Knife Restaurant

Knife Restaurant in Century City

Visit this slick family-friendly smokehouse and bar
Monday to Saturday: 11am - 11pm
Sundays and Public Holidays: 11am - 10pm
 
+27 (0)21 551 5000
The Crystal Towers | Cnr Century Boulevard & Rialto Road | Century City
www.knife-restaurants.co.za
info@knife-restaurants.co.za
kniferestaurant
Knife Restaurant

Knife Restaurant in Century City

You haven’t tasted ribs like those at this slick, family-friendly smokehouse and bar in Cape Town

Every fork needs a knife. So when Ed Saunders, owner of popular Long Street tapas bar Fork, decided to open another dining destination, this time in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs, he chose to title it after the corresponding utensil.

As it turns out, I find on my first visit to the restaurant, which sits at the back of the Crystal Towers Hotel in Century City, that Knife is also a very fitting name for the venue considering it’s a carnivore’s Arcadia. Wooden plaques on the wall instantly underscore the focus – “Nice to Meat You”, “Meat Whisperer” and “Proud Meatatarian” they read. These are accompanied by exposed red brick, raw concrete pillars, burgundy booths, low-hanging pendant lights, polished timber and black-and-white chequered flooring, so that the whole open, airy space looks a little like an industrial-chic pad in New York’s Manhattan.

And in fact, an American spin was exactly what Ed was going for when he established the diner, intent on creating something a little different to the norm.

“There are a million steakhouses in South Africa, so Knife is not just another bog-standard one,” he explains. “It’s more of an upmarket American-style smokehouse with some Louisiana influence.”

A key differentiator is the fact that the restaurant has its own smoker on the premises, so naturally I opt to try the famous smoked baby back pork ribs, keen to see what all the fuss is about.

While I wait for my order to arrive, a plate of homemade cornbread – warm and herby and utterly moreish – is delivered to my table and a staff member dresses me in a plastic apron. Knife may be smart and contemporary, but it clearly also encourages tucking in and getting a little dirty, a relaxed attitude that’s emphasised by the black-and-white photos of kids with sticky hands and saucy mouths on the walls (these are actually the children of everyone who was involved in building the eatery).

The wallpaper also indicates Knife’s family-friendly approach. Little ones aren’t just tolerated here; they’re openly welcomed, and to prove it, the restaurant serves a range of milkshakes and has compiled a dedicated kids’ menu, with space for colouring in on its reverse side.

But I have an adult appetite today, and so I almost burst with excitement when my ribs land on the table, accompanied by fries and coleslaw. Marinated in a sticky BBQ sauce and smoked over wood chips several times, they’re unlike any ribs I’ve tasted before – thick, meaty and rich with a smoky, oaked orange flavour from the secret basting and preparation method.

The rack of goodness is swiftly followed by a beautifully aged, pink-centred fillet steak with creamy mushroom sauce, hand-cut chips and corn on the cob (“We don’t do butternut and creamed spinach,” says Ed, emphasising Knife’s originality). Then comes the Alabama burger (they’re all named after US states), featuring bacon, cheese, avocado and a heavenly sauce on a brioche bun, and then a bowl of fried calamari with ranch dressing. The latter is soft, crispy and light – proof that a steakhouse can do seafood well too.

What I’m eager to return for are some of the Southern specialities, like the spicy prawn gumbo, the Creole fishcakes with green pea fricassee, the fried chicken strips and the sticky sweet potato stack, as well as the braised springbok shank and the build-your-own salad (yes, there are a few vegetarian options). The restaurant also caters for allergy-sufferers, and in addition to the standard menu, there are always blackboard specials that get reinvented bi-weekly.

Although I’m here for a main meal, as General Manager Gen Jurgens emphasises, Knife is the kind of place you can visit for all sorts of experiences. “You can come for an upmarket dinner, a casual lunch with the kids, a birthday party with family or even a few after-work beers and bar snacks”.

Guests are starting to settle at the outside tables for happy hour (reduced prices on cocktails, selected house spirits and Jack Black lager between 5pm and 7pm daily) as I get ready to leave, and I’m tempted to stay on. The bar is actually (quite literally) a central feature of the restaurant, and I’m told that the mojito and margarita are worth travelling far for.

But it’s time to go, and on my way out, I leave Ed with one final question: what’s next? “Well, we’ve gone from Fork to Knife, so I just need to open Spoon and then I’m retiring,” he jokes. I laugh, but truth is, I’m hoping he’s at least a little serious.

