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Che Argentine Grill

Che Argentine Grill
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Cost
R110 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual
Food
Argentinian, Steak
Payment
Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Zodwa Kumalo-Valentine

Food

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.

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.

Drinks

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

Service is quick and efficient. Waiters know the menu inside and out and are confident enough to recommend certain dishes.

Ambience

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.

And…

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.

(July 2017)

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

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Marie-Lais Emond

    Food
    Now that firefood is such an international trend, Che slots in there perfectly. The meats are specially sourced, grass-fed and cut the way Argentinians like, from the Midlands,
    Of course meat is the thing here but a vegetarian surprise is that Che has one of the more exciting selections of interesting ‘sides’ or salads in Joburg.

    That three meter long pedilla is used for cooking the coarse-salted Argentinean-favoured cuts by moving them around for levels of heat and flame, so the ensuing smokiness that goes so well with lemony-parsley chimichurri and which comes with everything is key to the experience.

    For starters most people order homemade chorizo, nachos or the thin-crust empanadas of which there are beefy, hammy and chickeny ones but also sweetcorn and goats cheese or spinach and cheese mixture ones But very well worth trying for starters is a dish called Provoleta with a home-smoked provelone type cheese with peppers, tomato and onion. The roasted marrow bone on garlic bread is fantastic and here’s the chance to have mollejas, fire-grilled sweetbreads with paprika, when they are available.

    For mains there are also the popular choices of short ribs (asado) or a half, deboned chicken (pollo deshado) but it’s great to try even more typical dishes like the colita, very tender rump tail - or any of the beef-on- the-bone. The pork belly (pecho) is presented in two long sections, gloriously crisped, smacking of herbs and lemon. The sides of papas fritas and batada asada of sweet potato roasted in honey are great but try the Rio de la Plata salad of red cabbage, cashew nuts, orange, sprouts with a honey dressing or a delicious remolacha of roast beetroot, cumin, rocket, boiled egg and greens. The hasselback potato dish is often missed on the menu and it’s a must, made here, the potatoes roasted here in white wine and butter with sage and crisped bacon.

    For desserts it is almost de rigeur to have the cream caramel with real dulce de leche. The latter also makes up another lip smacking fridge tart type thing (alfajor helado) of almond biscuits layered with the dulce de leche, glazed with chocolate and served with a mixed berry sauce. An outright delicious surprise is a white chocolate and yoghurt ganache that’s plated with strawberries in a melange of preserved hibiscus and malbec wine.

    Drinks
    Malbecs and merlots are there as would be expected, all South African, along with the other reds we desire. The whites are chardonnays, sauvignons, including Reynecke Biodynamic, chenins and rose. The bubbles include a South African, a prosecco and a French. The craft beers and spirits are chosen with some panache.

    Service
    It’s busy. People also forget that many of the meats need 40 mins to prepare on the fire. That’s why you order them with your starters and drinks.

    Ambience
    The atmosphere is charged by the raised fireplace or oven. The décor is delightful here - kind of Latino-rustic with stills or movies showing on the uneven back wall. First Tuesdays are tango nights and first Thursdays feature DJs and live music.

    And…
    Because everything is made on the premises, there are always liqueurs, preserves and that Che version of chimichurri to take home.

    (September 2016)

    Eat Out reviewers dine unannounced and pay their own way. Read our full editorial policy here.

  • Rupesh Kassen

    Food

    A true meat lover’s dream, Che is set in the trendy urban neighbourhood of the Maboneng precinct, serving traditional Argentine asado, or as we know it, braai. Expect a meaty start with their homemade chorizo, which is lightly spiced and made with 100% free-range pork belly. I could eat plates full of their empañadas, pastry pockets stuffed with beef, sweet corn and gouda, ham and mozzarella, or chicken and spring onion. All starters are accompanied by a homemade chimichurri sauce that will have you coming back for more. In fact, this herby sauce is served with all dishes, and after the first bite you’ll discover why – it’s just delicious. If you’re mindful of the meat to follow, try the provoleta starter of smoked provolone cheese with a tomato and red onion salsa, or crispy nachos with guacamole. Now for the serious bit: The meat is seasoned with only rock salt and grilled on a four-metre wood-fired grill that takes pride of place in the centre of the restaurant. The space is filled with the tempting, smoky aroma of grilled meat and your mouth will be watering by the time you order one of the steaks, the pork belly on the bone or the stuffed pork neck with blue cheese, paprika and prunes. My choice, the pork belly, is outstanding, with crispy crackling on the outside and butter-soft meat cooked on the bone to keep the tenderness and moisture. The short rib is also fantastic and full of flavour. (Prepare to get your fingers sticky for this one, as you’ll be grabbing the bone to get to all the meat.) The sides are additional to your meal and served in generous portions ideal to share. Choose from items such as fries, pumpkin purée, roasted vegetables and Caesar salad. After all that meat you’ll probably need something to sweeten the deal. Dessert options include traditional flan served with cream, and banana pudding with ice cream and toffee sauce. But the true showstopper is pancakes stuffed with dulce de leche. One is not enough to share and a second is ordered to prevent war at our table. Truly decadent.

