Chaplin’s Grill

Chaplin’s Grill Write a Review
R125 avg main meal
Coffee, Groups, Kids, Quick meals
Burgers, Coffee, Fine-dining food, International, South African, Steak, Vegetarian
Amex, Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Gwynne Conlyn

In 2012, Rainold Peterson moved the legendary Chaplin’s from Melville to Hurlingham. Renamed as Chaplin’s Grill, this rather tucked-away restaurant continues to impress with excellent meaty fare and a few ever-popular favourites brought along from the old location.

The food
Offering wet and dry-aged meat matured on the premises (for a minimum of 24 days) and cuts grilled to perfection according to your choice, Chaplin’s is a heavenly spot for carnivores. In addition to the fine steaks, they offer choice cuts of lamb and venison, and the rack of lamb provides loads of temptation. Even regulars will find the choices plentiful. Remember to ask for potato chips on the side: with a crisp bite and lightly golden interior, they’re not to be missed.

This is unfussy food with an elegant edge. Aside from the meaty dishes, the angel hair pasta with prawns and pistachio pesto is very good, and the heavenly aubergine mille-feuille with mozzarella and olive tapenade is highly recommended for vegetarians.

If you’re after more sophisticated options, look towards their sweetbreads (ris de veau), served with brown butter sauce. The linefish cakes with Asian Love Sauce – a fragrant creation of ginger, plum sauce and a flash of mint, amongst other things – is also a firm favourite.

The drinks
A Diners’ Club Platinum award-winner, this intelligently constructed wine list clearly shows dedication to the cause. It’s an approachable collection with prices ranging from wallet-friendly to rare. There’s also a good per glass list for those with different tastes.

An excellent range of varietals are represented, including the award-winning and well-priced Bouchard Finlayson 2013 Sauvignon Blanc; a good range of pinotage, some pinot noirs like the incomparable Uiterwyk 1997 from Stellenbosch, and then also some European varietals.

It is natural that beers should feature when meat is the hero of the menu. South African craft and microbrewery beers are well represented, with descriptions of what to expect. There are also some imported beers by master brewers from Belgium, Holland, Ireland and the like.

The service
Well trained, informed and professional. Waiters are friendly and always there when you need them, but luckily the conversation is not punctured with the likes of “is everything ok?”

The ambience
Rather than sporting a steakhouse feel, Chaplin’s is an elegant, modern grillhouse with a relaxed mood.

The verdict
This is an ideal place to take in the phenomenal views across the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. The front veranda cries out for long meals and sundowners during our wonderful summers.

(June 2014)
  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Food
    You’ll find succulent steaks, juicy ribs, moreish burgers as well as some good options for the non-carnivores. You choose your cut of meat, select if you want it rubbed or butter basted and decide whether you want a sauce to accompany it – although the meat is so good that any sauce is hardly necessary.

    The wine list includes a wide selection of boutique South African wines, with many also available by the glass.

    Very good and knowledgeable.

    The decor is contemporary and fairly minimalist when compared to those dark, masculine steakhouses of yesteryear.

    Once you’ve eaten here you’ll understand why South Africans are so fond of steak and red wine. (JW, September 2010)

User reviews

  • Excellent quality meat and well cooked. Side vegetables and straw chips are also a hit. Reasonably good winelist and knowledgable service.

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  • Fantastic food, unfussy, just excellent meat. There are several Local Grills, and we have tried two and preferred the Bryanston one, which is more spacious. Both the ones we visited had excellent food and a good wine list. This is definitely a place for carnivores, and a great place to take visitors, it showcases the best of South Africa. The quality and the information about the meat, as well as the simple presentation way exceeds that of other specialist meat restaurants we have visited in JHB.
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  • The Local Grill definitely has to be the best steak in town. The ambiance is great, the wine list is great value and the service is impeccable.
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  • No one does it better when it comes to the South African grilled classics. The polenta-battered onion rings are sinful. One of the best and broadest wine lists around. It s also the friendliest restaurant Ive been to, from the manager down to the barman. The kind of place where they remember you after just a couple of visits. Highly recommended!
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  • Accepts credit cards
  • Alfresco
  • Beer served
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Halaal friendly
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheelchair

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