What do I like about Knife? I like the fact that someone is trying something new. Many people enjoy meat (obviously not on Mondays) but are a bit over the traditional steakhouse vibe, so having a different option is great. I also like the decor, it’s really done well. As soon as I walked in I felt comfortable. I’ve started to notice recently how much my initial impression of a restaurant is a good early indicator of the experience. I don’t know if my initial impression affects my disposition toward the restaurant (ie. makes me more critical or less critical) or if I’m just getting good at judging restaurants very quickly.
I like that the menu has some interesting and different options, and that it is reasonably priced. Starters at R40 to R65, mains from R55 (burger) to R130 (300g steak with sides & sauce). I like that they use Chalmar beef, so you’re assured of quality. I really like the wine list. Like the sister restaurant, Fork, the wine list is quite short but has really interesting options (most of which I have not even heard of) at reasonable prices. Lastly, I like the booths, they are high so you have maximum privacy.
What don’t I like about Knife? Well, I was a little disappointed with the knives. I remember eating at a restaurant where they bring you a selection of awesome steak knives to choose from (anybody know which one it is?). At Knife we just got el cheapo plastic handled steak knives that you might use at home. I think if your restaurant is called Knife, you should maybe have cool knives. The food is good but not amazing. It’s definitely worth checking out but I don’t know if I would leave town for a repeat visit. It’s certainly a fantastic option if you live in Century City though.
What’s the story? Well, Knife is an ‘American smokehouse’. Their speciality is oak smoked ribs, marinated in their secret BBQ sauce. We tried some and they are delicious but very rich. We also tried the twice cooked cajun lamb rib starter (R65), quite dry but so soft and tasty. Not everything is smoked, just a few things and it’s very subtle. I’m not a big fan of smoked food so appreciated that the smokiness was very light. The menu has some unusual options that lean into the American theme, like Creole mussel curry starter (R45), Southern fried chicken (R70) and Creole fishcake (R65). We went for the more traditional option, a rump steak (R95 for 200g) with a cumin & cream sauce which was different in a good way. I had a sirloin (R110 for 200g) with green peppercorn and bourbon sauce which I didn’t like so much, the bourbon makes it a bit sour I think. The steaks were nice, but not amazing. The rump was rare when we asked for medium rare and the sirloin tasted good but looked a little unappealing as it had not been browned much.
For dessert we tested the key lime pie (R40) which was nice, the chocolate brownie (R50) which was amazing, and the rocky road ice cream (R50) which was cool (haha), but expensive.
We were there under invitation so can’t really comment on the service.
In summary, it’s definitely worth a visit. The place is lovely, the food is good and it’s something different. They also have a lunch menu and a brunch menu so you don’t have to go at night. You’ll decide for yourself if you like it enough to become a regular.
Cnr Century Boulevard & Rialto road, Century City
Tel: 021 551 5000