The Local Grill in Cape Town

Celebrated Jozi steakhouse launches in Woodstock to beef up the suburb’s culinary scene

Since the 2002 establishment of The Local Grill in Johannesburg, Capetonians travelling between home and the Gauteng hub have been holding thumbs in hope that the juicy goodness of this beef hotspot would make its way to the Mother City. And now it’s finally happened: four forward-thinking entrepreneurs have come together to bring a branch to the ever-evolving precinct of Woodstock.

Unofficially opened in April 2014 (the official launch is scheduled for July), the award-winning eatery – it was voted Best Steakhouse in SA at the 2011 Eat Out Restaurant Awards – sits above the new Woodstock Brewery in a beautifully refurbished former warehouse, and from its high perch, it promises an extraordinarily ethical red meat dining experience.

 “We don’t just put steak on a plate; we’re all about paying homage to the bovine,” summarises co-owner Popi Tomazos.

That is, the industrial-chic restaurant displays a deep respect for the source of its fare. Not only are its walls adorned with cattle-themed photographs and its placemats etched with an educational beef cuts diagram, but the grillhouse also follows a strict ‘field to fork’ philosophy, so that every slice of meat can be traced back to the exact cow it came from. Not to mention, the ethical venue runs a series of beef appreciation courses and offers every customer the chance to tour the kitchen and learn about the different aging and preparation processes.

Once patrons understand a little more about what it is they’re devouring, they can opt to enjoy either grain-fed or grass-fed beef that’s been wet- or dry-aged on site and spiced with a special rub and can even choose their own specific slice of rump, sirloin, fillet, T-bone or rib-eye, which is then cut to order.

And this is yet another drawcard of The Local Grill. It operates much like an old-school butchery where the concept is, as Popi says, “sausages wrapped in brown paper”. Meaning, the stylish steakhouse is meant to be your regular neighbourhood haunt where all the staff know your name, where you can personally select your portion and where you can always rely on great small town-style service.

Accordingly, although the restaurant claims a trendy interior – it melds light wood with raw brick walls, large glass doors and exposed ceiling beams – it still boasts an unassuming and easy-going ambience. Families are more than welcome – there’s even a kids’ colouring-in menu – and though beef is the star of the show, the eatery doesn’t exclude those who prefer not to indulge in red meat. So, alongside dishes like brisket on mash potato, dry-aged wing rib and boerewors and pap, there are also options like grilled calamari tubes served with lemon butter and sweet chilli jam, slow-roasted half chicken, pork belly and a cous cous and vegetable medley.

Similarly, the large, elegant bar area stocks an assortment of red wine for those in the mood for a classic pairing, but by July 2014, it will also be home to 10 draught beers, including a number of artisan ales from the downstairs Woodstock Brewery, for those lusting for some brew and beef.

Ultimately, the restaurant seems to have a recipe for success, and as it’s already got a sizeable Cape Town fan club, it’ll likely be considered the new local in no time.

Tip: By July 2014, The Local Grill will also boast a butchery and deli component, so visitors can pick up top-notch meat to braai at home (rumour has it, the restaurant will soon deliver cuts too). What’s more, if you’re keen to host an event at this inviting venue, there’s a well-equipped function room that can accommodate between 40 and 50 people on site.

The Bill: You can expect to pay a good amount for good meat at this quality grillhouse. Starters cost between R49 and R77, salads range from R54 to R92, Chalmar grain-fed steaks go for between R103 and R269 depending on the cut and weight, Greenfields free-range steaks sit between R113 and R299 depending on the same factors and ‘local favourites’, like pork belly and lamb cutlets, will set you back from R85 to R179.

Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 12pm – 10pm

252 Albert Road (next to The Bromwell Boutique Mall) | Woodstock | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 447 0934

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Eager to learn about other must-visit meat hubs in the Mother City? Have a look at our overview of top steak restaurants in Cape Town.

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