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January 14, 2005
There seems to be three different seating sections: fine dining/business dinner area; outside; and inside, with a floor covered in sawdust. There is an awning, so sitting outside is no problem when the sun is up. We requested a move from the sawdust section because of my allergies.
Once seated, our waitress provided us with menus and bread and the drinks came shortly afterwards. The menu consisted mainly of meat dishes, everything from t-bone steaks to springbok meat. If you didn’t get a chance to nibble on kudu meat on safari—here’s your chance! We ordered crocodile (which tasted like smoked salmon) and buffalo wings for starters. The buffalo wings were different in that, instead of the usual the wing, it was stretched out with a juicy barbeque-style sauce. It’s easy to forget that meat is a large part of the South African kitchen and that one may need to remember to order a "lady’s portion" to get through all the courses. So unless you’re starving, you may want to skip the starter. If you order game, there’s no "medium rare," etc., options as they informed us— they know what’s good for us and that’s that!
My husband and I decided to order the game platter, which consisted of one adequate piece of ostrich, eland, warthog, and springbok steaks. The warthog was a bit like a dry pork steak—not sure if it was overcooked or meant to be like that. The ostrich and springbok had a good consistency but tasted like a normal beef steak. I really enjoyed the eland—very tender meat and juicy, indeed. Side dishes are ordered separately, although some of the main dishes come with a choice of mashed/baked potatoes or chips.
Butcher Shop has an extensive wine menu and gives you the chance to peruse the onsite wine cellar with an expert. If you don’t have a clue, just narrow it down by price and take the expert’s recommendation.
Stuffed as we were, we couldn’t resist ordering some dessert. I had the chocolate cake and my husband the tiramisu—the chocolate cake was very rich… and veeeery good, indeed.
The kitchen closed at 10pm that night (Wednesday), which was rather disappointing as the atmosphere of the place induces one to order a cappuccino long after that. There’s also a theatre close by, so late-night diners were turned away. All in all, it was a pleasant dining experience and certainly worth the cost.
From journal Jo'burg - a Lady with a Rep
January 30, 2003
This steakhouse is truly not somewhere you go for a salad or seafood, although you can get calamari, giant prawns, and normally there is a fish of the day. What people do go for are the steaks.
The average price of steak is about R65 depending on the cut and size (the exchange rate is about US$6.50). A first-class meal at bargain basement prices.
Please note the Butcher Shop only serves burgers at lunch time.
They also have an extensive alcohol list, and don't forget the cigar menu, it includes a selection from Cuba.
One final hint: you will be amazed at the knives they give you for the steaks, you may in fact want to pick up a set as a momento.
From journal Johannesburg -- City of Gold