THEY call Belthazar the “Theatre of Fine Food and Wine” and this aspect certainly caught my attention on a recent visit.
We were seated parallel to the bar and throughout the evening, the smartly dressed waiters and waitresses – white shirts, black ties, long white aprons, very classic and very classy – trooped back and forth between the kitchen and the tables, bearing platters of steaks and seafood. The way they weaved around each other definitely had a distinct element of choreography to it.
Located in the heart of the V&A Waterfront, Belthazar is a long-standing tenant with seating for 90 guests indoors and another 200 outside on the all-weather terrace which has heaters for summer and a mist-cooling system for summer. Whatever the weather, you have a great view of Table Mountain and the Cape Wheel.
The restaurant is renowned for its seafood, and offers a wide selection of venison, but somehow for me, it’s always and only about two things: the wine and the steak. According to the press release information, the “in-house master butcher sources only the very best AAA grade grain-fed and grass-fed beef, including Farmer Angus superior free-range, grass-fed organic beef. Matured for a minimum of 28 days, all the meat is hung on the carcass (dry-aged) for three days in specially-designed temperature-controlled cold rooms with humidity.
“Thereafter, the fillet, sirloin, rump and rib-eye are wet-aged, while the T-Bone, Chicago Cut (Belthazar’s signature rib-eye on the bone), fillet on the bone and sirloin on the bone are left to dry-age for up to 40 days.”
I normally always order the rib eye, which has become one of my favourite cuts for its juicy tenderness and fatty marbling which ensures a piece of meat that is full of flavour. At Belthazar, you have the option of a pepper crust, a tangy barbecue house basting, or just olive oil. By all means, knock yourself out with the stronger flavours but personally, I opt for the olive oil so as to allow the taste of the steak to shine. I also love my gin best when it’s virtually unadulterated in a martini, so that should tell you a bit more about the kind of person I am when it comes to food and drink.
As much as I love the rib eye, my partner loves himself a nice bit of sirloin. A man of substantial appetites, he went all the way up to the 750g portion (sizes begin at 250g, which he’d consider a starter). We both had sweet potato fries as a side dish. I ordered a red wine sauce too but I cannot tell you why (see above). I barely touched it.
The award-winning wine list compiled by Slick Restaurant Group beverage manager compiled by André Lourens, is massive, both in content and actual physical size; it’s presented like a giant broadsheet newspaper (older readers will know what that means). Here you can choose from more than 250 wines by the glass, from a total of up to 600 bottles. The list will provide you with information regarding single varietal, blend and style, vintage ratings, critics’ ratings, wine awards and taste indicators, but if you can’t be bothered to read all that (and to be honest, the lighting is a little low anyway), your knowledgeable waiter will offer advice.
Belthazar is not a budget night out, let’s be frank here, but if you join the Slick Restaurant Loyalty programme you’ll get 10% of the bill total credited to your card, redeemable at any Slick Restaurant, as well as a R200 birthday voucher.
Belthazar Restaurant, Wine Bar & Grill, Shop 153, Victoria Wharf, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Open daily from noon until late. Booking advised