Venues

Don Armando

Don Armando
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Cost
R100 avg main meal
Ambience
Authentic culture, Comfy & casual, Family friendly
Food
Argentinian, Steak
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R60

Critic's review

Nikita Buxton

Food

The menu is predominantly for meat lovers, but the starter section consists of a few veg-friendly options. Kick off with the recommended empañadas: the generous portion of hand pies is made up of perfectly golden pastry filled with your choice of meat or veg. The vegetarian option is delightful and packed with corn that pops in your mouth, while the mince is tasty but a touch dry. The pies are served with a tomato salsa and are ideal for sharing. Other recommended starter dishes are the chorizo grande with Argentinian sausage, grilled provolone cheese with sun-dried tomatoes, and the prawn skewer with grilled fennel.

The meaty mains consist of everything from classic sirloin steak and rump to grilled short rib, T-bone and lamb chops. The rump (best ordered rare) is exceptional. The meat is incredibly tender and full of flavour, and comes served with a simple chimichurri. The prime rib steak had been aged to its peak stage and was a recommended dish for the night. All mains are served with a fresh and spicy chimichurri sauce and papas fritas (potato chips) or salad. There are also some additional sides from which to choose, should you wish for something more exciting. The cauliflower mash is light and fluffy, and the deep-fried baby marrow is a crisp and delicious accompaniment to the meat.

If you can find the space for dessert, ask your waiter what the day’s options are. The dulce de leche pancakes are a must, if available. Perfect for sharing, the sweet yet slightly salted crêpes are drizzled in a glossy caramel sauce and served with a smooth dollop of vanilla ice cream.

Drinks


The wine list is concise, but includes some top-quality local choices as well as some interesting Argentinian reds to pair with the steaks.

Service


Staff are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Drinks are topped up and plates are whisked away without fuss.

Ambience


This is no steakhouse. The décor boasts warm wood touches, leather seating and muted yet modern finishes. The downstairs bar is warm and inviting, making it a great spot for pre-dinner drinks. This trendy restaurant offers a surprisingly cosy breakaway from the quiet road.

And…


Be sure to ask for recommendations from the friendly staff. They’ll be able to tell you which cuts are at their peak and which sides to pair with them.

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

(July 2016)

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Jeanne Calitz

    Food
    As you would expect from an Argentinian restaurant – that country being known for its devotion to the pleasures of red meat – this eatery is a meat lovers’ dream. Referencing the Argentinian tradition of asado (barbeque), all the meats at Don Armando are grilled on charcoal.

    You can make an early, meaty start with the entrada (starter) section, which offers treats like grilled chorizo with chimichurri, Argentinian blood sausage served with salsa, or lamb skewers accompanied by grilled baby marrows and peppers. Mindful of the substantial mains to follow, we opt for some meat-free starters, indulging in a rich but delicious serving of grilled provolone cheese with sun-dried tomatoes, as well as what turns out to be a substantial portion of vegetarian empañadas. Moving on to the mains, almost the whole section is devoted to meat, with the exception of the fish of the day. Aside from a T-bone, rib steak, beef fillet, short rib and sirloin, you can also order grilled lamb and pork chops, as well as butterflied baby chicken. All the red meats are accompanied by chimichurri sauce and potato chips or salad. There are also some interesting sides on offer as extras, like cauliflower mash, sweet potato chips and a wonderful little white bean salad with rocket and pickled red onion. In short, the meat is spectacular. The sirloin is juicy, bursting with flavour and perfectly pink. The short rib is also incredibly tasty, smoky and moreish. Enjoyed with hand-cut potato chips and the fresh bite of the chimichurri, it truly becomes a memorable meal. Don Armando is a fantastic addition to the local steak scene.

    Drinks
    There’s a small but well-selected list with a reasonable mark-up, sourced from quality producers like Paul Cluver and Ataraxia. There are also a few Argentinian malbecs on offer.

    Service
    Very welcoming and attentive; staff are friendly, well informed and eager to assist.

    Ambience
    It’s an extremely stylish and somewhat masculine space, with lots of wood, blackened steel and plush but muted furnishings.

    And…
    You might want to order a pre-dinner drink at the nifty bar downstairs, or enjoy it outside at one of the low-seated tables on the balcony.

  • Jeanne Calitz

    Food
    As you would expect from an Argentinian restaurant – that country being known for its devotion to the pleasures of red meat – the new Don Armando eatery in Cape Town is a meat lovers’ dream.

    Referencing the Argentinian tradition of asado (barbeque), all the meats at Don Armando are grilled on charcoal. And it has to be said that the tempting, smoky aroma of the meat wafting down the street is an excellent form of advertising – it’s hard to resist its mouthwatering appeal.

