Whether you are a resident or just visiting, you will learn quickly that Jo'burgers love their meat. Steaks and game are so reasonably priced in Johannesburg, that you can afford to splurge out a bit and enjoy great food and atmosphere at these restaurants.
If you are craving fine dining along with your steak, you simply can not go wrong with Wombles. Any night of the week you will find this restaurant brimming with romantic anniversary or birthday dinners next to diners entertaining important international clients. Reminiscent of its Zimbabwean roots, the service in the restaurant is impeccable. From the minute your napkin is placed on your lap to the moment you discard it on the table after your meal, you are guided through a dining experience that will make you feel like royalty.
Situated in the leafy suburb of Parktown North, bookings are essential. If you call enough in advance, you will have a choice of a table in the dining room or on the enclosed veranda, which is well heated in winter.
Along with your menu, one of Wombles' Senior or Head Waiters will explain the specials on offer. Specials include both mains and starters and you may find yourself torn between one of these and something off the main menu. Starters are elegantly prepared and should not be missed. If it is on special, consider their Springbok Carpaccio, or try the Goats Cheese Mousse.
Choose from a 200 gram Sirloin (that is a little less than half a pound) to 1 kilogram "Man Size" Rump (which is over two pounds), or the Fillets, T-Bones and Prime Ribs and top it with a sauce of your choice for the most delicious steak you have ever had. Cooked to your liking, all main meals are brought to the table with a selection of vegetables. Although focused on steaks, the menu also includes delicious meat dishes such as duck and steak tartare. Fish and pasta, including vegetarian options round out the menu.
If you can find the room (and really you should), don't miss the desserts which range from Crème Brûlée to a Cheese Board. You may also want to sip on one of their delicious dessert wines or order from their choice of single malt whiskies.
Starter of Duck Liver Paté, followed by either a 250g Fillet with Monkeygland sauce or the Trio of Quails and Crépes Suzettes to finish. (And don't worry, monkeygland isn't what it sounds like!)
- W: www.wombles.co.za
- T: +27 11 880 2470
- A: 17 3rd Avenue, Parktown North
Carvers Restaurant & Pub
You may think you have taken a wrong turn as you head towards Carvers Restaurant for the first time. Situated on the corner of a quiet, residential street, you won't believe what hides behind the gates. The restaurant itself is rather informal with the feeling of an old family dining room. Don't be fooled but this. With an extensive beer and wine list, the menu is half carvery buffet and half Belgian à la carte.
If you opt for the carvery, starters will include a variety of salads and two soups. There is also a beer and beef stew. Roasts which are carved to your liking include beef, lamb, pork, fish and chicken. Vegetables, potatoes and rice are also available. There is also a dessert bar and should you be travelling with a vegetarian, they can help themselves to everything excluding mat for a reduced price.
The à la carte menu offers starters such as Slakken van Vlaanderen (snails cooked with garlic in red wine and cream with blue cheese) and a Calamari Salad. Most of the main dishes are of the fish and steak variety, but also include Oxtail and a Pork Citron. For dessert you can help yourself from the buffet or try the Cherries Mandarine.
As an added bonus, the restaurant offers an extensive array of mussels - from starters such as Tempura Mussels and Mussels Rockefeller to main portions of Mussels Mariniere and Mussels Portuguese. On top of all of this, the adjacent pub offers its own menu with favorites such as Prego Rolls, a Chicken & Calamari Curry and other "Bar Munchies".
Although you can't go wrong with the carvery buffet, if you prefer an à la carte meal then start with the Kudu Carpaccio. For a main, try the Tornados Rossini which is fillet mignon with an orange flavoured paté and draped with a dark abbey beer sauce. End the meal with Brie and Wild Berry Coulis, but don't go anywhere before stopping in at the pub for a Belgian beer.
- W: www.carvers.co.za
- T: +27 11 678 5147
- A: 51 Mountainview Avenue, Darrenwood
A thirty minute drive outside of Johannesburg will find you on the edge of the bush. Your turn off the main road towards Carnivore Restaurant will make you hope you can get a room at the Misty Hills Country Hotel, which is located within the Muldersdrift Estate, with the restaurant. From the parking lot, you may be greeted by a Zulu warrior on your way across the bridge and down the stairs to the massive dining room (it seats 500 diners).
Besides being huge, the dining room is rustic, appearing in some ways as though it is an indoor picnic area around a braai (South African for barbecue). On your way to your table, the restaurant concept and evening's menu will be explained to you. This restaurant is great for meat lovers and adventurers alike as you may get to sample giraffe or crocodile or sometimes even zebra as it is offered to you from the Masai swords of the servers. There are more traditional meats on offer as well, such as leg of lamb, rump steak and pork sausages.
You can eat as much as you like, which may not be as much as you think once you factor in the lazy-susan of salads that follows a soup and homemade bread course as well as the local staple of pap and chakalaka. You will get a choice of desserts when you have surrendered from your meat course. There is a vegetarian and fish menu if your companions are so inclined, so if you only have a day in Johannesburg, this is the restaurant you need to visit.
The soup is always delicious, so try some, but just a few spoonfuls and a small corner of the delicious bread. Same with the pap and chakalaka. As the meats come around, try to hold off for the kudu and more exotic offerings. Try a little bit of it on the rare side to get an idea of its real flavor. Finish off with the South African speciality of Malva Pudding if you still have room. And when the waiters come around with Dawa to prepare for you at your table, have a glass. Just watch out, it is potent.
- W: www.carnivore.co.za
- T: +27 11 950 6000
- A: Muldersdrift Estate, 69 Drift Boulevard, Muldersdrift (follow the signs to Misty Hills)
Click on the map below for directions to all three establishments. Visit the restaurant websites for more information and pricing.
Johannesburg Restaurants for Meat Lovers
17 3rd Ave, Randburg 2193, South Africa
51 Mountainview Ave, Randburg 2194
Muldersdrift Estate 69 Drift Boulevard (M34), Muldersdrift 1747