Venues

The Hussar Grill (Rondebosch)

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Cost
R180
Ambience
Contemporary cool
Food
Steak
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
No Charge

Critic's review

Priscilla Urquhart

Food
Style and sophistication sum up the success of the Hussar Grill franchise, with the Rondebosch outlet having the distinct honour of being one of the oldest grill rooms in the country, established in 1964. It features an extensive menu and a healthy appetite is a pre-requisite to experience all that this classic has to offer. For starters, the garlic snails are a must-have, drenched in roasted garlic butter and finished off under the grill with a liberal sprinkling of parmesan. Then there is the Hollander Bitterballen, a Dutch derivative, which comprises double-cream béchamel studded with beef jus and beef bits deep fried. It's a great way to start the evening.

The Hussar Grill usually has two dinner sittings, which is worth keeping in mind if you arrive without a reservation. Meat dishes include fillet, rump and sirloin, grilled to your liking, with the usual accompaniment of hand-cooked fries, mash, new baby potatoes or a side salad. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the grilled hog ribs (if you like a bit of fat) or ask for the spareribs if you prefer it leaner.

There are also lighter grill options, like the Hussar burger or the steak roll. If you’re not into a carnivorous meal, the seafood menu has some good variety like the mussel pot, prawns and grilled kingklip. You could also go for the chocolate chilli chicken.

End the evening with a choice of decadent desserts such as chocolate fondant, hand-selected chocolate truffles and the Hussar ice cream dessert, which is a sinful combination of vanilla ice cream, nougat, peanut brittle, marshmallow, sprinkled nuts and drizzled with dark chocolate. Or simply go for the chocolate vodka martini!

Drinks
A refined and well thought through wine list makes it a diner’s pleasure to choose from. It caters for all palates, indulgences and wallets, with esteemed estate labels that are regularly updated with listings from the latest Platter’s Wine Guide. A limited selection of wine by the glass and a good selection of whiskies, ports and brandies are available too.

Service
Timely and attentive, although during busy times it can be a bit tardy. Waitrons are efficient and knowledgeable about the food and wine menus.

Ambience
The Rondebosch branch is filled with character and emulates the wood-panelled, cosy feel that the Hussar Grill franchise has become synonymous for, thoughtfully decorated with sepia photographs of the Cape.

And…
Look out for two-course and three-course lunch specials.

(September 2016)

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  • Richard Holmes

    Food
    Don’t come to the Hussar expecting innovative vegetarian food, minimalist décor, or a celebrity chef. Since the grills were first fired up here in 1964, making it the oldest of what has grown to become a citywide franchise, ‘the Hussar’ is about one thing: great steak, and lots of it. The Hussar’s reputation is known far and wide, and even on a rainy mid-week night you’ll struggle to get a table here unannounced. Reservations are highly recommended. On the menu you’ll find prime cuts, and classic interpretations such as the popular Chateubriand. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the oyster-stuffed Hussar Carpetbagger or Blue Cheese Sirloin. Also look out for chalkboard specials such as prime rib, alongside the usual assortment of game steaks. There are (shock!) salads and (gasp!) seafood on the menu too, but then you do need to ask yourself if you’re in the right restaurant. If you absolutely have to go off-message, do it in the starters where old-school classics run to garlic snails and deep-fried camembert. These are mere distractions though: come to the Hussar for succulent, well-cooked steak and you’ll rarely, if ever, be disappointed.

    Drinks
    An expansive wine list dominated by major brands, but with a few tucked away gems. Generally well priced, but as there’s no corkage charge many diners choose to bring their own. There’re a dozen single malts on offer, as well as a pair of craft beers on tap.

    Service
    Most of the waiters here are students, so the quality of service can vary from week to week. That said, it’s always friendly, usually efficient, and occasionally excellent.

    Ambience
    A charming spot filled with 60 years of magnums, wine boxes and knick-knacks. It’s cosy without being crowded, with a warm conviviality that keeps locals coming back again and again.

    And…
    The Chocolate Vodka Martini is all you’ll need for dessert.

  • Tudor Caradoc-Davies

    Food 
    The Hussar Grill (Rondebosch) stakes a serious claim for the mantle as Cape Town’s oldest and best steakhouse.

    Did you know there are seven Hussar Grills? It’s strange, as it’s not the kind of place you associate with being a chain or even a franchised restaurant and it doesn’t feel like one, but with Hussar Grills in Green Point, Camps Bay, Constantia, Willowbridge, Stellenbosch, Paarl and of course the original in Rondebosch, it’s a veritable empire built on meat.

