If I had to name one Cape Town restaurant that I missed when I was living in Joburg it has to be The Hussar Grill. I am absolutely obsessed with the steak joint. I don’t know how they do it but the restaurant chain is one of the few in Cape Town that manages to keep their standards up no matter what – year after year, restaurant opening after restaurant opening you can always be sure that you’re going to get your money’s worth when visiting one of their many eateries. And now, after years of begging (no really, I personally wrote them to ask when they were opening in Joburg), The Hussar Grill has finally brought a little piece of their magic to Joburg (hallelujah!). So, if you haven’t yet paid a visit to The Hussar Grill Morningside yet then now is time to treat your taste buds and your tummy.
I’ve been to The Hussar Grill more times than I can count. My family always celebrates special occasions at the restaurant – from birthdays to anniversaries and just about any other excuse we can think of, there always seems to be a reason for us to head to our favourite steakhouse. I recently got the chance to fully explore the menu from starters to dessert and it just so happened to be the perfect time to tell you all about the recent Joburg opening. Located in Morningside Shopping Centre, the first Hussar Grill in Johannesburg more than lives up to The Hussar Grill name. Like it’s Cape Town counterparts the eatery’s decor is luxurious and oh-so-homy at the same time. With exposed brick walls, brown leather seating, and an array of leather-bound books, vintage wine bottles, and other sophisticated trinkets taking up residence on the wooden bookshelves lining the walls, the restaurant is the perfect combination of welcoming and sophisticated.
But it doesn’t just look cool – the best thing about The Hussar Grill is that they are super serious about their meat (it’s the reason they have so many loyal fans) The restaurant’s top quality meat is always matured on site (meat is hung on the carcass for up to seven days, whereafter it is ‘wet aged’ for periods varying up to three weeks!) and they take great pride in their knowledge of cuts and in offering diners something different each time. When you visit The Hussar Grill your waiter takes your drinks order and then returns to your table with a platter displaying the cuts of the day to explain exactly what is on offer that day. I don’t know many places that do this and it really helps you make a much more informed decision about your meal.
Of course, even with the meat cuts being presented to you there’s still the business of deciding what you want to order from their extensive menu. In addition to a range of starters, steaks, grills, speciality steaks and game meat dishes, the menu also offers dinners a selection of poultry and seafood dishes, salads and light grills. On my most recent trip, I tried the Prawn & Fresh Avo Cocktail (sweet prawn meat dressed with homemade Marie Rose sauce, served on a bed of baby greens – R78) for starters, Madagascan Pepper Fillet (served with a cream and green peppercorn reduction – R165 for 200g |R185 for 300g) for mains and the Hussar Grill Ice Cream Cake (an extravagant combination of vanilla ice cream, peanut brittle, honeycomb and nuts, drizzled with dark chocolate sauce – R45) for dessert.
It was my first time ordering the Madagascan Pepper Fillet and all I can say is it is a pepper lover’s dream! I put black pepper on everything so it was a real treat for me. I usually go for a basic grill at Hussar’s and add a sauce to my dish but treating myself to one of their speciality steaks was a completely different experience. The sauce was incredibly creamy and I loved how generous they were with the amount of sauce on my plate. All of Hussar’s meats dishes are served with a complimentary choice of traditional fries, rice, mash or new baby potatoes and diners can then choose to add creamed spinach and cinnamon butternut vegetables at a nominal charge of R25 per portion. I opted for chips and added a portion of the veggies on the side as an extra treat.
My prawn starter was also a winner and well worth the R78 price tag. I was pleasantly surprised at the size of my starter and could have easily shared it with my dining buddy had he not ordered the yummy Hollandse Bitterballen starter (double-cream Béchamel studded with beef jus and beef bits, then crumbed and deep fried and served with Dijon mustard on the side – R59). If those tasty morsels don’t whet your tastebuds then try the Springbok Carpaccio – I order it almost every time I visit!
Dessert was an extremely decadent affair and I got the chance to try the beyond amazing ice cream cake – you have not tasted joy until you have tasted this incredible dessert. I spent a good 30 minutes savouring this delight and digging around inside the ice cream for bits of nuts, chocolate and biscuit. In fact just thinking about it now is making my mouth water. If you only try one thing from my list of recommendations above, make it this dessert! Another winner one the dessert menu is the traditional Malva pudding, there’s a reason why it has been on their menu from the very beginning and why regulars tend to order it time and again.
Something else I adore about The Hussar Grill is that they don’t charge corkage – ever! Diners are welcome to bring their own wine along to enjoy at the table and they won’t charge you a cent for it. If you can’t be bothered to take an entire bottle of wine with you then fear not because they also have one of the best wine lists in town and stock a vast selection of award-winning wines by the bottle and by the glass.
For more information on The Hussar Grill in Johannesburg Say Hi to The Hussar Grill Morningside on Facebook or visit their website. And, if you’re in Pretoria then you’ll be excited to know that The Hussar Grill also has a branch at The Grove shopping centre in Pretoria.