The Grill Jichana
At Grill Jichana the considered sourcing of local meat means that Karan beef, free-range Karoo lamb and Dargle Valley chicken all feature on a small focused menu.
Expect a variety of starters that include both meat and veggie salads, as well as beef carpaccio, half-shell garlic and saffron Saldanha Bay mussels, or sautéed chicken livers. The escargot in blue-cheese sauce, with garlic cream and café de Paris butter, is a bit oily instead of creamy, so there is no liberal mopping up of sauce and the snails on one occasion were a little skinny instead of plump.
Choose from rump, fillet or T-bone topped with the same 20-ingredient café de Paris butter, which is sliced off a cold block and set atop the meat to slowly melt over it. Fillet requested medium rare was served almost blue, but this was swiftly rectified and re-plated with new vegetables and crispy chips.
Other sauces include roasted-garlic cream, truffle-scented mushroom, spicy chakalaka or béarnaise. Pepper-crusted ostrich fillet, slow-braised lamb shank, or a halloumi-and-aubergine veggie stack feature as signature dishes, along with cinnamon-scented citrus-basted duck, which is presented as a confit leg and grilled breast portion.
Seafood includes Norwegian salmon and tiger prawns with SASSI-listed line fish rubbed in east-coast spices.
Round off your meal with homemade sorbet, a Midlands cheese board, share the recommended five-chocolate Valrhona ball with fresh fruit relish, or the baked lemon tart with cardamon and rose water panacotta.
A comprehensive wine list is available as well as a selection of exclusive wines purchased annually from some of South Africa’s specialist wine auctions.
Staff are friendly, polite and extremely obliging. It’s a nice touch to be greeted with a sherry on arrival.
The black brick walls, padded leather booths and low-lit chandeliers give off a cigar-bar vibe, but rest assured, smokers are relegated street side.
‘Jichana’ is the Swahili slang word for ‘eating well’.
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