What’s the best steak side dish? 5 chefs weigh in

Everyone has their own favourite – whether roast potatoes, marrow, shoestring fries or a simple salad – but we were curious: what do chefs think makes for the perfect steak side dish?

Jess van Dyk – Head chef at La Colombe, Cape Town

What’s your preferred cut?

I enjoy a rump or prime rib – I would usually order that at a steakhouse. But I also have a soft spot for picanha – it has good muscle texture and it’s very affordable, plus versatile!

And what is its perfect match?

I’d have to say a potato of some sort. I’m a sucker for mash, a potato bake or a nice chip. If I had to choose, bacon & spring onion potato dauphinoise with lots of cream and black pepper.

Why is it your ultimate steak side?

Why not? It’s delicious and moreish with creamy, soft and crisp elements – everything you would want with a juicy steak. Also a little bit of nostalgia, I guess.

Rump with potatoes. Photo by Fábio Alves on Unsplash.

Lucas Carstens – Head chef at Majeka Kitchen, Stellenbosch

What’s your preferred cut?

The rump, because it’s full of flavour.

And what is its perfect match?

Anna Potatoes [thinly sliced and layered potatoes cooked in lots of butter] made with potato, butter and seasoning.

Why is it your ultimate steak side?

It’s easy, tasty and perfect with a steak.

Sliced steak. Photo by Emerson Vieira on Unsplash.

Marvin Robyn – Executive chef at The Restaurant at Grande Provence, Franschhoek

What’s your preferred cut?

Rib-eye, due to lots of marbling running through the meat. You don’t get lots of complaints as you would with sirloin. And rib-eye just melts in your mouth.

And what is its perfect match?

Truffle mash – done with additional butter, cream, salt, pepper and truffle oil.

Why is it your ultimate steak side?

It soaks up all the juices released by the steak, and the mash has a velvety texture and creaminess.

Steak and mashed potato. Photo by Elevate on Unsplash.

Michael Cooke – Executive chef at Camphors at Vergelegen, Somerset West

What’s your preferred cut?

A thick cut of rib-eye cooked over the fire, basted in rosemary brown butter.

And what is its perfect match?

A fresh, crunchy salad (thinly sliced fennel, radishes, red cabbage, spring onion, fresh peas, feta cheese, pimento peppers and fresh dill) finished with a sour-cream dressing.

Why is it your ultimate steak side?

Texture is a big thing for me; I love crunchy salads because every bite keeps you interested and going back for more. It’s nice to have something refreshing to go with a juicy steak. And it makes me feel less guilty and healthier – [especially considering] all the butter I basted over the steak while it’s on the braai!

Grilled rib-eye steak with mushrooms and a Caesar salad. Photo by TR Davis on Unsplash.

Michael Deg – Head chef at Cavalli Estate, Somerset West

What’s your preferred cut?

“Picanha, also known as the rump cap. It has a thick layer of fat over it that needs to be heavily seasoned with coarse salt and needs a good char on the fat to render it down. When cooked perfectly medium rare, it melts in your mouth with that amazing crispy fat over it. Serve it with bearnaise sauce to make it extra special.

And what is its perfect match?

Truffle and parmesan mashed potatoes made with a load of butter and cream. On top, lots of shaved parmesan, cauliflower roasted in brown butter, hazelnut crumble and slithers of poached pear.

Why is it your ultimate steak side?

I grew up eating steak and mash. For me, that’s my ultimate comfort food. With the brown-butter roasted cauliflower, I enjoy the rich nutty flavour that complements the steak.


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Clearly potatoes – in all its different forms – is the winner here. What’s your ultimate steak side dish? Let us know in the comments below! And if you’re a steak lover, make sure to buy tickets to the Eat Out Steak Out – being held in Joburg and, for the first time, Cape Town

Brought to you by Tramontina


Tramontina’s Churrasco range is made with high-quality treated stainless steel and Polywood – a shock- and heat-resistant wood that is dishwasher safe. The knives are long-lasting and feature a five-year warranty against manufacturer defects.

The Churrasco range also includes grills, tongs, serving dishes and carts to make your braai experience as effortless as possible.

Find more mouth-watering steak restaurant inspiration here

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