Primal Eatery

Primal Eatery Write a Review
R185 avg main meal
Contemporary cool
Contemporary fare, Greek, Mediterranean, Steak
Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Jenna Abraham

This place is just too good to keep quiet about. Primal Eatery is co-owned by husband-and-wife team Brynn Felix and Kristina Klonaris, who are trying to keep the opening of the restaurant quiet for now “while they iron out their kinks”, but it already runs smoothly, with attentive service, a swift kitchen, delicious food and great ambience.

Primal Eatery is a restaurant for purists who love the taste of meat – not the basting or sauces, but the naked goodness of the cut.

Before we get to the main event, however, we’re served a complimentary board of babaganoush, grilled red-pepper dip and butter made from pork fat, as well as triangles of grilled pita and sourdough.

The dramatic entrance of the flaming saganaki starter sets the tone for the night. A Greek cheese called kefalotiri (similar in texture to halloumi, but softer) arrives in flames in a small pan, accompanied by grilled pita. Lemon juice is squeezed over to dampen the flames.

We have to order the grilled watermelon to satisfy our curiosity about what happens when you do such a thing. Nothing sinister: It’s an interesting take on the popular watermelon salad that has become a classic at Sunday lunch. It features pickled watermelon rind, cubed feta, stoned Kalamata olives, sprinkles of burnt onion and a smattering of micro leaves. The fruit is grilled super-fast just to tss-tss on each side. It’s delicious.

For mains we both go for the butcher’s cuts of the day, a medium-rare 250g fillet and 300g sirloin off the bone. The meat is accompanied by textures of onion (onion purée, flame-grilled pickled baby onions and burnt onion) and truffle mustard.

For sides, we opt for chips with oregano, flame-roasted sweet potato and no sauces, as we suspect this is one of those rare moments when the meat won’t need any disguising. We’re not wrong.

The beautifully sharp steak knives finely and easily slice through our juicy meat.
In the past, my partner has struggled to get a piece of meat cooked the way he wanted it. After I tentatively ask him how his meat is, he looks up from his plate, surprised, and answers: “It’s rare.” His struggle has ended.

For dessert it’s a difficult choice: How do you say no to deep-fried oreos? (The neighbouring diners don’t.) How do you say no to rose-geranium cheesecake? (We certainly don’t.) The subtle flavour of rose geranium blossoms into heaven in the mouth. Utter bliss. It comes with no crust, but is so light and fluffy you barely realise it’s a cheesecake. Burnt strawberries, fresh blueberries and raspberries, and a strawberry sorbet accompany the star of the show.

(In honour of Valentine’s Day, the bill arrives with complimentary flaming shots and My Broken Heart, a chocolate fondant filled with strawberry purée and cut into two, and sprinkled with tiny pieces of strawberries.).

There’s an extensive wine list with Champagne and MCC on offer, options of the usual red and white varietals, and dessert wines. Cocktails include the Peaty Smoked Sour, made with Singleton of Dufftown Tailfire Whisky, shaken with a grapefruit-and-rosemary marmalade, lemon and a dash of Lagavulin scotch, and decorated with a slice of dried grapefruit and a sprig of rosemary. Despite the mention of sour in the name, it’s quite sweet. You could also opt for the Foraged Bramble with Inverroche Amber Gin, Kalymnian Dream with Ketel One Vodka churned with Greek yogurt, and many more, as well as the usual classic cocktails.

Despite the restaurant having been open for only three weeks, the service is faultless. We are welcomed by a smiley front-of-house manager; our waitress has an extensive knowledge of the menu; and our food arrives in a timely manner. Our water glasses are never empty, and we are always under the watchful eyes of the attentive staff and owners. The other guests seem to have the same experience.

You can choose to be seated inside or outside the buzzing restaurant. On a warm summer night the terrace is the place to be. The inside décor is a medley of oranges and reds with wooden tables and a subdued grey textured wall. Many of the tables within are two seaters, which creates a cosy, intimate setting. If you visit when the DJ is on duty, the music might be just a little too loud to have a comfortable conversation.

A good indication of a restaurant’s standard is the quality of the restrooms. At Primal Eatery there’s two-ply toilet paper and hand soaps and moisturisers by Africanology, an eco-friendly brand that also smells delicious. Needless to say, we are very well taken care of.

(February 2017)

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

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User reviews

  • Incredible dining experience! I recently had the pleasure of dining at Primal Eatery. Nothing about this restaurant disappointed! It is evident that Brinn and Kristina have made it their mission to ensure that every detail meets their high standards, which has left them with a very sophisticated and classy establishment. The service was flawless, the ambience was fantastic and every dish served was absolutely delicious and beautifully presented - including the cocktails. Thank you Brinn for welcoming us so warmly, we will undoubtedly be back!
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  • Primal Eatery has been operating for less than a month yet everything runs like clockwork.The staff are all friendly and attentive and the place has an awesome vibe.The creative menu makes you want to try everything and believe me, your tastebuds won't be disappointed!The food was outstanding and the desserts were absolutely sublime.5 Stars all round!
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  • We had dinner at the Primal Eatery about 3 weeks after they opened. Food was really strong and well prepared. We had the fillet which was prepared to perfection as well as the Pork Belly with Peaches and Fennel (we enjoyed especially the sides). Dessert have been delicious. The atmosphere is nice but maybe they are trying a bit too hard to be "hip" - no need. The service was attentive, friendly and professional (big thank you to Sarah).
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  • We dined at Primal Eatery for Valentine's Day evening and were pleasantly surprised by the menu. A lot of the dishes listed we needed guidance and explanations on which is in line with concept of the menu having items not seen anywhere else. For starters we had the octopus and the ox-heart tartare which were flavoursome and well put together on the plate. With mains we decided to go for the restaurant signature offerings which is displayed confidently in the middle of the menu as 'Butcher's Cut Of The Day'. We selected different cuts, the Flat Iron and the Fillet, we often swapped plates to make sure neither of us missed an opportunity to try a new flavour combination. Each cut of the day arrived with textured onions and truffle mustard which was delicious. This steak experience easily fits into my top 3 for Cape Town restaurants visited. The winelist offering looks perfectly suited for the dishes on the menu whilst the cocktail list was well put together by a mixologist with passion I could imagine.
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  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food

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