Sometimes the very best things are right under our noses. I recently ventured just outside my doorstep to The Hussar Grill in Steenberg to help celebrate their 55 years of award winning excellence, and boy, was it a feast of note for all the right reasons!
I was recently invited to dine at The Hussar Grill as part of their 55 years of award-winning excellence celebrations, and immediately I thought of my (then) upcoming birthday being the perfect time to visit. Not one for massive parties and loud festivities, I welcomed an opportunity to have a small, intimate meal on a Sunday afternoon. I immediately booked our visit for the day after my birthday for myself, The Tall Hedonist and Mother Hedonist, and was (yes, we all know!) childishly excited for my first Hussar experience.
The Hussar Grill first opened its legendary brass doors in 1964 and today, after 55 years of excellence, it is regarded as one of South Africa’s premier grill rooms. Having garnered a loyal following over the years, we are known for our award-winning speciality steaks and wine selection, superb service and warm ambience. We remain, as ever, with pleasure and always at your service.
The Hussar Grill’s reputation stems from our 55-year heritage combined with a real passion for people and commitment to serving only Class-A grain-fed beef and game. We believe in being more than just a restaurant that serves outstanding quality food – it’s about the entire Hussar Grill experience. From our delicious steaks and grills, to our excellent service – we go to endless lengths to ensure your experience with us is always a memorable one (https://www.hussargrill.co.za/our-legacy/)
To be completely honest, I have a thing about restaurants in malls or shopping complexes. Having said that, the few times I have engaged with them, I’ve been pleasantly surprised, and this visit was no different. Tucked into a (rather large) corner of the intimate Steenberg Village Centre, Hussar Grill forms one of the main attractions of this little complex at the foot of the mountain.
I imagined Hussar Grill to be dark and lush, with delicious notes of leather, wood panelling and earthy accents. I was spot-on. As we entered the front doors, the restaurant opened into a beautifully rustic butchery, with a polished checkered floor, a wrap-around mahogany wood English bar, and a meat-counter second to none. I simply loved the juxta-positioning of the bare brick walls and the old-fashioned ceiling rose décor. Rows and rows of books and travel knick-knacks adorned the walls, with lots of Hussar’s signature classic English pub-inspired trim completing the look.
The dining room opened into a cosy, library-esque space, where tables were intimately tucked between walls of books and old photographs. Bottle green leather banquettes lined the walls, and modest dark-wood tables with crisp white linen were slowly filling with diners. I was mesmerised with the curated display of wine bottles and memorabilia, and simply didn’t know where to indulge my eyes first. I swirled around like a little girl, completely in my element. In this beautiful, elegantly-understated space of the Hussar Grill, I was going to have the quiet, memorable after-birthday treat I was dreaming of.
Our waitress started us off with a special selection of nibbles as we perused the menu. It was all my favourite things stacked in little bowls: olives, biltong and potato crisps. The menu was big, but not overwhelming, and even though it offered various options that caters for different dietary restrictions, the main event was their steaks and meat dishes, as it should be.
My tip of the day: make sure to check the blackboards for their amazing specials!
The different cuts of meat were brought to the table by our waitress, and she knowledgeably explained the various cuts to us. I learned a few things from her meat presentation I didn’t know before! For example, did you know that a T-bone steak is comprised of a sirloin and beef fillet? Best of both worlds! She also talked us through the other menu options and the specials for the day.
We decided to share a few starters and settled on the traditional boerewors, chorizo dish and Hollandse bitterballen. The chorizo was flambéed tableside, enveloped in a rich, brandy-doused tomato sauce, which paired beautiful with the fatty meat. The boerewors dish came in a sweet chilli relish and was gone before I could reach for seconds. The bitterballen is really an acquired taste, but my year in the Netherlands left my pining for these creamy, meaty morsels, served with strong mustard on the side. The Tall One and Mother Hedonist seemed to take a fancy to them!
Owner, Jason Allen, came over a few minutes later to chat to us, and welcome us to his restaurant. He popped in every now and again, being very attentive and looking after us throughout the night. A stunning start to the meal.
I opted for my all-time favourite sirloin steak, The Tall Hedonist lusted after the fillet on the bone and Mother Hedonist had a lovely beef burger. We topped up our mains with sides of onion rings, oven-roasted vegetables, creamed spinach and cinnamon-infused butternut.
I love how the food is presented simply, without the fuss and frills. At Hussar Grill, the meat very much takes centre-stage. Their butchers and game farmers source only South African Class-A grain-fed beef and wild game cuts for the menu. We didn’t opt for sauces, as I find them unnecessarily rich and mostly overpowering. My sirloin was perfectly cooked, beautifully seasoned and incredibly flavourful. The fillet on the bone was even more juicy than off the bone, and it added a whole new flavour profile to the meat that we haven’t encountered before.
Served with our mains, we were indulged with a bottle of red wine, made by D’Aria Winery for Hussar Grill’s 50th service anniversary. This beautiful Shiraz / Cabernet Sauvignon / Pinotage blend is a great all-rounder, and I particularly enjoyed it’s juicy fulness. Laden with berry and spice notes, it adores a stunning cut of steak, and made for the perfect companion to round off our meal.
After the meal
We sat back for a bit and watched the steady flow of diners settling down for dinner. We’ve been here a couple of hours already, soaking up the great food and ambience. It only seemed appropriate to finish the meal with dessert, right? It was my birthday weekend, after all!
So, on to the dessert menu we move. One crème brulee and two ice creams with chocolate sauce. And just when we thought we were done, out came the chocolate vodka martini’s and a special belated birthday wish for me!
I must’ve crooned so much over my deeply indulgent martini that that the couple a few tables down simply had to ask what I was drinking, with animated expressions on their faces. I described the sensory overload I was experiencing in that moment, brought on by the thick, chocolate martini, with a gentle hit of smooth vodka, and the fact that it had a white chocolate smiley face on! What a lovely special touch. I was tempted to drag my finger through the glass. I restrained myself. However, I did drag my finger through the chocolate lettering on the plate!
We reluctantly got ready to leave much later that evening. I felt rested, relaxed and utterly content. I was very surprised at the jewel that lay at my doorstep, and the fact that it offers such a full-mouth experience. This is a restaurant that prides itself on quality produce, excellent staff and good, old-fashioned hospitality. From the service to the surroundings, from the steaks to the sweets, from the wine list to the décor. Everything was pure perfection, and Hussar Grill Steenberg was just the place to celebrate another year of life, of love, of family and of small victories.
Thank you, Jason and Hussar Grill Steenberg, for making my birthday weekend this year super special in all the most indulgent ways! Thank you for hosting us so generously!
Second photographer: The Tall Hedonist, aka Timothy P. Gibson
The Little Hedonist has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, I do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, menu changes, opening times, and contact details.
Disclaimer: I was invited to this event in my personal capacity. There was no expectation for platform coverage in the form of a blog, or social media posts. This is my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated/credited, are also my own.
The Little Hedonist endorses responsible drinking.