The Fat Butcher in Stellenbosch is getting rave reviews for it’s excellent steak. Ilse van der Merwe puts them through their paces.
Food type: all of the meat
Best for: celebrations with carnivorous friends
Average price main course: R250 (although there are cheaper options between R80 and R140)
Parking: limited. There’s no parking directly outside their doors, but just around the corner in Drostdy Street there is some street parking.
Star ratings: Food: 4, service: 4, ambience: 4
The Fat Butcher is a new kid on Stellenbosch’s highly competitive food block. Situated on the corner of Drostdy and Van Riebeeck Streets, this contemporary steakhouse is surrounded by the town’s oldest buildings and is already a favourite with the glitterati of the area.
When you call yourself The Fat Butcher, we’re going to expect a meaty menu. These guys deliver, with a choice between burgers (200-300g), grills (“allegaartjie” mixed grill, pork ribs, lamb rump and lamb T-bone), steaks (200-300g sirloin, rump, fillet, dry-aged, New York cut, cote du boeuf, t-bone, and three signature steaks) and a few “local flavour” favourites (pork belly, lamb shank, pie of the day, porcini risotto and oxtail). Add your own sauces or other additions like onion rings, crumbed mushrooms etc. Roasted bone marrow comes standard with the steak menu, but you also have an option of fries, potato salad, roasted veg etc. The Fat butcher signature fries come in terracotta pots and are golden nuggets of twice-fried delight.
The meat is excellent quality; succulent and perfectly cooked to your liking. For the serious meat connoisseurs, there’s also the option of viewing/choosing your raw cut before cooking it. The speciality steaks and grills are very expensive, but you can get a 200g sirloin or 300g rump with chips and marrowbone for R140, or a burger for R80.
End the meal with “poeding” (sticky toffee, coffee brulee, berry panna cotta etc) or a cheese platter.
A well-chosen selection of local wines are available (see their walk-in cellar) – but at a price. A wide selection of wines by the glass are also on offer. Bring your own bottle for a more affordable dining experience. Also check out their selection of craft beers, cocktails, dessert cocktails, aperitifs, liqueurs and digestifs.
Service is relaxed but attentive. Staff are well-dressed and always within eye shot. A friendly host is at your service at reception.
This historical building got a contemporary interior revamp with tasteful leather booths, comfy chairs, wooden tables, textured wall paint, black accents and an all-round luxurious feel. Printed paper placemats explaining the different cuts of meat adds to the butcher ambiance, while little touches like sealed warm hand cloths round off the luxurious experience. There is also seating available in the courtyard and upstairs in the loft.
Surprisingly, they have a kid’s menu too with well-priced items such as fish fingers, chicken strips, a boerie roll, a burger, a steak and a toasted sandwich. Nothing over the top, just good food that kids love. Add milkshakes and ice cream and you’re sorted for the whole family. And don’t forget to grab something complimentary from the old-school sweet jars in the foyer when you leave – a very nice touch.
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