The Fat Butcher, in Stellenbosch (locally referred to by students and da bois as “Stellies”), has become a little bit of a stalwart for the steak crowd in the area. It’s most people’s, who reside and never leave Stellenbosch, go-to place for a cut of meat.
They have a selection of specials, they are priced quite high, which I assume taste spectacular but I went with a “standard” rump. But let’s chat about what happens pre-order.
So, you walk in and you are greeted by a soiree of waitrons wearing leather aprons that have all their goodies tucked into the kangaroo pouch. You get seated and offered delicious bread and then they ask what you would like to drink. They have a wide selection of spirits, wines and cocktails, so you definitely won’t be going thirsty – always a perk when in the Winelands.
Once you have scanned the pages for a whistle-wetting delight, they bring you a board that has all the cuts that are on the menu. Carne and Hassar Grill also do this little dance, it helps a lot because they explain what every cut means and you get to see how big each cut is. Then, after 10 minutes of them explaining, order something that was not on the board, classic – at least you are slightly more knowledgeable about meat. Who knew a t-bone was actually a fillet AND a sirloin. Once you have chosen your piece of meat, you simply wait until the glorious moment the waitron emerges with a plate of food and glides toward your table. A moment anyone who has been into a food serving establishment waits for.
I ordered the rump, with blue cheese and vodka sauce (I normally don’t order sauce, but that sounded like a sauce I had to try), chips and a salad. When my steak arrived, they had added a dollop of garlic butter and left the bone that was filled with tasty marrow – surprise and delight.
It was lunch time, which means I normally avoid dessert and rather have a cup of coffee. But this time I decided to have both. There was a dessert on the menu that made my mouth water and create a gap in my stomach, allowing me to devour more. The meal was melktert (milk-tart) with a twist. I ordered it. I was blown away. It was basically a milk-tart pancake, covered in cinnamon, with caramelized popcorn and a few splashes of caramel on the side. It was incredible.
I highly recommended The Fat Butcher if you are ever in Stellenbosch and are in dire need of a steak and a melktert pancake with a twist.
You are likely going to need to book.