The Avenue Restaurant & Grill is aptly – and probably mildly ironically - named after its building, which served the local community as “The Avenue Dairy” in the 1930’s. Owned by restaurateur Tony Mason, who brought us the legendary Hard Rock Café in Rondebosch, The Avenue is certainly not that edgy though. It has more of a homely and cozy atmosphere, albeit oddly decorated with old wooden Spur menus on the walls, bike helmets and hubcaps.
Our host had requested the private dining area for the evening, and we found ourselves in an adjacent room adorned with photographs and extracts of local racing legends. It is known as “Heroes”, and the venue is a collaboration with photographer Charles Faull, paying tribute to the greats of the South African turf. The Avenue/Heroes punt themselves as steakhouse with a difference, offering a range of meat and vegetarian dishes. The menu certainly reflected this, with the usual rumps, fillets and sirloins – but also ribeye on the bone and a hanger cut.
Rumour has it that Tony takes great pride in his steaks, and sources only from the best feedlots. These selective cuts are basted with the Mason Family Secret Recipe before grilling; and Tony doesn’t believe in trimming his handpicked cuts, so you’re guaranteed a generous steak.
For starters we had platters of mushrooms, calamari, chilli poppers and chicken wings. All pretty run-of-the-mill pub style fare that should satisfy most average diners. As for our table steak choices, fillets and ribeyes once again proved popular choices for the guys – and they were all well presented with generous vegetables and fries. Unfortunately many steaks were overcooked, and even though they offered to replace, you surely have to get it right the first time.
The staff were keen and efficient, but required a bit more personality and vibe. Our waiter lacked good meat knowledge, and often merely referred to the two most expensive steaks on the menu. Still, drinks were always topped up, and food served all together.
The Avenue certainly delivers good value food in a comfortable suburban setting, but there was nothing impressive about the steaks. It was a pleasant evening all round, the staff were likeable and the value for money good, but it won’t make the shortlist of “places to go in Cape Town”. The Avenue is not bad, but we’re spoiled Capetonians and demand something a little better for a memorable Steak Night.
Overall: 7.1 (average of scores)
47 Second Avenue, Harfield Village
021 671 0623