Cape Town newcomer, Rare Grill in Kenilworth took top honours in the 2017 Wolftrap steakhouse championship.
The competition saw over 150 steakhouses from around South Africa compete for the converted title.
Durban's Little Havana in Umhlanga Rocks and The Local Grill in Parktown North, Johannesburg came in third and second place, respectively.
In the first round during May, the public seeded the field by voting, via Facebook, for their favourite steakhouse.
The top 10 finalists were then visited unannounced during June by expert judges led by Pete Goffe-Wood, well-known MasterChef personality, and assessed according to a strict score sheet that focuses on the steak on the plate, as well as looking at the side dishes and the quality of the hospitality.
Ultimately it was debut entrant Rare Grill in Kenilworth that claimed top honours.
This marks the first Cape winner in the five years of The Wolftrap Steakhouse Championships. The runner up, Little Havana was the winner in 2015, and in third place, The Local Grill, has an incredible three titles to its name.
Rare Grill owner Greg Bax was overwhelmed to claim the Championship title, as well as Newcomer of the Year, a new award this year.
“For an intimate steakhouse like Rare Grill, such an accolade is really going to put us on the map,” Bax said.
Goffe-Wood, head judge, added: “Rare Grill is a gem, an owner-operated steakhouse where Greg personally mans the grill and takes immense pride in the quality of his beef.”
The other two new awards this year were Steakhouse Legend of the Year which was awarded to The Godfather in Centurion, a stalwart in the industry, and Steakhouse Chain of the Year which went to the Cattle Baron Group for having four outlets in the top 30: Cattle Baron Tyger Waterfront, Cattle Baron George, Cattle Baron Tableview and Cattle Baron Mossel Bay.
The 2017 Awards were announced at a steak feast hosted by last year’s winner, The Local Grill in Parktown North, on Tuesday July 18. Steve Maresch, owner-patron of The Local Grill, and his dedicated team pulled out all the stops at the luncheon, treating the guests to a 4-course lunch, served with The Wolftrap wine.
The Wolftrap Steakhouse Championships is a blend of public involvement and expert arbitration - and the ultimate winner is therefore not only very good indeed, but also a public favourite. To the victor belong the spoils: the ultimate bragging rights of being the Champion for a year, and also a full year’s supply of The Wolftrap wine.
The Wolftrap Steakhouse Championships results for 2017 are:
1. Rare Grill, Kenilworth
2. Little Havana, Umhlanga Rocks (2015 Champion)
3. The Local Grill, Parktown North (2013, 2014 and 2016 Champion)
4. The Godfather, Centurion, Pretoria
5. The Cricketer, East London
6. Beef Boys Grill, Potchefstroom
7. HQ, Cape Town
8. Karoo Cattle and Land, Irene, Pretoria
9. Jayz Grill, Pietermaritzburg
10. The Grumpy Griller, George
Newcomer of the Year: Rare Grill, Kenilworth
Steakhouse Legend of the Year: The Godfather, Centurion
Chain Steakhouse of the Year: The Cattle Baron Group