Noble Savage (he said):
Quality meat is, in my opinion, becoming harder and harder to find. A few butchers are getting it right, but some not so much. One that is getting it right is Country Meat. Along with supplying some pretty famous restaurants, they also have a few butcheries around Gauteng. Their main differentiator is that they basically own the whole supply chain, so can control the produce every step of the way (check out their infographic here). And a while ago, they decided to open their restaurant: The Braai Room.
We were invited to sample their menu during September. Also known as braai month. The restaurant is right next to their Fourways butchery. It’s not huge, but is also not tiny – just the right size to keep everything running smoothly. They have a decent wine list, and also serve Copper Lake’s craft beer on tap. It was a warm day, so beer it is!
To start off we had six of their hot chicken wings, and decided to also indulge on some marrow bones. The wings were nice and spicy, but not too spicy. But the marrow bones were a highlight. And so simple: basically roasted with salt and pepper, and served with ciabatta. And don’t let the size of the plate freak you out – the bones are quite big, but you’ll only find the marrow in the middle. It’s at times a bit tricky to get the marrow out, but so worth it in the end. And my mouth just shot full of saliva…
I was very undecided when it came to mains. Burger? Lamb Chops? Ribs? But then sanity prevailed: I was in a steakhouse, so let’s have a steak. I settled on a wet-aged rump steak (first time anyone explained the difference between dry-and wet-aged).
The sides need to be ordered separately, so I decided on onion rings, and a braaibroodjie!
The steak was perfectly done (medium-rare), and the flavour was more intense than what I’ve had in a long time. This rump steak shows how the quality of meat transcends cooking methods: I’m sure this steak will be delicious even if some monster cooked it well done. The braaibroodjie fitted in amazingly with the steak. But then again, as we’ve explained (click here), few things match the absolute delight of a braaibroodjie. If I do have a criticism, it’s that the onion rings retained a bit of oil in the batter.
The Braai Room proved to be a very relaxed Sunday afternoon outing. The staff are very friendly and attentive, and food is absolutely delicious. This is the perfect place if you’re in the mood for a good braai (but too lazy to DIY), and a looooong lunch with friends.
Boozy Foodie (she said):
As a real meat lover I was so excited to visit Country Meat’s Braai Room! We’ve visited Country Meat’s butchery in Fourways a couple of times before, and always walked out with bags full of delicious goodies. So, I thought, how marvelous will it be if the experts at Country Meat actually prepare the food for you? And – another bonus – I don’t have to deal with the dishes and the dirty braai tongs. Win.
The Braai Room consists of several open spaces. You can dine on the ‘stoep’ outside, or there are two inside dining areas where you can make yourself at home. And you know us by now (and if you don’t, you know it now), we go for ‘inside’ 95% of the time – because…. aircon.
They have a good wine list – spotted quite a few favourites. But, like you read already, seeing that we were sort of at a ‘braai’, the craft beer on tap worked very well!
You saw what our choose of starters were, but we really need to talk some more about these wings! I thoroughly enjoyed the marrow bone starter, but the chicken wings were a special kind of awesome. Over the past couple of months we started to notice that we don’t handle ‘spicy’ that well anymore. Maybe it is middle-age approaching rapidly, or maybe our taste buds are just extra refined and sensitive all of the sudden. Meh, just basically wanted to tell you that burn-the-hell-out-of-you doesn’t work for us. Although the menu states ‘Hot Buffalo Wings’ the wings were just hot enough. No numbing of the gums, or the tongue, or the brain, just really delicious. Served with a blue cheese dipping sauce that complimented it perfectly. It tasted like more!
But I guess I couldn’t just sit there licking my fingers all the time – people started to stare. So off to the mains! The Lamb Steak immediately caught my eye. Is this something you often see on a menu? I am not sure. It sounded right up my alley though – lamb as steak – or steak of lamb!
I must admit, when my plate was placed in front of me I initially thought the meat was a little too ‘braaied’. But it actually wasn’t. It was, in fact, grilled to perfection. Especially when it comes to lamb, your meat must be juicy and succulent, with the bits of fat grilled and seared enough to bring out the unique lamb flavour. And this dish was exactly like it should be. Seasoned and prepared beautifully.
The Braai Room has got some ‘different’ and real South African dishes and sides on the menu. Like the braaibroodjie NS had – but also creamy samp, paptert; as well as potato and biltong salad. Doesn’t that sound delectable! Alas, we will have to go back for that – we just about rolled out of there! They also serve breakfast – I notice a “Breakfast Potjie” on the menu, so you can get your meat fix early in the day as well.
Thank you for hosting us – what a delicious, and uniquely South African meal!
Check out The Braai Room’s website for more info: https://thebraairoom.co.za/