Cattle Baron recently opened a new restaurant in trendy De Waterkant. Expectations were high, with promises of superb dishes in a unique modern ambience.
The Cattle Baron is an old Mzansi favourite, and their portfolio of restaurants includes a Steak Ranch, a more up-market Grill House and the chic Bistro. The new De Waterkant franchise is a Grill Room & Bar - set in the new Mirage building – and is certainly spacious and modern. The main dining area has that upmarket steakhouse vibe, with some luxurious leather booths and décor. Unfortunately we were seated in the back, next to the kitchen.
The Grill Room & Bar menu contains all of the usual steak suspects – fillet, rump, sirloin and T-bone. It also contains some rather strange concoctions, for example: the Fillet Kasbah - stuffed with crispy bacon, camembert wedges & peppery Jalapenos. Or the Sirloin Nevada - grilled bacon, avocado, camembert and toasted onions.
Thankfully no self-respecting Steakboy will ever order one of these (though one of us does like a bit of cheese sauce on his steak). We started off with some calamari (too oily) and venison carpaccio, and for steak orders most of us opted for the fillet and prime rib cuts. The old adage is “good things take time”. Well…not always. From order time to delivery of our steaks took an hour, which frankly is way too long.
Cattle Baron seem to think that steaks slathered in basting are a good thing. It’s not. My steak had a fair bit of sinew, while another had to send his meal back twice. Quite a few complained their steaks were not grilled as requested, and the Pepper Fillet almost inedible. And a heads-up for any steak connoisseurs - Cattle Baron serves grain-fed beef that is wet-aged to ensure “steaks are consistently juicy, tender and full of flavour”. Tasting any of that juicy flavour proved quite difficult with all the basting. As for the sides, the chips were too fat and fluffy, and the creamed spinach stodgy.
Waiting an hour for steaks is not great, and during the evening many of us found it difficult to order extra drinks and food. Service was average at best.
Cattle Baron Constantia was one of our very first Steak Nights years ago, and we were disappointed then – and even more so now. Some people may like it, but we certainly wouldn’t call it first class. Cattle class at best…
Cattle Baron Grill Room & Bar
40 Chiappini Street, De Waterkant
Tel: +27 21 418 0230