,with the Date Night special offering a bottle of wine to share and a three-course meal each for R480.
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With meat and grills being their specialty, there is a large variety of steak cuts on offer, both wet and dry-aged. Beef, lamb and game are available. A few retro items also feature on the menu, such as the Avo Ritz starter and their signature 500g herb-stuffed chateaubriand. We started off with the pan-braised chorizo chicken liver starter, R50, which packed a scrumptious punch, although a little. The beef carpaccio, dressed with a basil pesto and sprinkled with parmesan, R60, was thinly sliced and flavoursome, enhanced by its accompaniments instead of relying on them. Most notable was the ribs bruschetta starter at R45 – deboned BBQ-glazed spare ribs, with chorizo, peppers and the basil pesto, delivering a nice contrast of juicy and almost sweet tastes to the toasted bruschetta it was resting on. For mains, I gave the full rack of ribs a go. Sticky and delicious though they were, they were unfortunately also a little chewy. We also ordered the ‘Famous Burger’, a 200g home-made beef patty, with the Butcher Boys burger relish. The kudu steak special could have been a little more tender.
The wine list is varied and has conventional local blends, stored in a refrigerated cellar on site. Wine by the glass starts at R21 and bottles go up to about R180, with moderate mark-ups. There is a well-stocked bar with beer available on tap.
Service is delightful, both cheerful and knowledgeable. I requested to be moved to another table as was a bit cold and the staff were very accommodating. Our food arrived timeously and the managers and owner were on site and hands-on, checking on us and ensuring all needs were met.
It’s a spacious venue, with a newly revamped, modern and sophisticated décor style with a darkened pallet that echoes the type of food served. The patronage is made up of locals, executives and tourists, all hankering for a well-prepared steak. The enclosed verandah is (surprisingly) quieter than the main interior.
There is a butcher and a deli meat counter, allowing you to select the meat and cut to your preference.
Carnivores only need apply. For 15 years this has been a consistent, satisfying stopover for meat lovers. Starters include boerewors bites with a rich onion gravy and French bread for dunking, unctuous roasted marrowbones and some retro options like Roquefort snails and avocado Ritz. Prime meat cuts include the expected options – basted and cooked to perfection – but can also be cut to your specifications.
Wine – all of which is cellared – is taken as seriously as the meat. South African wines are listed according to varietal with area of origin and vintage, and the list is extensive despite some estate repetition. Also represented are Champagnes, magnums and fortified and dessert wines. These are supplemented with craft beers, a cocktail menu, Cape whiskies and brandies and single malts.
The young waitresses in their short dresses should not be underestimated. They are astute, efficient and confident in their menu knowledge. The managers are also omnipresent.
From the décor to the clientele, there is a distinct masculine feel. It translates into undressed wooden tables topped with a cluster of wine glasses and cutlery wrapped in napkins. The closed-in veranda has large windows that open up onto Florida Road and the interior offers glimpses into the kitchen and meat fridges filled with various cuts in the aging process.
The discounted weekday lunch menu offers good value for money.
This top Durban steakhouse serves a cut better than many. And if prime rib is not your thing, there is fresh fish and some vegetarian dishes. There are combos for those who favour surf ’n’ turf.
Solid; some better reds match the hearty fare.
Fast, efficient and friendly.
There is a convivial atmosphere on the large veranda from which you can see everything happening in the street below.
A starter of boerie bites gives it a South African flavour. They also have a generator that powers the whole restaurant. (FC, September 2010)
This iconic steak house has definitely lost its mojo....
The food was very average with some dishes such as the grilled calamari very poor, the calamari was tasteless and drenched in butter. The steaks (sirloin and rib-eye) were ok and well cooked but the accompanying sides and sauces were awful. The mushroom and red wine sauce turned out to be a thin cream based sauce and the roquefort and garlic sauce was almost unpalatable, enough garlic to keep all of the vampires out of Durban for a year. The side veggies would probably have been good the day before....
The service was dizzy, the waitress had to go and ask how long the various steaks had been matured for and the wine list was something out of the 80’s, Nederburg Baronne, Durbanville etc. With a bill of R1,600 for 4 people...quite expensive.
Pricey but well worth it. Not a beer drinker's haven with only Peroni on tap. Yuck!