FOODSTUFF: Cape Town steak fan? Try Café Dijon

dsc_0005.jpg There used to be a corner of recreated Paris in Stellenbosch, serving lovingly prepared steaks, pretty tomato tarts, French onion soup and comforting marrow bones on griddled garlic toast. The good news is that you’ll now find that spot in Green Point.

Café Dijon opened about five years ago when owners Johan ‘Dup’ and Sarah du Plessis tried to recreate the bistro décor and dishes they loved from their French trips. The hands on owners have closed shop in Stellenbosch and moved their business to Cape Town, with hopes of attracting a buzzy city crowd that doesn’t lessen when the students move out. dsc_0003.jpg Their lovely long dark wood and marble-topped bar has made the journey, but there is a lighter, airier feel to the rest of the space. Wine bottles form light fittings and a wall showing surnames of favourite customers is a fun touch.

I joined a group invited this week over lunch. We were encouraged to order any of their a la carte menu staples, and left impressed. The prices are reasonable, and the menu is full of classics I like, including homemade Toulouse pork-shoulder sausages (very tasty, if less spicy than French versions I’ve tried). They offer a series of steaks (from 200g fillet, 380g sirloin and distinctive liverish-tasting 350g New York Hanger steak - all at R115).

dsc_0003.jpg Dup went to great lengths to source West coast Angus beef that conformed to his high standards.
My personal recommendation is to have their speciality Dijon cut (200g at R95). This thick ribeye is tender and marbled with fatty knots, served simply with a tomato onion salad and the most beautiful handcut chips (slightly uneven, skin still on the tips) I’ve eaten in a while. Sauces (R10) include Bearnaise, caper butter, green pepper or mushroom.

Most starters and salads are around R55 to R65. Some dishes and desserts we tried were tasty in a comforting way without being exceptional, but then the team is settling into a new kitchen and that has its quirks. The steak and handcut chips will have me back for more regardless.

CAFÉ DIJON, 15 Napier Street, Green Point, Tel 021 418 3910 Dijon. Open for lunch Tues to Sun and dinner Tues to Sat.