Linga Lapa Restaurant and Butchery situated in Nottingham Road in the Natal Midlands is highly recommended for its quality steaks, relaxed atmosphere and cosy warm fires so I decided to pay the establishment a visit this past weekend to see what all the fuss was about. Friends Mary-Anne and Peta-Anne accompanied me for the trip from Pietermaritzburg to Nottingham Road, which despite the wet and misty conditions, took a little less than 45 minutes.
Upon reaching Linga Lapa, we couldn’t wait to head indoors to escape the freezing cold and quickly made a bee-line for the front entrance where owner Ian Mackay greeted us with a warm handshake and a friendly smile. After taking our seats next to a glowing fire, we ordered our drinks and began to scroll through the menu, which was packed with almost everything any dedicated meat eater could ever want.
Yes, when it comes to steaks, chops and ribs Linga Lapa are the experts, offering a wide selection of these dishes grilled to perfection and basted in a mouth watering secret sauce. With so many tempting combinations and options to choose from I really struggled to decide what to order, but I eventually decided on the Sunday roast which Ian had earlier suggested.
I certainly wasn’t disappointed with my choice because the roast was fabulously delicious and, at just R65, almost a give away. My gammon and lamb portions were so succulent they almost melted in my mouth and the potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and vegetables that accompanied them were out of this world. With the entire meal bathed in thick and tasty brown gravy my taste buds were crying out for more, but remembering that I still had to leave room for pudding, I decided to resist the urge to line up for a second helping.
Mary-Anne, although I suspect somewhat tempted to go for the roast, ordered the lamb curry which she described as “tasty, tender and full of flavour”. At R58 she felt the dish represented excellent value for money, remarking that a better curry would be “hard to come by”.
Despite the abundance of meaty and filling dishes available, the ever cautious and conservative Pete-Anne opted for a beef fillet open sandwich (R40) which, in reality, was more of a starter than a main course. Although she enjoyed her meal, describing her sandwich as “delicious”, Pete-Anne did feel it should have contained a little more beef, an observation which I certainly couldn’t dispute.
While all three of us had selected different options for the main course, we were all on the same wavelength when the time came to choose dessert. We unanimously decided on a pancake and two scoops of vanilla ice cream each, which we wolfed down despite the cold weather. At just R15 our choice of dessert was way cheaper than most and yet was by no means less enjoyable – a trend seemingly synonymous with Linga Lapa.
We all agreed that in terms of value for money it would be hard to find a restaurant that could top this one. My roast was worth at least R20 more, the helpings were that generous, and with Mary-Anne expressing similar sentiments I had no reason to suspect that our findings were an exception to the norm.
After settling our bill we decided to browse and with Linga Lapa sporting a butchery, deli, furniture shop and a nursery there was plenty to keep us occupied. Ever hospitable, Ian was more than happy to show us around and answer any questions I had. It was this type of personal service that really impressed me and I have to say something which I’ve seldom encountered on my travels through KwaZulu Natal.
We all thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Linga Lapa and have already recommended it to many of our friends. The atmosphere was warm and homely, the food brilliant, the décor unusual and intriguing and the hospitality of the finest order. If you are a regular on the Midlands Meander and haven’t yet paid this establishment a visit, do yourself a favour and do so. It’s simply an absolute must!
Telephone: +27 (0)33 266 6110
Address: Nottingham Road, Natal Midlands, KwaZulu Natal