Steak tartare, the retro carnivore favourite, is making a serious comeback. Traditionally made from finely chopped or minced raw beef, the succulent meat dish is often served with onions, capers and seasonings; sometimes with a raw egg yolk, and a side of bread. Now local restaurants are taking this nostalgic and somewhat garish appetiser and giving it a fresh, delicate spin with seasonal touches and umami flavourings. Here are five spots around Cape Town that are making a mean steak tartare.
In addition to dishing up some edgy smoked dishes, the ASH team has taken quite a refined and delicate take on tartare. Simply named ‘Green Beef’, the exquisite chopped raw beef is mixed with homemade mayo then prettily plated with dressed foraged shoots and a green herb oil. It’s served with charred sourdough for R95 and is glorious with a stemless glass of pinot.
This fine dining favourite serves an extremely popular beef tartare to City Bowl foodies. Sit in the tranquil courtyard and order yours as an appetiser (R85) along with a glass of wine. The dish is made with Chalmar beef fillet and is simply served with pommes gaufrette (a waffle-like wafer of crisply fried potato). If you’re slightly more peckish, order it as a main, with a side of French fries and a salad for R135.
The Foodbarn’s take on the classic hand-chopped steak tartare changes with the season. You might find one that is Asian-inspired with a sesame tuile, pickled ginger, and Japanese mayonnaise, or one that’s simply served with a green herb purée, quail yolk, crunchy croutons and tender leaves (R89).
This expertly chopped beef tartare is made with sirloin and is tossed in a tangy green dressing with caper berries and red onions. The dish is then served with a topping of miniature potato crisps that add a glorious crunch. A slice of ciabatta is handy to soak up the extra juicy bits (R80).
This eclectic brasserie has a more classical French approach when it comes to the meaty appetiser. The tender dish is served with rare-breed beef, diced shallots, capers, a raw egg yolk, gherkins and oniony chives for R95.