This review is not for vegetarians or vegans. It is for those who love meat. Red meat. Like me. Like us. Like most South Africans. Like banters.
The name already says it all. Right? Quite honestly, I was a little doubtful about our meal here* as we were making our way to Fourways (from the North) in mad traffic to essentially go to a ‘room where they braai’. But as we arrived, our surprise was a pleasant one. The restaurant is an almost industrial space with warm, but no-nonsense décor. It is, after all a restaurant for serious meat eaters. No frills here.
We were greeted & shown around by our darling hostess, Lizzy, who is the quintessential South African gal. She is professional but talkative – speaks about six languages including perfect Afrikaans – & makes you feel at home right away. She explained that their busiest times are lunch during the week & weekends. Weeknights are quiet, so we felt a bit like Hollywood celebs because we had the restaurant (almost exclusively) to ourselves.
Have you ever wondered what South Africans find appetizing? Look no further than The Braai Room menu & selection at the Country Meat Butchery adjacent to the restaurant. Here you can find the freshest meat straight from the Free State; dry-aged (up to 90 days) or wet aged**. Chicken, boerewors with no MSG or other nonsense, dry wors, biltong & other proudly South African goodies like potbrood mixes. Big portions, but still fairly affordable.
This is the kind of restaurant where you can have three courses of meat if you like. Biltong on arrival, steak as a starter & main… & maybe even for dessert. Ok, not really. Unless you opt for more biltong in which case I would recommend the Wagyu biltong.
For starters, expect anything from Roasted Bone Marrow, a Plankie – sliced steak with balsamic glaze or chicken livers. Lizzy explained that the Crispy Pork Nuggets is the most popular starter, but we decided to share the Bacon & Cherry Oepsies – streaky bacon skewers marinated in a sweet cherry sauce. Not as delicious as it sounds, so I’ll give it a three out of five.
Mains (especially steaks) are really great value for money starting at only R55 for a 21 day matured 250g sirloin. The Shisa Nyama (for R170) is the most ordered main. It is a meat lovers’ feast with boerewors, chicken, chuck, brisket & lamb chops – all served with pap & sous, chakalaka & coleslaw.
By the time we got to ordering our main, we had already eaten some biltong & dry wors & oepsies, so Ernie had a super fillet with pap & sous on the side. Steak heaven. The sous was amazing! I went for the Wagyu Burger which is fantastic value for R90. My half half salad & chips were really fresh & delish. Both mains deserve a four out of five.
I went for the Wagyu Burger which is fantastic value for R90. My half half salad & chips were really fresh & delish. Both mains deserve a four out of five.
I love the variety of side dishes on the menu: braaibroodjies, samp, potato & biltong salad, paptert & rustic chips.
The portions are so ginormous (aka super generous) that you can really get away with sharing a starter & main course between two ladies. I suspect that most men will probably not want to share such delicious steaks.
If you still have even the smallest little space for dessert after all the delicious meat, then go for the Blueberry & Apple Crumble. Oh my word. Five out of five. It is a.m.a.z.i.n.g! Or choose a proudly local option like Milk Tart or Malva Pudding.
The verdict: if you love good, fresh (red) meat, cooked to perfection, then The Braai Room is the place for you.
My advice: have a green juice & a run in the morning if you plan a visit The Braai room for lunch or dinner. You will need a huge appetite!
The Braai Room by Country Meat is located at the Forest Road Design & Décor Centre, Forest Rd & Sunset Avenue, Fourways, Johannesburg. Check them out on Facebook or 011 465 0664 to book.
*Our dinner at The Braai Room was complimentary, but my opinions are honest & my own.
** Read more about dry-ageing vs wet-ageing over here.