    Named after the light calvalry, but serving up the heavy artillery, The Hussar Grill is where you go for well-cooked, bloody protein. The starters run the full gamut of pre-steak morsels from garlic snails to chicken livers, deep-fried camembert to biltong, springbok carpaccio, calamari, an avo and prawn cocktail (for those who loved the 80s), and even some boerie if you’re worried your meaty main won’t suffice. The bitterballen, a favourite Dutch bar snack of a meaty seasoned paste, rolled in breadcrumbs and deep fried served with a Dijon mustard, are a decent option to get the taste buds going without being too filling. The Italian tomato soup served with a swirl of cream has been a house specialty for 30 years. A thick, concentrated beast, it’s closer to a pasta sauce than a soup, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    The mains are all about meat. Sure, you can get some fish and the odd chicken dish (chocolate-chilli chicken, anyone…anyone?), but the Hussar Grill is really all about steak. Beef. With a bit of game and some pork.

    There are the classic combos: fillet béarnaise, Madagascan pepper fillet, filet moutarde, Hollandse biefstuk with brandy and pepper, and the slightly unusual surf-and-turf combo of the carpetbagger, a fillet mignon stuffed with smoked oysters and cheddar, finished with brandy and mustard.

    The chateaubriand is a 200g fillet set alight with brandy at the table and accompanied by a sauce béarnaise. The fillet is good and tender as hell – if  hell involves buttery pillows of meat. The brandy was a nice eyebrow-searing touch, but the béarnaise was a bit flat, lacking acidity and almost mute on the tarragon front. The sirloin on the bone is wonderful. Tastier than the fillet, it comes anointed in their signature basting and does not need a sauce of any sort to tart it up. On a final note, it’s worth noting that all the meat is grass-fed.

    Drinks 
    The wine list is commendably extensive, well thought-out and they go to great lengths to tell you where each wine is from, its awards and so on. In a nice and unusual touch, they don’t charge for corkage. One area that could use some attention and expansion is the by-the-glass selection, which is limited to two options. (That said, it also says you can ask your “service ambassador” which other wines are available by the glass.) On the beer front, SAB and the other usual candidates are well represented, but there are no craft beers, which is a pity. Beers like the Devil’s Peak King’s Blockhouse IPA or Triggerfish Hammerhead would go down a treat with some of the Hussar Grill’s fine meat dishes.

    Service 
    Professional when it was present. The place was heaving so it’s understandable that the staff were a bit stretched, but at times I wished I had one of those Kauai buzzers strapped to our waitress’s head.

    Ambience 
    Very good. Bustling on a mid-week evening, with a surprisingly young clientele, mixed in with the older crowd you’d expect. It’s a great option for people taking in a show at the nearby Baxter Theatre. If Don Corleone were in Cape Town for some nefarious meetings with Glenn Agliotti and the Guptas, he’d probably feel at home in The Hussar Grill. Old black and white photos of moustachioed butchers manhandling meat adorn the walls amid bookshelves and other memorabilia. You sink into a booth behind a crisp white tablecloth and you’ll feel at home in a patriarchal bossman kind of way. Then you have a steak, a bit of red wine and start to talk like Brando.

    And…  
    A 1kg steak special – it’s real and The Hussar Grill offers it. Good luck with that.

    (July 2014)

  • This original Hussar remains the benchmark against which all the others are measured. The medium-rare 300g rump with béarnaise sauce is the signature dish; also try the 300g fillet with onion rings and old-school creamed spinach and butternut. They have a decent wine list (but you are welcome to bring your own for free) and a great selection of craft beers. Also visit Hussar Grill at 108 Camps Bay Drive (021 438 0151).
  • Food
    If there were awards for staying power, this landmark steakhouse (founded in 1964) would win championship status in a town where novelty restaurants come and go. Consistency, top-quality aged beef, skilled grillers and a magical basting sauce are a winning formula – ensuring the loyal support of three generations of locals. Generous portions of house specialities – pork ribs, 28-day aged rump, fillet and sirloin – with crispy frites on the side (and ubiquitous creamed spinach and butternut at R10).

    Wine
    An affordable selection of wines with a focus on big reds to go with steak.

    Service
    Consistently excellent, from recommendations on the steak of the day to meats grilled to your exact preference.

    Ambience
    Come as you are. As comfy and nostalgic as an old library with books on the shelves – and old black-and-white photographs on the walls.

