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6 of Cape Town’s Top Steak and Local Game Restaurants

Rib-eye, Sirloin, flambéed Chateaubriand, a juicy fillet, thick rump or man-sized T-bone. Sometimes, you can have too much of a good thing. But this is surely never true when it comes to great steak.

And while holding meat over fire may be the oldest form of cookery on the planet, it’s one that’s reflective of our unique South African heritage, and is still pretty, ahem, hot by our standards.

But where to celebrate the meatier of the menus in Cape Town? We are spoilt for choice, but these are a few of our favourites that any, seasoned steak restaurateur would appreciate.

Signal Restaurant

With both traditional cuts, and some exotic game, Signal Restaurant at Cape Grace is a great option for those looking to sample some of South Africa’s very best meat. We would highly recommend the Grilled Springbok Loin, the lean game served with braised shank ravioli, smoked beets, red cabbage, and smoked tomato jus, or the Bobotie-spiced Ostrich, the bird given a local twist with its Cape Malay imparted sweet and fragrant flavours. However, if you’re just looking to enjoy something plain and simple, you can’t go wrong with the Beef Ribeye, served alongside truffle fries or melt-in-your mouth mash – the essence of comfort on a plate.

With an extensive wine list (and unbeatable sommeliers) on hand, a meaty dining experience at Signal is bound to be an evening of salivating satisfaction.

Visit the website.

Primal Eatery

Mediterranean meets the ‘braai’ at this hidden gem, tucked away on the quieter side of Church Street. Owners, Kristina and Brynn, endeavour to surprise and delight guests, with a menu that merges Grecian starters (like the flaming saganaki or beautiful char-grilled octopus), with meaty mains that are rather hard to beat. Begin with one of their famed cocktails, and nibble on some tapas at the bar, before ordering the Rib Eye, or unusual Picanha (subject to availability). Marbled, textured, and extraordinarily delicious, the ethically-sourced steaks at Primal are both tender and flavoursome, the sides (go for the fat-cut fries with smoked paprika, or tenderstem broccoli with crispy sourdough) not an afterthought but quite delectable in their own right. In fact, almost everything is flame-kissed, adding a smoky depth to each dish.

As for dessert, there is the deconstructed naartjie (a local clementine) cheesecake, and the indulgent deep fried Oreos, served with ‘braaied’ marshmallow ice-cream.

The wine list, while succinct, is well-considered, with some bold reds available to compliment the cuts of the day.

Visit their website.

 Don Armando

An unsung hero of the beef world, and the sister restaurant to Greenpoint’s Italian favourite, Il Leone, Don Armando does authentic asado (grilled meat) over hot coals, which they serve with a delectable chimichurri sauce – a tangy salsa made from garlic, parsley, oil and vinegar.

After sampling their chorizo starters, tuck into a T-bone, or the succulent Karoo lamb chops. Sides are surprisingly healthy and include cauliflower mash, pan fried spinach with garlic and lemon, as well grilled beetroot and a white bean salad.

This modern steakhouse, located in the quieter part of Greenpoint, serves a mean pancake and dulce de leche for dessert, so save some room for a sweet ending.

Visit their website.

 

Carne

As its name might suggest, Carne is a Meat lovers paradise – and so good that they’ve had to open two restaurants in the space of just a couple of years. Owner, Giorgio Nava (of the much-loved 95 Keerom) is as precise about his meat as a chef of his extraordinary calibre would be expected to be, with his ethically raised beef, and free-range game sourced from his own farms in the Karoo. If you’re visiting South Africa, Carne is where you should head to try some local delicacies like Ostrich, Springbok, Warthog, and Impala – all exquisitely grilled of course. The mood and decor is masculine, the dark interiors complimented by Italian butchery equipment, mod wooden seating, and a great bar from where to begin with drinks.

Visit their website.

 

The Butcher Shop and Grill

Thick, award-winning, and juicy pink. The steak at the plush Butcher Shop and Grill, located in Mouille Point is reason enough to venture (just) outside of the city. Add to that a glorious sea view, and this traditionally decorated, leather-clad restaurant makes for an upmarket, ‘special occasion’ kind of evening out. Cuts come in every variety one could hope for, with local beef and lamb, Argentinian ribeye, Kobe-style wagyu and even Dutch veal, displayed upfront where guests may choose the cut that appeals to them most. The meat is also aged to perfection, often for up to 40 days.

Child-friendly, The Butcher Shop and Grill has a very extensive menu (including local game) so veggies, and seafood lovers are, too, in safe hands.

Of course, no steakhouse would be complete without something very nice to drink, and The Butcher Shop and Grill doesn’t come close to disappointing in that regard. With a list of wines that include exclusive vintages, as well as their own Pick Picks cellar (an in-house label and excellent value), visitors can be certain that their vino will be top notch.

Visit their website.

Nelson’s Eye

Nelson’s Eye has been serving up their signature steaks for well on 50 years now. While perhaps a little more old-school than some of Cape Town’s more upmarket and newer steak establishment, the Eye is iconic, and well worth a visit if you’re keen on a traditional feel (think dark, wood-panelled walls), and wet-aged prime cut of meat (patrons can even choose their own cuts from the grill), accompanied by a roasted potato served with lashings of sour cream. With specialities like Ostrich and Springbok on the menu, it’s perfect for visitors who want to experience a slice of Cape Town’s history, along with their seared slice of choice.

Visit their website.

 Blog post by: Tarah Darge

 

 

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