Oysters and bubbles in a high steaks gamble

Spicy chicken livers with ciabatta toast.

Spicy chicken livers with ciabatta toast.

Published Jul 22, 2023


Steak & Oyster

Where: 12 uMhlanga Rocks Drive

Open: Daily lunch and dinner

Call: 031 561 1031

The Advocate and I popped into uMhlanga this week only to find our intended meeting spot was chockers. On a mid-month Tuesday they could not squeeze in another table. Great to see in these difficult times, but that’s the result of offering good value.

So we took a walk down the road and stopped at the Steak & Oyster, a new spot resulting from the defranchising of Turn & Tender last year.

It’s a smart, modern and stylish restaurant, yet comfortable too. Our waiter quickly takes us to a quiet spot where we can catch up. A good glass of cabernet is soon in my paw. The Advocate prefers a Scotch. The waiter also presents us a giant board boasting the cuts of the day ‒ a wagyu steak, T-bone, rib-eye, rump and a massive tomahawk. Worth pondering they are.

Oysters Rockerfeller.

Steak & Oysters is basically a steakhouse with a small menu taking in a number of different ways with oysters and sushi. I must admit I didn’t look at the sushi menu carefully, but it seemed to cover all bases. There were six different preparations of oyster, including the classic au naturel. I baulked when I saw an oyster platter listed at R2 300, before realising it included a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. I suppose why not serve two of nature’s famed aphrodisiacs together? Not that I would believe that nonsense, but it makes for a good sales pitch.

Beef Wellington with mushroom sauce.

I tried the Oysters Rockefeller (R190 for four). Traditionally these are topped with parsley and spring onions with breadcrumbs and butter and put under the grill. Here they were with spinach in a hollandaise and gratinated with Parmesan. I enjoyed them and they certainly looked pretty. Although note to chef, pea shoots are not a suitable garnish for oysters. It completely changes the favour.

The Advocate tried the chicken livers (R70) which was a generous portion, the chicken livers just cooked and the sauce spicy with more of a pepper than chilli bite at the back. He mopped it all up with two generous slices of toast. Other starters include sticky beef rashers or marrow bones, or breaded chicken strips or salt and pepper calamari. Many around us were going the sushi route. There’s also a small selection of salads.

Rib-eye on the bone with a side of roast potatoes.

Mains offered a few interesting options not often seen on Durban menus. There’s a cottage pie, which tempted. And The Advocate settled instantly for the beef Wellington, (R280) which he enjoyed ‒ and couldn’t finish. It came with a side and an enjoyable mushroom sauce.

There’s oxtail, a lamb curry pot, chicken schnitzel, peri-peri- chicken, Norwegian salmon, to name just a few, plus a full range of steaks and lamb chops, pork ribs and even a selection of burgers. Nothing new here.

A steak platter at some R1 300 plus features the full selection of steaks and sides for all at the table to share ‒ fillet, rump, rib-eye, sirloin, T-bone, lamb chops and wors.

I opt for the 350g rib-eye on the bone (R235) which was cooked to a perfect medium rare, but was strangely sliced into strips. It had been dressed with a very good café de Paris butter. I ordered Bearnaise sauce (R25) which was more of a cream without any tarragon hit, and wasn’t really needed with that lovely butter. And then there were the roast potatoes (R20) which were nice and crisp, and very generous.

Potatoes get a whole section here featuring fries and mash and sweet potato mash and potato bake. Sides too are interesting with the inclusion of pap and dombolo with the traditional creamed spinach, or onion rings, or green salad.

Desserts were fairly conventional, but despite all that food, one caught my eye. This was their whisky chocolate (R60), an affogato, served with whisky and dark chocolate sauce. It’s amazing how much better good old ice cream and chocolate sauce tasted. Like it was on steroids.

Food: 3 ½

Service: 3 ½

Ambience: 3 ½

The Bill: R1 066 for two

The Independent on Saturday