With over ten branches up and running and no signs of slowing down, Turn and Tender are making a serious imprint on the meat-loving people of Johannesburg. Friendly and efficient service and consistently great steaks have kept their Parktown North branch from becoming another run of the mill franchise.
It’s an ode to all things meat, and deliciously so. The menu is dotted with a fish and chicken dish or two, some simple salads and a vegetarian platter, but these all seem a little pointless considering their superb selection of different red meats.
Starters see an array of wonderfully imaginative biltong dishes (biltong paté and their speciality marinated and grilled biltong) alongside the likes of chicken livers, calamari, trinchado, marrow bones and tempura prawns. The grilled calamari tubes and the creamy, peri peri chicken livers are seriously good, but the marrow bones are very large and lack both finesse and flavour.
The world is your oyster when it comes to the meaty mains: you’ll find virtually every cut available, and those that are lesser-known can be brought out on boards for your viewing pleasure. The waiters and management are well-versed in the art of steak and will happily and efficiently take you through the dos and don’ts of carnivorous dining. The point rump – a juicy tender cut with a layer of fat – is highly recommended and it’s melt-in-your-mouth good. The T-bone (prepared for either 1 or 2 people) is serious eating, packing a flavour punch, and the ribs (pork or beef) are the perfect combination of sticky and sweet.
If you suffer from the ‘food envy’, there’s a great assortment of ‘combos’ on offer: spare ribs paired with steak/chicken/calamari/chops as well as a good old surf and turf. The only disappointment is their chimichurri sauce – it’s a little flat and could do with some fresh herbs and sweet red onion to give it that authentic, sweet and spicy kick.
The dessert section is not for the faint of heart, with their utterly decadent cheesecakes taking centre stage. Coming a close second is the rich and moist sticky toffee pudding drizzled with toffee sauce.
The wine list is easy-going and affordable; made up of reputable, well-known vineyards that offer good wines at reasonable prices.
The service is friendly and personable. The waiters and management are always close by to answer questions, fill wine glasses and clear empty plates – more than anything, they’re a really good team.
It’s family-orientated, relaxed and cosy. More of a winter spot than a summer hangout, but perfect for a laid-back dinner any night of the week.
It’s fantastic value for money. With 200g steaks starting at R110 inclusive of sides, you won’t find a better steak at a better price in Johannesburg.
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Turn and Tender is a booming franchised chain that has been ingrained in the Johannesburg food culture for decades. It has a strong following with locals and this particular branch has been trading for at least 10 years. Expect steakhouse classics; ribs, steaks, burger, chicken wings and, for added local flavour, biltong platters and potjie.
To start with, the traditional options of peri-peri chicken livers in a creamy sauce or grilled calamari are good options. The grilled biltong and biltong paté were rather underwhelming. The grilled biltong was leathery and the paté bland and one-dimensional. My advice is to stick to the classics.
For mains, their signature dish of chimichurri spiral cut steak is exquisite. Pick your cut of beef, after which the meat is marinated in a homemade, herby chimichurri sauce and grilled to your preference, served with chips or veg. The side dish of crispy onion rings is a perfect partner. For the hungry and indecisive, try one of the combos of pork ribs and lamb chops or spring chicken and beef spareribs. The Oxtail potjie is a perfect for those cold winter nights, served as it is with mash and vegetables. To finish off, try one of their decadent new additions to the dessert menu, like pistachio gelato with pistachio brittle or the decadent Ferrero and Oreo mousse.
The cocktail menu includes the usual favorites. The wine list offers a comprehensive selection of local wines and few international French Champagnes for an indulgent evening.
Friendly and knowledgeable staff move around with great efficiency, and the manager is present, doing the rounds to ensure all is in order.
It’s a modern space with clean lines. In this smallish space, the tables are tightly packed thought and acoustics are not great when the restaurant is full. It’s located on the popular Parktown North strip.
This branch now offers a home delivery service, so if you have a craving for one of their delicious burgers, they’re just a phone call away.
This 37-year-old iconic grillhouse has been serving good quality food for decades. It’s honest, no-fuss cuisine that's delicious and offers good value for money, with the owner’s passion for food reflected on the menu. There’s lots of local flavour here, as seen in the South African favourites like biltong carpaccio dressed in parmesan shavings and the marinated and grilled biltong for starters. The choice for mains is very wide, from steaks to burgers and amazing seafood dishes like Scottish salmon with soya and sesame seeds. On the mains menu, signature dishes like the point rump steak, grilled chicken and beef ribs are served with delicious sides like pap and gravy, vegetables, baked potatoes or salad. The dessert offering is small, with the Bar-One cheesecake being a very decadent highlight.
Their wine list has both international and local wines on offer, with some special bottles like the low alcohol L’Avenir Rosé De Pinotage, the organic Reyneke shiraz and cabernet sauvignon blend, and the Bordeaux-style blend by Creation wines on offer.
Service is great: the waiters understand the menu very well and they’re friendly even at very busy times. It’s good to see a manager doing the rounds to ensure that everyone is well looked after.
The décor is simple, with masculine lines. A fireplace inside creates a cosy and hearty atmosphere. Patrons range from businessmen to families and bright young things out for a good meal.
The cocktail menu might be small, but it has some interesting drinks like the Room with a View, a fragrant blend of passion fruit and rosé that’s perfect for a warm summer evening out with the girls.
The best steakhouse by a mile, never fails!
We went here because we were told the food is great. We had two orders; lamb medium to well done and ribeye medium. The order came back as lamb medium to rare and ribeye medium to well done. I declined my steak to be corrected. The lamb was returned to be grilled further, but it was returned burned and bitter, and plonked down infront of us. The kitchen manager followed up, he was told the lamb was burned and the griller should be fired for sending dishes back to tables like this - he responded that the griller has been with them for 30 years. He left. He sent 2 don Pedros over for inconvenience. The meat dishes were a disaster. That is what he should have replaced or compensated on.
For a real, upmarket steakhouse experience, do not think twice whether or not to visit this Turn 'n Tender! The interior is warm and cosy, but still stylish, and never too loud, even on a full Thursday evening.
My snail starter was great, while my wife's focaccia-style bread with biltong and cheese could have been thinner. Our mains, both rump, were excellent, perfectly medium rare! The mustard sauce is an absolute winner. Good, fairly priced wine list, and commendable, attentive service. Definitely recommended.
My husband and I went to TnT for our wedding anniversary - they made it so special! When we got there they had put flowers on the table (which they sent home with me afterwards) and served us each a glass of port to congratulate us on this special occasion. The food was, as always, absolutely perfect, the atmosphere warm and the service excellent. Thank you for a very special evening!
This is a great restaurant. The service is even better. So, so quick. Very friendly and efficient. Management also warm and welcoming.
I love Turn and Tender for their juicy, tasty steaks with all the trimmings!
I recently dined at Turn n Tender’s (TnT) new branch in Thrupps Centre in Illovo which has a very cosy and intimate feel to it. TnT still boasts the same simplistic and classic menu which regulars have come to rely on for its consistent quality. The offering of succulent steaks with attentive service offered by the staff is always a draw card. I had the Argentinian fillet which was butterflied and served topped with chopped garlic, tomatoes and herbs and was simply melt-in-your-mouth delicious. It is no wonder that TnT has built up a loyal clientele over the years.