    Drinks

    The wines are reasonably priced and there is a selection of easy-drinking South African wines and Argentinian malbec and shiraz. Also on offer are interesting cocktails such as the Latin caipirinha with ginger, chillies and lime, and clarito with gin, vermouth, lemon and rosemary.

    Service

    The food takes time to prepare, as it is grilled to order, so sit back and enjoy your empañadas and cocktails. The waiter will be around to check that all is in order and when the owners get a chance, they too will pop out from behind the grill to welcome you.

    Ambience

    The restaurant occupies a spacious converted warehouse space decorated with Argentinian artefacts, a large red velvet curtain, industrial light fixtures and tables simply covered in brown paper. Best described as loft chic.

    And…
    Make sure you book early to get into this already popular spot. Don’t forget to take home a bottle of their delicious chimichurri, which is ideal for your next braai, or shall we say, asado!

  • Rupesh Kassen

    A true taste of authentic Argentina has finally come to Johannesburg. Oscar Farraldo and Bernado Corti, who began their food adventure in Joburg’s food markets, have created Che Argentine Grill. A true meat lover’s dream, it’s set in the trendy urban neighbourhood of the Maboneng precinct, serving traditional Argentine asado, or as we know it, braai.

    Food
    Expect a meaty start with their homemade chorizo, which is lightly spiced and made with 100% free-range pork belly. I could eat plates full of their empañadas, pastry pockets stuffed with beef, sweet corn and gouda, ham and mozzarella, or chicken and spring onion. All starters are accompanied by a homemade chimichurri sauce that will have you coming back for more. In fact, this herby sauce is served with all dishes, and after the first bite you’ll discover why – it’s just delicious. If you’re mindful of the meat to follow, try the provoleta starter of smoked provolone cheese with a tomato and red onion salsa, or crispy nachos with guacamole.
    Now for the serious bit. The meat is seasoned with only rock salt and grilled on a four-metre wood-fired grill that takes pride of place in the centre of the restaurant. The space is filled with the tempting, smoky aroma of grilled meat and your mouth will be watering by the time you order one of the steaks, the pork belly on the bone or the stuffed pork neck with blue cheese, paprika and prunes. My choice, the pork belly, is outstanding, with crispy crackling on the outside and butter-soft meat cooked on the bone to keep the tenderness and moisture. The short rib is also fantastic and full of flavour. (Prepare to get your fingers sticky for this one as you’ll be grabbing the bone to get to all the meat.) The sides are additional to your meal and served in generous portions ideal to share. Choose from items such as fries, pumpkin purée, roasted vegetables and Caesar salad.
    After all that meat you’ll probably need something to sweeten the deal. Dessert options includes traditional flan served with cream, and banana pudding with ice cream and toffee sauce. But the true showstopper is pancakes stuffed with dulce de leche. One is not enough to share and a second is ordered to prevent war at our table. Truly decadent.

    Drinks
    The wines are reasonably priced and there is a selection of easy-drinking South African wines and Argentinian malbec and shiraz. Also on offer are interesting cocktails such as the Latin caipirinha with ginger, chillies and lime, and clarito with gin, vermouth, lemon and rosemary.

    Service
    The food takes time to prepare as it is grilled to order, so sit back and enjoy your empañadas and cocktails. The waiter will be around to check that all is in order and when the owners get a chance they too will pop out from behind the grill to welcome you.

    Ambience
    The restaurant occupies a large converted warehouse space decorated with Argentinian artefacts, a large red velvet curtain, industrial light fixtures and tables simply covered in brown paper. Best described as loft chic.

