The Great Steak-Out

The Great Steak-Out

The Butcher Shop & GRILL serves up quintessential South African game fare, letting you customise your choice of meat, or pick from the selection available

By Mary Paulose

Published: Fri 26 Oct 2012, 8:48 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:56 PM

Fine dining and steaks? In my mind, I begged to differ. On being assigned to review The Butcher Shop & GRILL, all I could do was mentally plate up images of clumsily forking through a prime rib or rack of lamb. Sure, I’m a lover of all things meat, but was that enough to do culinary justice to one of the best-known names in steaks and grills in town?

First, a roast primer. The Butcher Shop & GRILL, a South African restaurant brand that first opened in Johannesburg in the early 1990s, set itself apart from the start by integrating a fully functioning retail butchery into the restaurant, making it a one-of-its-kind concept. Using only grained A-grade beef, they’re known for using special methods that result in tender cuts of meat.

The Butcher Shop & GRILL we headed to happened to be in, what we think are, the right premises and ambience to enjoy a hearty steak-fest — the bustling Mall of the Emirates. What better than finishing up an enthusiastic and energy-consuming shopping spree with some wholesome, juicy T-bone or sirloin? We hit the outlet, strategically placed in the clustered restaurants area next to the cinemas. It’s packed, — certainly a good idea to make reservations in advance if you’re feeling steak-ish on the weekend.

The Butcher Shop & GRILL offers its diners a cutomised dining experience by letting you pick up your choice of meat to steak or barbecue.

Let’s get one thing right, straight up. A steak and grill place doesn’t necessarily mean the diner is left high and dry where side dishes and other main courses are concerned. Like any self-respecting steakhouse, The Butcher Shop & GRILL offers a full menu of starters and salads; and just in case you decide a beef rib or lamb shank isn’t what you feel like at the moment, there’s a full roster of wholesome hamburgers, and even a vegetarian platter.

You should definitely try signature Springbok dishes here, and we suggest the traditional South African boerewors — loosely filled seasoned beef sausages. The place serves up a healthy, flavourful catch of seafood dishes, and if you’re game to experiment, sample the crab cakes, delicate medallions of white crab meat, seasoned and gently and pan-fried, served with a dip of mango salsa. For the veggies, besides the host of salads, there’s a delicious black mushroom ‘au gratin’, served with goat’s cheese.

I depart from my usual beef fixation to tuck into South African-style lamb chops, all fat and juicy. Even by the end of the meal, the chops haven’t gone all tough on me, doing away with the need to endure the previously stated mental scenario of clumsy forking. My dining partner, with a signi-ficantly larger appetite and intake capabilities, teams her 
‘Surf and Turf’ choice of beef steak, with a humongous Prawn Fiesta — your choice of half or one kilo of tiger prawns on a bed of rice, served with lemon butter, peri-peri and garlic butter sauces. It’s definitely yummy, as she scarfs it all down without a pause. Between fat mouthfuls, she says, “These are surely the best prawns I’ve had in years — soft, cooked right and easily extracted from the shell.” We wash down our lunch with homemade iced tea and mint lemonade.

In a departure from the quiet, subdued dining ambience we’re generally used to, we get to take in all the shoppers and mall sights around us, making for a great community dining experience. You just have finish off with the heavenly molten chocolate cake, topped off with a glob of ice cream, and then, you’re all set to get back to shopping.

Cost for 2: Dh270, or Dh135 per person

Contact: Butcher Shop MOE: Mall of the Emirates, first floor, next to 
Ski Dubai,
Tel: 04-3471167

Editor’s rating: 4.5/ 5


The secret of cooking a good steak is buying good steak! The majority of beef is graded as ‘Choice’, which is moderately marbled, making it flavourful, tender and juicy. ‘Prime‘ meat has heavy marbling of muscular fat. After cooking, it should have a buttery texture and a rich beefy flavour.

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