Don’t expect anything earthshattering here – this is an honest, old-fashioned South African steakhouse offering meat, meat and more meat. If you’re going to specialise to such an extent, then you’d better make it good and, happily, this is what the Hussar does. Our visit coincided with load shedding, which wiped most of the starter options from the menu, but simple classics like the prawn cocktail, snails and chicken livers would doubtless hit the mark with most customers. The main courses are all about the meat and the waiter was happy to display a tray of cuts and recommend the chef’s choice of the day. The fillet came slightly on the rare side of medium-rare but was tasty and soft inside, with a nice caramelised crust. The accompanying sauce portion was small but tasty. Conversely, the sauce served with the ribs was plentiful, slightly sweet, but giving lots of flavour to excellent fall-off-the-bone, fat-free ribs. You can get the usual sides of chips, creamed spinach and roast butternut, but if you’re banting you’ll be pleased to know the Hussar knocks up a mean side salad to go with its dishes as well. If you want a good steak, served traditionally in a safe atmosphere, you would struggle to go wrong at The Hussar. They say familiarity breeds contempt, well in this case, I’d change it to ‘familiarity breeds content’. Not off-the-scale amazeballs, just happy customers, getting exactly what they wanted and expected. And you can’t say much fairer than that.
The Hussar chain loudly trumpets its ‘No Corkage’ policy and I would advise you to make use of it. The wine list is okay, a tad on the expensive side and very, very traditional with only two options available by the glass (more specials by the glass were on the board). The glass of red ordered was more of a bucket than a glass and arrived at the table at the temperature of soup, requiring ice cubes to bring it down to something more acceptable. A few craft beers and a good choice of whiskies will keep those aficionados happy.
Service was very good considering the limitations of load shedding – the waiter knew what he could and couldn’t offer and handled the problems with grace and confidence. Again, it’s a traditional, more formal style of service and staff have been well-trained to offer the expensive options first, without being overtly pushy.
You in from the outside (being a modern shopping mall) into the equivalent of an over-stuffed and over-fussy gentlemen’s club from the Victorian days. There’s lots of photos, dark wood, and leatherette booths etc., but it clearly works and has a market, as the place regularly fills up long before 8pm, creating a happy and harmonious buzz.
Desserts are dominated by chocolate things, with the waiter assiduously plugging the Chocolate Vodka Martini when we were too full for anything else.