    And…
    Make sure you book early to get into this already popular spot. Don’t forget to take home a bottle of their delicious chimichurri, which is ideal for your next braai, or shall we say, asado!

    (June 2015)

User reviews

  • Okay, so we waited a bit for a waiter to adopt our table, but from that moment onwards our experience at Che just improved. A relaxed, yet busy atmosphere, with the usual Argentinian tunes in the background. Open fires create expectation. Try the empanadas, and share a few sides with your choice of meat. I was very impressed with their food. Service can definitely be improved, but it didn't spoil our evening.
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  • Best steak in South Africa... A really good experience!!!
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  • worst experience in a restaurant for a long time. food was average but expensive, service was shocking. never again...well not for a long time until they sort themselves out.
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  • Love this place!
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  • Had an excellent lunch here today! Great beer, pisco sours, caipirinhas, the empanadas and chorizo were fantastic, and the service was great! Top notch place :)
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  • We celebrated my girlfriend's birthday at CHE on the 26th of March 2016 and I could not have been more dissapointed by the overall treatment and service received by the management of the establishment. Leading up to the event, they seemed like everything was a chore, we were told that a party of 50 or more would be charged R350 a head, after numerous emails back and forth regarding the final number being under 40, this amount was finally dropped to R230. What did we get for that? A small buffet style serving of beef, chicken, pork and chips. Although this sounds great, there was hardly enough for the table and numerous requests were made for more food. Above that, it was arranged that we would order 12 bottles of wine but were charged for 24! Double the amount! Every request we put forward was met with hesitation and a 'shoulder shrug' attitude. There were too many issues to list here but we will not be recommending CHE to anyone and neither will the people that attended the function.
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  • I arranged to celebrate a very special occasion at CHE, I was treated poorly from the get go. Despite their hardworking staff who provide the food and service, the Management and PR are unprofessional and show no responsibility or care towards their guests or in my case, myself as the host. I was overcharged for wine (Ordered 12 bottles charged for 24), bread for the table (R150. R30 per loaf) and additional surcharges of R1000.00 with the Management claiming no responsibility and the added insult of the Management claiming my guests, friends and family left me with the bill (Many of my Guests paid with an additional service amount included) I will certainly not return and do not recommend CHE as an eatery or space for celebration or special occasion. Driven by money and not the consumers comfort, experience or best interests. I highly recommend some where that will treat you well and will offer great service and quality for your money. This is not it - After emailing the establishment and posting my review, I was offered this utterly insulting letter title 'Final Apology'. Again, I would like to highlight the arrogance and rudeness at which I have been approached by this establishment Nicola Cooper.
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  • The ambience was much less vibrant than I had anticipated. We went on the Wed before Heritage Day so perhaps most of Jozi had taken a long weekend. Anyway, the food I thought was fairly reasonably priced. Service was great - we had two steaks that were ordered medium-rare, but arrived medium-well, but they were redone and the gracious owner came to check that our party got exactly what they wanted to second time around. I ordered the pork belly, the flavours created a party in my mouth! But it was a little on the dry side, enjoyable nonetheless. NOW, the show stoppers was the Nachos starter!!!!! Try it, trust me. Best main - the FILLET, absolutely perfect. Perfectly tender, medium-rare, flavours not to strong but bold and interesting!!! Try it, trust me. the Rib Eye was the runner up on the mains. Overall, good evening.
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  • Absolutely delicious food. I had the ribeye and had to fight my partner to not eat off my plate. It would be handy to know that the sides are enough for two people though and was a bit disappointed when I tried to order a cocktail but the waiter had no idea what I was referring to. Will definitely be back to try some other dishes on the menu and hopefully try the Latin caipirinhas too.
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  • Nice vibe and great idea, but execution not so great. Steak was tough and overdone. Chimi-churri was average. Priced for northern suburbs, not CBD.
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  • Excellent place! We arrived at lunchtime on a Tuesday ( unbeknownst to us not during operating hours). We were however warmly welcomed despite this and recieved absolute VIP service! We each had pork belly on the bone, two Argentian desserts that we shared topped off with a very affordable bottle of wine. The music was amazing, the service was absolutely fantastic and the food was absolutely delectable. We even relaxed on the couch sipping on wine after our meal. It felt so homely. I will be making a reservation (during operating hours this time :)) for my family and in laws. Thanks for such an amazing experience!
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Menu

Set menu - CHE MENU - Updated August 2017

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Beer served
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways
  • WiFi

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