Forging ahead: new steakhouses and stainless steel knives

Their doors have finally opened! The Local Grill Cape Town is here. I popped into their new space this week on an afternoon of inspirational discoveries. The restaurant is in Woodstock in a brand-new building above The Local Grill’s own brewery – and they have plans for a butchery and deli in the future. It’s a good-looking, spacious grillhouse and I can’t wait to eat there.

Local grill_mainExciting, too, that both our red meat winners for the 2014 Eat Out Zonnebloem Produce Awards (which took place on Saturday 12 April at Stellenbosch Slowmarket) are celebrated on the menu: Greenfields from the Midlands in KZN, winner of Best Small Producer: Paddock (Fresh); and Woodview Wagyu Beef from Arlington in the Free State, winner of Best Small Producer: Paddock (Cured).

The Local Grill’s sibling in Parktown North is also a prize winner: it was named Best Steakhouse at the 2011 Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards. Owner Steve Maresch really knows his meat, and his business partners, Popi Tomazos, Llewy Mateza and Andre Viljoen, who showed me around in Woodstock, are deservedly proud too.

Next up, I paid a long-overdue visit to Conrad Hicks, a blacksmith and artist with an amazing forge and gallery in Observatory, called Bijou*. Here he creates many magnificent pieces, but I was most interested in his new culinary range of forged mild steel pans and copper bowls, which are organic in shape and loaded with character. His steel knives, super-sharp with flat, beaten-look handles, are perfect for steak. Conrad also does a range of stainless steel knives with sleek wild olivewood handles, which are on display in his shop and gallery.

The instant I saw the space I wanted to host a dinner party inside, using Conrad’s coals to roast a suckling pig. Pay Conrad a visit; you might see me there!


*Bijou, 178 Lower Main Road Observatory (082 954 7740)

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