Tip: With ample space and set menus, Knife is a brilliant venue for birthdays and other functions. The restaurant also offers free basement parking for all bookings after 6pm if the reservation is made before this time.

The Bill: Starters cost between R55 and 75, burgers are from R70 to R110 and you can get a main for between R95 and R215. Desserts average around R55 and cocktails sit between R50 and R60.

---

Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of happenings in Cape Town. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and if you have a smartphone, add m.capetownmagazine.com to your home screen for quick access on the go!

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle, connect with us on LinkedIn, check out our photos on Instagram and follow our Pinterest boards for updates on what’s happening in and around the Mother City!

Cape Town Events Calendar
January 2017
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31

Spur Winter Trail Run SeriesThe 2017 Spur Summer Trail Series®

Run wild and free this summer with this top-notch trail series

Slave descendantsMy Naam is Februarie - Identities ...

View a historically significant calendar and listen to audiobooks in ...

Terracotta Army Exhibition Cape TownThe Terracotta Army and the First ...

Step back in time and discover one of the world’s greatest treasures at this ...

MonarkLive Summer Concerts at Vergenoegd Wine ...

Rock on dude!

MaynardvilleShakespeare in the Park at Maynardville ...

See Shakespeare’s well-known tale of passion, love and confusion, Twelfth ...

The Galileo Open Air Theatre KirstenboschThe Galileo Open Air Cinema at ...

Enjoy cult classics and award-winning films beneath the Cape’s starry skies ...

I Love Big Bay Spring MarketI Love Big Bay Market

Put a spring in your step at this fabulous evening market

Find your spot#FindYourSpot with Place in the Sun ...

Col'Cacchio invites you all to come and try their custom designed pizzas and ...

Hout Bay Dental Studio 2016 1Teeth Whitening Special at Hout Bay ...

Brighten the midweek with a superb Wednesday dental deal

Stellenbosch Street SoireesStellenbosch Street Soirees

Wine, dine and soak up the summertime vibes with an impromptu food and vino ...

Galileo Open Air Cinema Cape TownThe Galileo Open Air Cinema in the Cape ...

Grab some snacks and get ready to watch your favourite films beneath the stars ...

Excentric interior 5Hair and Nail Special at Excentric Hair ...

First-time clients save R100 on beauty services at this sleek Sea Point ...

Winelands-cycling-2.jpgConstantia Winelands Cycle Tour with ...

Explore the lush scenery of the Constantia Wine Valley from the seat of a ...

Paragliding Cape TownCape Town Paragliding Special with Para ...

Take to the skies on any Wednesday with this reputable company and receive R100 ...

SUPing with High Five Cape TownStand Up Paddle Board Group Lesson ...

Learn to SUP for less thanks to High Five Kite, SUP and Surf School

cloud 9 rooftop bar lions table mountainHappy Hour Special at Cloud 9 Rooftop ...

Celebrate the midweek mark with discounted cocktails, 2-for-1 local craft beers ...

knife cocktailsHappy Hour Special at Knife Restaurant

This handsome smokehouse celebrates the midweek mark by slicing right through ...

Summertide Art Exhibition 2016Summertide Art Exhibition

Add a pop of culture into your summer with this exquisite exhibition

True Italic EntranceA True Italic Signature

Sample genuine Italian cuisine with one of these must-try meals at this ...

aFREAKa Clothing Adult Pikachu OnesieaFREAKa Clothing Adult Onesies

Unleash your inner freak in one of these playful and trendy locally designed ...

Happy Hour at Mojitos2-for-1 Burger Special at Cafe Mojito

Grab two mouth-watering burgers for R79 every Wednesday at Long Street’s ...

Strolla Restaurant and Bar in Sea PointCoffee Special at Strolla Restaurant ...

Start your day with a hot cuppa for a steal of a price at this chic seaside ...

RicksHappy Hour Special at Rick’s Café ...

Sip discounted cocktails, tequila and more at the cosy bar off Kloof Street

ByeCycle Electric Bicycle Luxury Tours Cape TownSunday Morning Electric Bike Tour ...

Enjoy a leisurely weekend breakfast ride around Cape Town for less thanks to ...

La Mer Restaurant at Radisson Blue La Vendome in Sea PointLadies’ Night at Cpoint. Bar & Lounge ...

Dames get a complimentary signature cocktail upon arrival at this chic Atlantic ...

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.