The Steak Off
Friends of mine from the UK have just returned after a wonderful three week holiday in our fair land and on their last night in Cape Town I met them for pre dinner drinks at the palatial Owners Villa at More Cape Cadogan (what a way to spend your last night in the Mother City – with an upgrade to the Owners Villa – that will get them coming back for another holiday!). I asked them if there was anywhere specific they wanted to go for dinner and the answer was that they didn’t mind but they fancied either steak or fish. Funny that!
So, seeing an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, and because I’d only recently heard that the Nelsons Eye serves the best steaks in Cape Town, and has done for years, I booked a table for four. Located at 9 Hof Street in Gardens, Nelsons Eye is a typical steakhouse with a relaxed atmosphere and regulars sitting on stools at the bar. Id heard varying reports about Nelsons Eye but nevertheless I enjoyed my meal thoroughly; my ladies fillet was cooked to perfection, the creamed spinach and butternut side dishes were delicious and the service was faultless.
Although not ludicrously expensive the bill for two main courses and nothing in the way of wine or spirits was over R400 for two people. Not overly expensive, but not cheap either.
The very next night I had the opportunity to compare steaks and prices with a trip to the Dias Tavern in the City Bowl. We had booked a table for about 16 people and sometimes with a table of that size either the service is slow or someone lands up not getting a meal. Not at Dias Tavern – the service was quick and everyone was served the meal they had ordered! I love Dias – I’ve been a few times and the food is always excellent, if you are a sports fan there are enough big screens to ensure good viewing and the band that strikes up later on in the evening keeps the dance floor buzzing.
The steaks at Dias are probably as good as Nelsons Eye. They might have been a bit smaller but at R85 for a steak it’s the kind of price that’s a bit easier on the pocket!
Both establishments are open for lunch, have a good ambience and in the case of Dias Tavern, excellent views of Table Mountain. Why don’t you visit both and decide which you like best!
Nelsons Eye – +27 (0)21 423-2601, 9 Hof Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Dias Tavern – +27 (0)21 465-7547, 15 Caledon Street, Cape Town Central, City Bowl