Venues

Turn ‘n Tender (Illovo)

Turn ‘n Tender (Illovo)
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Cost
R120 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual
Food
South African, Steak
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R40

Critic's review

Rupesh Kassen

Food 
This steakhouse chain has been ingrained in JHB’s food culture since the late 70s. Tables are always full of regulars who return with good reason.

My advice is to give the starters a skip and go straight for the generous mains. Their signature dish of the lamb neck potjie is just sensational, served in a rich onion gravy with mash. And for the steak lovers, ‘Brian’s bowl over’ – the rib-eye on the bone – is a must, accompanied by onion rings and chips, of course. This is the kind of place where you can order boerewors as a side!

There are also chicken and seafood options for those not into red meat, or combos if you like a bit of both, like a tender mini steak served with calamari or squid heads.

Drinks 
The wine list is simple and has options for easy-drinking wines with varied pricing. Wine by the glass is limited to only one choice per red or white varietal. The beverage menu also offers a few cocktails great to start the evening off.

Service 
The staff are friendly and informed, making your experience seamless and pleasant. My only gripe would be that while still enjoying the evening, the restaurant was packed up around us and the doors nearby opened to help us on our way out…

Ambience 
The large, open and airy restaurant is made cosy with low ambient lighting. Tables dotted with individual candles create a warm mood amidst the bustle.

And… 
They make a mean chimmichuri sauce, which can be enjoyed as an accompaniment or with their Argentinian-style spiral-cut steak.

(July 2014)

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  • A good classic never dates. Order from the selection of succulent meat, including excellent prime rib, tender marinated ribs and succulent wors. Try the leg of lamb steak on the bone; and the snail, garlic and brandy sauce.
  • Food
    If you are owner-operated and have been going for more than 30 years, then you must be doing something right. Turn 'n Tender might have been revamped for the 21st century, but the food is just as good as it was back in the old days. Come hungry for succulent steaks, juicy ribs and moreish burgers, as well as some options for the non-carnivores. One of the house specialities is the Argentinean style steak (choose your cut), which is spiral cut and served with a refreshing and zingy chimichurri marinade. For something different, try the Karoo speciality of lamb tail braised in thick tomato sauce. It gives oxtail a run for its money.

    Wine
    A wide selection of South African wines with some good lower priced options for those watching the budget.

    Service
    Hands-on without being intrusive.

    Ambience
    This new Illovo site is modern yet welcoming.

    And...
    The combos are a good option and you can even order a side of the secret recipe boerewors. (JW, October 2011)

User reviews

  • What a fabulous restaurant. The food is always but always above amazing. We have not had a bad experience here. Sometimes the medium rare isn't exactly medium or rare, it differs from chef to chef I guess. But great staff and lovely vibe.
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  • We had a late lunch this past Saturday. The service was so amazing, unlike anything we experienced in a long time. Our waiter was full of knowledge on all the dishes on the menu and gave superb recommendations. The food was amazing to say the least. I had a steak and my husband had the boerewors platter. It was the most delicious , well cooked meal we have had in ages. The best part of the meal was the fact that all food served there is KOSHER. will definitely be back again :)
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  • This establishment is going downhill. Been there 4 times in 3 years ( from CT) and after the last visit, I won't be back! Cold soup, lousy lamb steaks, dry and overspiced, bad to non-existant service, waiter's thumbs in your food when carrying plate - let's stop there.

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  • How often do you have a business dinner at a restaurant where an hour and a half after sitting, they come and tell you to take your coffee and sit outside because they need the table? Never, right?! Well at Turn 'n Tender Illovo, that is how they treat their patrons. Needless to say, we will no longer support them or refer them to any other clients. They will get a 1 star rating, only because there isn't an option to delete any of the stars!

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  • A wonderful evening out...sarcasm much, well maybe just a little. The service and food are horrendous - we had to get up after 25 minutes of waiting to call someone over to take our order. One would think that the manager who came over to assist us (different one to who seated us) would get it right; you'd be wrong. Instead of kosher chicken fillets, we get a whole spatchcock chicken, which is quickly taken back and another manager (how many does one establishment need) comes over to say the fillets will be with us in no time... 15 minutes later they arrive and what do you know, they are 70% raw. The food is sent back once again to actually be cooked this time, we hope. While waiting, we get no apology from anyone of the 4 or so managers, or here is a drink on the house, nothing! When the food actually does come back, it is completely over cooked and can be bounced off the walls. No meal was finished, bill was paid and we left with a very bad taste in our mouths from a so called established eatery.

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  • Visited this restaurant on Friday night, to experience "Joburgs finest ribs"... Frankly, no, they're not the finest, their very chunky, too much sauce, burnt, and the meal as a whole is blazing hot for like 15-20 minutes before you can even start eating.

    Anyway, didn't even finish the meal (myself and 3 others), overall I was really disappointed. Myself and others have been deceived by those that rate these dishes.

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  • Myself and my friend were locked in to the Turn n Tender Illovo restaurant on Saturday Night. We were forced to call the police and eventually managed to get out. The reason, we paid for our bill of R90 (two glasses of wine plus a tip that now feels like rape) with a debit card and although the payment went off my bank account, the restaurant's credit card machine reported that the payment was unsuccessful. I showed them the bank sms payment confirmation and refused to make a double payment. i provided my contact details and ID number and offered to resolve the matter during banking hours the following Monday.

    The manager insisted that I must make a double payment, that Turn n Tender will refund me on Monday. When I refused to be bullied, he ordered security to lock the doors, effectively holding myself, my friend and the entire staff hostage for almost an hour. The three managers (stooges) on duty refused to give me their superior's contact details. Eventually, the 'little Stalin' phoned his boss and reluctantly unlocked the doors.

    Customer service is dead at Turn n Tender. Management showed themselves to be power-hungry bullies. Pity.

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  • We had an awful experience on Saturday night. Booked a table for 6 at 8,15pm outside. We eventually got a noisy inside table next to the kitchen at 8,55. During all that time the manager did not come and talk to us and did not apologise. She offered us our first round of drinks but quite frankly this was too little too late. By 9,4pm we had not had a thing to eat. Another manager brought us a small biltong board. Our food eventually arrived at 9,55 and was good. Two other tables we knew had the same experience but they did not complain. They said they just won't go there again and we will not either.

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  • I'd like to pass a vote of thanks to your waiters, especially a guy who identified himself as Brian, we were a team of 8 from the engineering department of the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, the guy was so 5 star. Thank you very much, may you see another 35 years of fruitfulness and excellent service.

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  • I would like to give a thumbs up to one of your waiters, Brian. His service on the 30th May was very excellent. I won't mind going there for another treat!

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  • We had a great evening out , and the personal touch from Mervin and team is much appreciated. Good quality steak house.

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  • Once again good service and a quality meal.

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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Cocktails
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Parking
  • Takeaways

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