Barristers is right in the heart of leafy Newlands, and a favourite watering hole for many southern suburbs sports fans. We have all been there many times, but it was time for us to officially test whether the “great Barristers steaks still make them famous”.
The restaurant front has been revamped with a modern bar and deck area, but the heart is still their dark and cosy rooms furnished in an old country/tudor pub style. And that’s where we found ourselves on a chilly autumn night.
We started with some mussels - poached and served in a creamy white wine sauce, and served with homemade bread. The mussels - along with some crumbed calamari strips – were tasty, but pretty much standard pub fare.
The selection of meat cuts on offer is all the usual suspects of rump, fillet and sirloin. But they do offer some specialty dishes like the Spicy Pear & Blue Cheese Steak – something no honest, upstanding Steak Boy ™ would ever order.
A few of us opted for the Picanha cut; a South American term for the fatty top rump cut. It comes in a large 450g cut, or the whopping 900gram (hopefully to share, or probably when the Stormers’ front row come to visit). The Picanha is scored and rubbed with rock salt, and basted with the famous Barristers basting. Unfortunately the guys that ordered it were all disappointed. Too much fat, and the outside was charred (and not helped by a distinct taste of dirty grill). Some others opted for the Rosemary Steak (cut of your choice, covered in pan fried rosemary, olive oil, black pepper & a hint of garlic). Not such a good idea it turned out, as steaks arrived covered in a forest of rosemary, which required a weed-eater to get through.
As for the sides - the chips and onions were too oily and overcooked, and the veg ordered arrived very late.
Our waiter for the evening was quite efficient – always present when you needed him. Always a challenge to get 15+ orders out reasonably together, but he did well. He could have done with a touch of personality though, but we pretty much wanted for naught all evening.
The beauty of Steak Boyz is that we order 15-16 different steaks, so get a good cross section of the restaurant’s quality of meat (and grilling ability). Unfortunately Barristers scored dismally for just about all our steaks this evening.
It’s a good spot for some comfortable pub grub on a chilly night, or drinks before or after a game. Stick to the beer…
Overall: 6.0 (average of scores)
Cardiff Castle, Cnr. Kildare Rd & Main St, Newlands
Tel: 021 671 7907 / 021 674 1792
Email: [email protected]
I ordered the Picanha, medium rare but I think what I was actually served was a cow’s udder, with the teats burnt to a crisp. Somewhere in the middle there was some flavor, but it was quite dry and tough.
I’m not quite sure what arrived on my plate, it was more of a sheered hedgehog than a piece of meat. It looked like someone had tied up a bunch of dreds and cut them off and tried to fry it.
It is probably the most consistently sub-par restaurant from my experience. How does it stay open? I won't ever go there by choice again.
Decent, but nothing special, tender and cooked well. No much flavour and required a weed eater to tame the rosemary
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