    As for the menu, you can make an early, meaty start with the entrada (starter) section, which offers treats like grilled chorizo with chimichurri, Argentinian blood sausage served with salsa, or lamb skewers accompanied by grilled baby marrows and peppers. Mindful of the substantial mains to follow, we opt for some meat-free starters, indulging in a rich but delicious serving of grilled provolone cheese with sun-dried tomatoes, as well as what turns out to be a substantial portion of vegetarian empañadas.

    Moving on to the mains (or, as it is labelled on the menu, grillados), almost the whole section is devoted to meat, with the exception of the fish of the day. Aside from a T-bone, rib steak, beef fillet, short rib and sirloin, you can also order grilled lamb and pork chops, as well as butterflied baby chicken. All the red meats are available in two choices of serving sizes, and are accompanied by chimichurri sauce and potato chips or salad. There are also some interesting sides on offer as extras, like cauliflower mash, sweet potato chips and a wonderful little white bean salad with rocket and pickled red onion.

    I decide on the 200g portion of sirloin, and the 400g short-rib is requested for my hungry companion. In short, the meat is spectacular. In fact, the sirloin may be some of the best I’ve ordered in a restaurant: juicy, bursting with flavour and perfectly pink, despite the fact that this particular portion is thinly cut and would therefore have been easy to overcook. The short rib is also incredibly tasty, smoky and moreish. Enjoyed with hand-cut potato chips and the fresh bite of the chimichurri, it truly becomes a memorable meal. 

    With no stamina left for dessert, we nevertheless enquire about the selection. (It’s prudent to be properly informed on puddings at all times.) The offer includes sorbets, ice creams, chocolate fondant and – something to keep in firmly mind for future visits – pancakes with dulce de leche…

    Drinks
    There’s a small but well-selected list with a reasonable mark-up, sourced from quality producers like Paul Cluver and Ataraxia. There are also a few Argentinian malbecs on offer, as well as one local version: Vrede en Lust, available by the glass, which is a nice touch. There’s only one beer on tap, but it being the crafty Citizen Alliance, there are no complaints at this table. You might want to order a pre-dinner drink at the nifty bar downstairs, or enjoy it outside at one of the low-seated tables on the balcony.

    Service

    Very welcoming and attentive; staff are friendly, well informed and eager to assist. Glancing at the clientele, quite a few of whom seem to be on first-name basis with the staff, it looks like the eatery has already built up a happy pack of regulars.

    Ambience

    It’s an extremely stylish and somewhat masculine space, with lots of wood, blackened steel and plush but muted furnishings. Fortunately, the owner decided not to go for a kind of transplanted Argentinian décor theme, rather allowing the food to take centre stage.

    The verdict

    I would go back in a flash, and will be taking some meat-loving friends along for the ride. Don Armando is a fantastic addition to the local steak scene.

    (February 2015)

User reviews

  • Delicious! We all ordered the recommended Prime rib steak (400g - R185), which was excellent - their chimichurri is still one of my favourites; the meat was cooked perfectly and the side salad is fresh and tasty. Service was friendly and efficient. Corkage is charged at R50 and only one bottle is permitted per table. Definitely one of my favourite "steakhouses", more so because it doesn't feel like one (decor wise).
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  • Loved this place - great vibe, tasty steaks and efficient service. When booking, I would suggest requesting a table upstairs, as downstairs is a bit more bar-like, with seating on bar stools at high tables.
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  • Tiny restaurant with a great vibe, one of those 'best kept secret' places in Cape Town. Excellent steak - we loved the house special, 800g rump Picanha steak served and cut at the table to share. Delicious fries and other side dishes such as the white bean salad, and grilled baby marrows. Tip - on a beautiful evening, ask to be seated on the fairy-light terrace upstairs where they can seat a group of 8 or 10 (if you don't mind the smokers outside).
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  • Not bad could do with some seasoning on the vegetables and the zucchini fritta were not crispy enough The chef needs to taste before sending out Cauliflower mash also tasteless Meat good Small wine list not but could be better there are some great Argentinian wines on the market Nice space dreadful stairs to upstairs and quite dangerous Perhaps some good vegetables on a skewer could be added for some colour peppers red onions squash courgette,Aubergine on metal would look good
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  • Couldn't have agreed more with Jeanne's review; very tasty sirloin, perfectly cooked and the chimichurri was just delicious!! We thought it was quite a nice touch that as a steakhouse they were moving away from the 'old school' sides of creamed spinach and butternut and going for a more modern appeal. We tried a few extras for interest, including the (super creamy) cauliflower mash and grilled zucchini, which were all great. Will definitely be back too
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Facilities

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

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