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Tempting Your Steak-buds in Johannesburg

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May 6, 2014 / Steak House / By
Katie Schenk

The minute you land in South Africa, you’ll notice that people here love their meat.  It’s hardly an overstatement, and I should know; I’ve been here 12 years.  It also doesn’t matter where you go – Cape Town, Durban, Joburg or even a game park in the bush; you will find meat is delicious (and as far as international exchange rates go at the moment – remarkably cheap). 

And the range of meat available in South Africa is vast.  There are the chicken and pork standbys, but there is also springbok, kudu and ostrich widely available.  But most of all, there is steak - gigantic, juicy steaks as large as your head and fresh from the farm. 

Once you’ve discovered that there are remarkably few activities to do in Joburg, except for shopping (and using the airport), then it is time to settle down to (quite possibly) the best steak dinner of your life.  There are plenty of restaurants to choose from, but if you want the experience to go with it – there is only one steakhouse to choose: Wombles.

Situated in the rather trendy neighbourhood of Parktown North, the owners of Wombles are actually Zimbabwean expats.  And they run their establishment with old-fashioned Zimbabwean hospitality.  This means that (with the exception of the owner or her daughters), there are no ladies serving in the dining room.  It also means that there are footmen waiting to pour your wine when your glass begins to look sad.  Service is entirely the focus of your evening, and they have everything to hand (from aperitifs to dessert). 

While all the starters are lovely (especially the Springbok Carpaccio), the duck liver pâté should be ordered by someone at the table.  (One bite is all you will need to know you’ve made the right choice.) 

But the mains are where Wombles truly sizzles.  Whether you opt for steaks, quails or the fish of the day, it will be cooked perfectly to your liking.  And, if you’re as into your meat as most South Africans are, this is the place to order Steak Tartar; which is mixed for you at the table according to your predilections. Desserts range from gourmet cheese platters to Crepes Suzette and everything in between. 

There is one small caveat; you’ll need to book in advance, and if it is a Friday night, then hopefully you called on Monday (if not sooner).  And, when you call – they’ll enquire whether you’re booking for a special occasion, such as a birthday or anniversary; when you arrive, your table will be dressed accordingly.  But, even if it is simply a Tuesday night, this is one restaurant you will never forget. 

If you’re already salivating (as I am just thinking about it), you can take a look at their menu online, but make sure you listen to the specials when you finally fall into your first evening at Wombles.

Wombles Steakhouse

Country: South Africa

Province/State: Gauteng

City: Parktown North, Johannesburg

Address: 17 3rd Avenue

Zip/Post Code: 2193

Location Tips: Latitude -26.145663 -26° 8' 44.39" Longitude 28.02866 28° 1' 43.18"

Phone: (+27) 11 880 2470

Website:http://www.wombles.co.za/...

Price Guide:$$$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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