    And...
    Enjoy retro side orders like garlic roll, onion rings and crumbed mushrooms. (GH, September 2010)

User reviews

  • never had a steak cooked to well look like the chef made it with LOVE
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  • My girlfriend & I are on a 3 week break in Cape Town from Johannesburg & my parents, sister & brother-in-law have flown out to join us. All of us enjoy a steak & based on a few recommendations we decided to visit the Hussar Grill on the evening of 29th December. As expected, the steak was incredible, as was the wine & the service was fantastic. We all went home very happy........and then the vomiting and diarrhea started. 4 people on our table of 6 were affected, the dish in common appears to be the bearnaise sauce. Whilst a nasty dose of food poisoning is unpleasant, the worst part is that this is a rare occasion where the family can spend quality time together. We are booked into a hotel and & spa with a wine tour in Stellenbosch for new year at a cost of over 10,000 rand, which will now no doubt be wasted due to poor standards in Hussar Grill's kitchen. I called the restaurant the following day & explained the situation. I was told they would inveatigate and call back but heard nothing further. Thanks Hussar Grill for spoiling our New Year. To say I'm disappointed doesn't quite do the situation justice.
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  • Over an hour from our reservation we finally got our food. Thereafter we were treated asif we were foreign, or didn't exist. Food was great but our waiter didn't have a clue on how to handle a tricky situation and chose to play it didn't exist. Sad that a poorly trained waiter can mar an experience- food great but service very disappointing
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  • My favourite restaurant in Cape Town. Ambience is perfect, music and hum of conversation are perfect volume. The waiters are always knowledgable on the days best meat and the different cuts and have advised me well often. Service is top notch and although I can't afford to go here often on a student budget, I look for any excuse to eat here!
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  • Always love it here but getting really annoyed with not having a kids menu to choose from. Every time we go we need to get special permission from the manager to allow us a slightly smaller overpriced oversized chicken breast portion of which we take most home. Even got a snotty remark from the waiter about it not being the Spur!
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  • Oh dear, what a shame! After more than 30 years of visiting the Hussar, I had not one but two tough sirloins. Two because I sent back the first one. The nice waiter and manager on the night clearly agreed that the night's meat was not up to standard. This was not sirloin but some sinewy, unusually shaped offering. Do hope the proprietor isn't trying to cut corners - there is a lot of meat flooded with sauce on offer but this won't fool customers. Please keep up the standards, dear old Hussar!
    PS we noted many plates returning to the kitchens with unbeaten bits of meat - not a brilliant sign in a steakhouse.
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  • Supper at Hussar Grill turned out to be quite a memorable experience pre theatre. The steak roll was perfection and the wine selection though limited was not too shabby. The Merlot complemented my steak roll as if expertly paired. Veg on the side was quite a handsome portion (enough for 2) that our waiter had halved into two options (bless him). Rounded off with a cappuccino served in these interesting cups. The décor is pub inspired with an interesting display of Cape wine boxes in the nook where our table was situated adding to the snug and merry feel on a cold Cape winters day. I will definitely be making my way back again.
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  • I celebrated my birthday at the Hussar Grill last night. My husband had the prime rib which he said was the best steak hes ever had. My baked kingklip was as good. Thank you Terri for making my evening so special.
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  • As a long standing patron of this establishment I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the team at the Hussar Grill Rondebosch for consistently serving the best steaks in Cape Town. Keep it up guys.
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  • Our second poor experience at this well established venue--now going downhill? A great disappointment! The steak was tough, undercooked, way too much fat; and the replacement was even worse. There were other issues also. It will take some coaxing to get us back there.
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  • Im afraid to say this restaurant has failed on too many fronts to deserve a repeat visit. Firstly, there was something fishy (the wrong type) with the prawn starter (chef agreed and removed said starter). Then my steak was overdone, admittedly not by much, but enough to make a difference. Of course, the lukewarm chips did not help things. Then, to top things off, my dinner guest who had been ushered into a parking by the restaurants handsomely attired doorman, was confronted with a R500 fine for parking illegally. This after being assured by the doorman that the parking spot in question was used regularly by patrons with no risk of a ticket. Restaurant management was completely disinterested when informed of this. So, to a Rondebosch institution famous for its Hog Ribs (or is that Pig?) I say farewell.
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  • The very best steaks in Cape Town in a traditional steakhouse setting
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  • I can remember how excited I was after the first time we went. It all appealed to me so much. Delicious rare steaks washed down with good red wine from glasses that you can get your whole face in! I loved every thing from top to bottom, especially the atmosphere! More than 20 years of trading makes up the most comfortable restaurant that I have dinned in for a while. The food has always been superb. But to be honest we order the same thing just about every time we go. (Warthog ribs and a Rare Sirloin) The wine selection is more than sufficient and fairly well priced. The service in general is good. We did however on one occasion get a slightly disinterested and aloof waiter. It certainly did not ruin our night. Only his tip!All in all it is a great restaurant. A lot of attention has been paid to the right details. From the comfortable chairs, veldt covered tables, quality wine glasses and steak knives. And not over priced art work that nobody ever likes anyway. The owner seems to be on duty just about every night, creating a very warm and friendly atmosphere.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian

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