3 old-school steakhouses that serve a great slab

South Africans love their red meat and there’s no shortage of great steak restaurants in Cape Town. Here are a few local favourites worth a visit…

You’ll never struggle to find a great slab of red meat in South Africa and even though Cape Town is known for its cosmopolitan globetrotting cuisine, it is also  home to a number of top-notch old-school steakhouses.

In Cape Town’s southern suburbs the locals speak of one particular steakhouse in reverential tones: The Hussar Grill.

The Hussar first fired up the grills in 1964 and today the service and offering is as dependable as the retro gilded doors that open on to Main Road in Rondebosch.

Consistency is the watchword here and you won’t find foams, jus or fancy cooking; only solid cuts of meat at decent prices. There’s a charming old-school feel to the décor, and the service is unfailingly friendly. A rump steak with chips and onion rings is the default order for most locals, but also look out for special cuts and game meats on the chalkboard.

For something a little more stylish, try the Butcher Shop & Grill opposite the Mouille Point lighthouse. This trendy Johannesburg-based brand has quickly built up a fan base thanks to its upmarket décor and wide-ranging menu. Prime cuts are aged for up to 40 days, ensuring top quality meat, and with two wine cellars on site you’re assured of a great wine to go with your meal.

Down the road the V&A Waterfront shopping and entertainment precinct is filled with great restaurants, but if you fancy a steak Belthazar is your best bet. With the feel of a New York grillroom it’s a distinctly upmarket experience – with prices to match. There’s a good range of seafood on offer as well, but it’s the steaks you should be looking at. Fillet, rump, sirloin and T-bone can all be ordered in portions to suit your appetite, but the daily selection of game meats is most popular.

Belthazar also impresses when it comes to wine. Aside from boasting one of the best wine lists in the city you’ll also find over 200 wines by the glass.

The Big 5 of Biltong in Cape Town

Spicy, smoked or chewy: it’s a tough call naming just one winner of Cape Town’s coveted biltong prize – after all, it’s a matter of personal taste, innit? We’ve picked five of the better-known brands to chew your way through…

1. Biltong by J&M

With biltong bars all over the country, J&M has become a household name since its humble beginnings in a Sea Point butchery in 1942. They’ve got a wide range of tasty treats in beef, ostrich, chicken or game meats, including biltong, droëwors and snapstix. It’ll take you days to sample the different varieties…

2. Kleyn Begin

Based in Melkbosstrand, this local Halaal-certified company is routinely named manufacturer of the “best biltong” in the Western Cape. Their hand-cut dried meat delicacies are only available through wholesale orders but owners Anton and Naomi Kleyn guarantee the freshest and prime-cut meats around.

3. Chops Biltong Bar

These family-owned meat makers take pride in their local roots. They opened their first shop in the False Bay town of Fish Hoek in 1994 and have since grown their reach to the Southern Suburbs of Plumstead, Constantia and Steenberg, and across the bay to Somerset West. You’re likely to spot their traditional or “silverside” biltong (with a strip of fat on the side) at flea markets, or if you’re lucky enough, the catered “VIP” boxes at Newlands Stadium when you’re watching cricket, or another big game. They come in plain, chilli, chutney and pepper flavours.

4. Famous Kalahari Biltong

Feeling game? Try Famous Kalahari’s kudu, ostrich, eland, gemsbok or springbok offerings. This company has biltong bars in Wellington, Sunningdale, Bellville, Worcester and Kraaifontein.

5. Fisherman’s Biltong

Try something a little unconventional – fish biltong or “bokkoms” as the local fishers call it. Hout Bay Fisherman’s Wharf is a great place to have a first taste of Fisherman’s Biltong, or try the tuna biltong at Woodstock Fisheries at 250 Victoria Road.

Editor’s note: Ja, ja, we know, we haven’t included a bunch of lekker biltong spots here (we only promised five!). Don’t hate – just go onto our Facebook page and tell us where you get the best biltong in Cape Town! Click here