Noble Savage (he said):
South Africans love meat. It’s one of those facts that you don’t need Africa Check to check. And it might well be because of the variety and quality of the meat available here. One establishment that embraces this love of meat is Tribes, located at Emperor’s Palace. Tribes also embraces the relative proximity to the airport, so the décor is decidedly tourist friendly.
The first thing that I noticed when walking in was the size of Tribes; this place is huge! From outside it seems like a regular-sized restaurant, but it goes on forever. Tribes is perfect for larger groups, and can accommodate year-end functions and conferences.
As I mentioned, the décor embraces many traditional African elements without it being in-your-face. Overall, Tribes gives the impression of a classy eatery, without being intimidating.
We were seated in a sort-of indoor boma area, with a big pot taking centre stage. I loved this area, as it’s not claustrophobic, but still allows for some privacy while discussing how the world will never be the same now that Twitter doubled its character limit. #blessed.
The wine list covers anything you might be craving, and it’s just large enough to not baffle the indecisive. As I was planning on having a juicy steak, I opted for the Zonnebloem Shiraz, because it’s a nice, old world wine that can keep up with a decent piece of red meat.
Speaking of which, on to the meat. If you’re unsure of what meat (or fish for that matter) you want, there is a display to give you some idea. I already knew that I wanted the fillet, which is exactly what I ordered. I wanted to taste the quality of the meat, so I ordered it with the pepper crust, and skipped the sauce. And I was not disappointed!
The meat was perfectly prepared (medium-rare), and the pepper crust gave the fillet a highly enjoyable texture. The wine worked perfectly with the fillet, with the aromas of pepper and oak nicely complementing the pepper crust of the meat.
I don’t normally do dessert, but after seeing the tray of delectables, decided to give the Crème Brulee a try. It’s served in a long, thin tray, which looks quite impressive and interesting when it was placed between us. It made for the perfect end to the meal.
Boozy Foodie (she said):
We haven’t been to Tribes in a while, so I was quite excited – and curious – when we were invited to dine at this African-style Steakhouse. I was interested to see what have changed, seeing that the last time we were there was probably about five years ago? It is always intriguing to experience the same restaurant during various stages of its lifecycle, don’t you think?
The moment we walked through the doors, we were greeted with the same familiar warmth and hospitality. And like NS said, I can’t remember that the restaurant is soooo big? As we walked through, we were shown – and discovered, various seating areas, ranging from romantic and intimate two-seaters, to larger areas that can easily accommodate larger groups. All the nooks and crannies, and seating on various levels and in different corners of the restaurant, still manage to make it feel quite intimate and warm.
I remember from a previous visit that Tribes even catered for wedding receptions in a private dining area, so that will give you a good idea of how versatile this restaurant is.
As a renowned steakhouse, the menu revolves strongly around red meat options – because that is what you eat at a Steak House, not so? You can even have a peek at the various cuts and sizes if you need to a more visual introduction.
As South Africans, we are so used to having red meat relatively readily available, but seeing that a large percentage of the clientele are foreign visitors, the view of all the steaks must blow their minds! And the decor is lovely – and well suited for an African Grill.
And, if I can give you an insider’s tip – the biltong is fantastic! Yes, you can even buy some to take home. (If your home is in South Africa that is!)
On the menu at Tribes you will also find a good range of game dishes – including Impala, Warthog and Kudu, as well as poultry and fish dishes as well.
I decided to go with the grilled Kingklip – and I did what every chef hates, I asked for it to be grilled and not served with lemon butter. Yes, it was during an extremely brief period (four days) where I tried to ‘go healthy’.
Despite the restrictions I placed on the kitchen, the kingklip was really tasty and succulent. Very well prepared!
So, my resolve crumbled when I saw the dessert tray, served at your table, though. But come on, be honest – will you be able to resist this??
Delicious treats like milktart, chocolate brownies and malva pudding! Well, I did share a dessert, so that eased my guilty conscience for a bit! 😉
The service and vibe at Tribes was great, so we really had a lovely dining experience! There are a few items on the menu that I will definitely go back for – like the ostrich medallions with black cherry sauce, and the honey mustard steak topped with crispy bacon *drool*!
Thank you for your hospitality Tribes! We’ll be back!