Cowboys and Cooks brings next-level steaks to Cape Town's Sunset Beach
The focus of this popular steakhouse is on serving up quality meat, while keeping prices affordable, writes Kit Heathcock
There’s a new steakhouse in town and Sunset Beach is surprisingly where it’s at. Cowboys and Cooks is an independent brand dreamed up by restauranteurs Mike Townsend and Stuart Bailey, ex-Harbour House and Hussar Grill respectively.
“We wanted to go back to local, away from the trendy scene of the CBD,” says Stuart. “Neighbourhoods like this are starved of really good, up to date, relevant restaurants.”
Their aim is to take the local steakhouse up a notch in quality and character. “The beauty of the steakhouse is it’s part of the South African culture – it’s timeless. We grew up with this. Primal cuts, great meat – that’s what it’s all about.”
Cowboys and Cooks source their meat from Chalmar Beef, a sustainable farming ethos producing a superior quality beef and lamb, and this focus on quality – while keeping prices affordable – has drawn crowds of locals ever since they opened in November.
Purists love their custom-designed open charcoal grill and the braai-style perfection of flavour it gives, with no complicated basting sauces, just a simple seasoning of salt and pepper, so you can really taste the flavour differences between the cuts.
Starters are classics such as grilled calamari, luscious roast marrow bones with ciabatta toast and crispy onion rings, jalapeno poppers or peri-peri chicken livers – rich, creamy and fiercely spiced.
Our ribeye and rump steaks were both superb, tender, juicy and full of real flavour. Sauces come separately in copper pans, but we ended up enjoying our steaks unadorned, using the admittedly delicious truffle mushroom sauce for dunking hand-cut chips.
A dedicated vegetarian and vegan section to the menu is in the works, but in the meantime a huge black mushroom baked with feta on nutmeg-dusted creamed spinach made a delicious and substantial starter, and sides such as roasted butternut, char-grilled broccoli and BBQ mushrooms are varied enough to make up a meal.
Fresh fish comes daily from Kalk Bay through Mike’s Waterfront restaurant, Sevruga.
With bookshelves, leather chairs and banquettes, wood flooring reclaimed from ship decking, black and white photographs, Cowboys and Cooks is comfortably old school in decor but with a slightly quirky, unpretentious, home-from-home touch.
Branches in Durbanville, Stellenbosch and Kloof Street are planned for next year, each with its own individual style and the same high standards of food established in this first Cowboys and Cooks.
• Visit Cowboys and Cooks at Ocean Square, 4 Ocean Way, Sunset Beach, Cape Town. See cowboysandcooks.com
This article was originally published in the Sunday Times Neighbourhood: Property and Lifestyle guide. Visit Yourneighbourhood.co.za