Cattle Baron Umhlanga

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Opulence, plush booth seating, crisp white linen, translucent glass wear and gleaming crockery are just a few of the expressive words that lend itself to describing the Cattle Baron steakhouse in Umhlanga’s luxury apartment block, The Pearls Mall.
Setting out on a mini “road trip”, Nicola (Run on Coffee) and I made our way one Thursday morning to enjoy a generous, “eat whatever you wish off the menu” Chef’s Table lunch at this popular, lavish steakhouse. We met with a group of about 16 other media guests who share the same passion of food and writing as we do.
On arrival we were seated in a cordoned off area of the restaurant which made the perfect setting for a more private luncheon and tasting event, away from the hustle and bustle of a busy restaurant. One thing I loved about our private seating area was the aircon unit right above the large 16-seater table. The cool air was a welcome relief considering I had ordered the Habanero Steak; but more about my food later.
As the other media guests were arriving, we ordered our drinks which for me was my regular glass of ice water with slices of lemon. I was planning on keeping space for a delicious strawberry milkshake which is my all-time favourite. Once all the guests had arrived and were seated, we were joined by the restaurant owner, Essery Hamilton. Essery went on to explain the history of the Cattle Baron which was founded in 1987 by franchisor, Ronnie Dick. I remember as a young woman living in Cape Town, dining at the Cattle Baron on Rondebosch Main Road on many occasions. I recall how I loved their fillet steaks which was served with a generous portion of chips and sides of complimentary veggies. After all these years, the menu selection and comprehension are still the same. As the old adage goes, “consistency is key”. That is most true for Cattle Baron. Essery was a very gracious host as he sat watching us order our meals, giving direction and suggestion as well as watching us eat and enjoy every minute of his restaurant and food. What a lovely man who even went as far as getting me a taste of their hottest, hottest Habanero sauce. Thankfully it went around the table for everyone to try, so all eyes weren’t only on me.
For starters I ordered one of my favourites, not only because I love the flavours, but it is a nostalgic reminder of many a childhood Christmases spent at my aunt’s house where she would make Avocado Ritz or as Cattle Baron refers to it, Avocado and Prawn Cocktail. This starter is made up of prawns smothered in the eatery’s famous tangy sauce (1000 Island dressing) served with avocado (seasonal) and a generous green salad on the side. I could in fact have eaten this starter as a main meal, but seeing as I’m attending a Chef’s Table, I wasn’t going to forfeit my steak for anything.



I’ve included a picture on this blog post of Nicola’s starter which was the Venison Carpaccio. When I go back to Cattle Baron, I’m definitely ordering this one. I had a taste and it was truly amazing. This particular starter is made up of thinly sliced venison, drizzled with rocket and walnut pesto topped with pecorino shavings and crème fraiche. An absolute must if you’re keen on eating raw meat. In fact, it’s so thinly sliced, you’d never say it was raw. I highly recommend this starter if you’re planning on eating at the Cattle Baron.
Before I go on to my main meal I have to make a confession. I love, love, love hot food. Anything with chillies and hot sauce gets me sitting up straight. I almost always order the hot food from a menu and have even gone as far as eating raw chillies. When I was pregnant with my daughter, my first born, I drank (not even exaggerating) tabasco sauce by the bottle. I know it’s crazy, but I literally crave the hotness. Chillies have many important health benefits such as 1 chilli contains 7 times the vitamin C level of an orange and has a range of other health benefits such as fighting sinus congestion, aiding digestion and helping to relieve migraines and muscle, joint and nerve pain. It’s also a good source of vitamins A and E, beta-carotene, folic acid and potassium (www.bodyandsoul.com.au). After all those amazing health benefits, I’m certainly going to continue on my quest to eat and enjoy hot, spicy food.

At this point in the afternoon, I order that long awaited strawberry milkshake. Just to add another point of interest, milkshake (which is made with dairy) is a very good reliever of a fiery tongue as a result of hot, spicy food. My main meal, like everyone else, was steak. The steaks are found under the House Specialities on the menu where my choice was the fillet habanero. I opted for the 300g which consists of a fillet steak topped with a generous portion of habanero chilli and garlic butter. You can clearly see from the picture of my steak how beautifully it is presented, laying in a bath of golden chilli butter. The steak itself is an enormous chunk of fillet grilled to perfection and melt in the mouth delicious. On the front cover of their menu, the Cattle Baron pens the following, “Renowned for our mouth-watering steaks – the secret of our success lies in the preparation of our meat. Our perfectly aged grain-fed beef is wet-aged ensuring our steaks are consistently juicy, tender and full of flavor”. This I can say without hesitation, is truth.

After enjoying a lovely seafood starter and finishing off a mouth-watering steak to glugging down a super delicious strawberry milkshake, I was well and truly stuffed. So full in fact that I turned down the opportunity of having crème brulee. I didn’t miss out on too much since they had run out of crème brulee. An obvious indication that it is a delicious, popular dessert. I did cave in when I tasted and shared some of Nicola’s chocolate mousse. A rich, creamy mousse with shards of dark chocolate is the ideal way to end off a fantastic luncheon. All thanks to Essery and his generous hospitality; it was an afternoon well spent.
If you would like to visit Cattle Baron Umhlanga for a meal, here are the details as well as their social media account. Go and follow them, they’re mouthwateringly good:

Address: 7 McCausland Cres, Umhlanga, 4320
Phone: 031 561 9011
Website: www.cattlebaron.co.za
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CattleBaronUmhlangaPearls

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