For 16 years, owner Steve Maresch – a beef obsessive – has been perfecting the art of the elevated steakhouse experience. Beef – both grain-fed and grass-fed – is sourced from local farmers and as a far afield as Brazil. It is aged (wet or dry) on the premises and cooked to your heart’s desire.
There are starters for varied palates. Try the smoked salmon with avocado and capers or, if you want to make it a total meat fest, there’s the venison skewer, which is rubbed, grilled and served on a bed of rocket, drizzled with cranberry port jus. The juicy 500g sirloin on the bone – with added bone marrow – is perfectly medium rare, served with mustard sauce. The sausage feast – with boerewors, Persian lamb sausages and venison wors – is served with tomato pepper relish and pap (or mash). All the sausages are juicy and flavourful, with the robust venison a stand out. Just as well, otherwise I would’ve been upset about deciding against the pork ribs, brushed with herb butter or basted with honey soya. Surprisingly, there’s a vegan option – a cous cous and vegetable medley served with seasonal vegetables and a tomato pepper relish.
There’s an extensive dessert selection available, from ice cream (three scoops of vanilla topped with a Bar One sauce) and home-made chocolate brownies to bread-and-butter pudding and malva pudding.
As one would expect from an establishment with a focus on quality beef, The Local Grill has a pro-active wine selection process. Only the tried and tested survive the quarterly swing of the sommelier’s sword, chopping away wines deemed unworthy by the clientele. If the only companion you can imagine for your bloody steak is a robust red, then you’re looking at between R250 and R470. For just under a grand, you could opt for one of the nine Bordeaux blends. The bubbly straddles decent local choices plus Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot.
The mood is versatile and, because of the size of the space and delineated areas, is suitable for a date but equally appropriate for a birthday celebration or a business lunch. You can tour the kitchen to learn more about the beef you’ll be eating.
The service is formal yet friendly. All the waiters know the menu well and have excellent training.
If you fancy a group experience, book the Beef Experience or Beef Appreciation session, which are done in a private dining room. Look forward to comparative beef tasting and demonstrations in the kitchen on the Weber grill and the Himalayan salt block. Book well in advance.
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They serve a glorious range of grain- and grass-fed steaks that are both wet- and dry-aged on-site and, for those a little muddled, their proficient waiters are well-versed in the art of educating customers on all things bovine.
For starters, there’s a balanced selection of both fish and meat dishes. Recommendations include fresh oysters, lemon-butter grilled calamari, crispy prawn and feta spring rolls.
The portions here are generous. In fact, if you have a small appetite, the beef cheek starter would suffice as a main. The beef cheeks are deliciously tender and the ragu immensely rich and flavourful, all served on a bed of fluffy mashed potato.
The kudu platter is a great option for those wanting a taste of South African game. It consists of kudu carpaccio and salami with a beetroot compote, dill pickle and rocket. The marrow bones are perfection. Some restaurants get them so wrong, but here they’re always flavourful, buttery and moreish.
For mains you’ll find it difficult to veer away from their steak selection. They have specials boards that detail the number of days each cut has been aged so you can find your perfect match. T-bone, fillet, ribeye, fillet on the bone, sirloin, sirloin on the bone – they have it all. The 500g wet-aged grain-fed rump is perfect for sharing and is absolutely superb. Do get it with a portion of their irresistibly crispy hand-cut fries and the delectable polenta and cumin-crusted onion rings.
They also offer tasting platters if you’re in the mood to compare. If you’re determined to try something different then the slow-braised oxtail in red wine and the pork ribs with a lemon-herb butter or a honey-soya basting come highly recommended.
For dessert it’s a toss-up between the warm chocolate brownie with vanilla ice-cream, the malva pudding with crème Anglaise and the assortment of homemade ice-creams.
The wine list is exciting and diverse, with wonderful options to suit every price tag, but very little variety in the way of options by the glass – absolutely nothing in terms of higher-end whites or reds by the glass. The lovely selection of craft beers includes CBC, Loxton, Storm Rider, Agar’s Brewery and Woodstock Brewery. There's also a selection of classic cocktails.
You receive a warm welcome and a great introduction after being seated. Do be smart about where you’re seated. Diners near the outside door may be accosted by smoke coming from a Weber cooking demonstration. After being moved, our table was sadly forgotten, though. An extraordinarily long wait for the meal causes an apology from management when the bill comes, but more attention to detail is definitely needed here.
Wonderfully warm and cosy, unpretentious and to the point. But, as mentioned, the Weber cooking demonstration should be rethought as the interior filling with smoke is not acceptable at such a renowned establishment.
Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.