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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