After our morning tour of the K.Y.P. Village and Mandela House, I had a relaxing afternoon back at our hotel, The Fairlawns Boutique Hotel, while Steve (DOS) went shopping with a few others from our AMA Waterways group. Later in the afternoon, I met some of our Canadian friends on the group for a relaxing drink by the pool, while I waited for DOS to get back. Cheers ladies!
In the evening, we had pre-arranged with the hotel’s Concierge a nice dinner off property in Johannesburg, and the Fairlawns Hotel provided complimentary transfers to and from the restaurant for us. Here is Steve (DOS), Allison, and Carole waiting in the living room seating area before we head out to dinner.
DOS and I went to the Butcher Shop and Grille, a nice steak house located in the Mandela Square area of Johannesburg, which was a fifteen minute ride or so from our hotel in the Sandton area to the Mandela Square area of Johannesburg.
Our reservation was for 7pm, and we were seated promptly when we arrived, a bit after the 7 ‘o’clock hour. As DOS was walking to the table, I lagged behind and took a few photos, noting the huge display cases of beef and fresh seafood.
The Butcher Shop and Grille is a large and popular restaurant, consisting of several seating areas, so it doesn’t seem overwhelming in size. We didn’t know it until the next day, but another couple from our tour was also there, but seated in the front section of the restaurant, while we were on the other side of the dining room. We were seated in the far aft section of the room, and it was actually quite noisy there with all the diners talking, but we had a nice evening out.
There is a smaller and much more intimate section (and much quieter!) in the back part of the restaurant (past the huge wine display closet) which I discovered on a visit to the men’s room. We had already had our appetizers by then, so we didn’t move, but if I went back I would definitely ask for that more private section of the restaurant.
The Butcher Shop and Grille is an excellent quality steak house, and was very busy the night we were there, with mostly couples, and groups of business people dining there. We had a full evening of dining, with appetizers, salads, main course (steaks of course!), dessert, and some wonderful South African Cabernet Sauvignon.
Maybe it was the exchange rate, but the meal seemed very reasonably priced for all that we got a full meal plus a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and a nice bottle of Cabernet. The Chop House was business casual (no tie or jacket), and was a really enjoyable night out for just the two of us.
We lingered a while with our desserts so we could finish up our vino, meanwhile enjoying watching all the different people and groups. We were at the restaurant two and a half hours or so, and had outstanding South African service. We asked the front desk to call our shuttle, and we then had 20 minutes or so to walk off our huge dinner.
While I wouldn’t recommend walking around Johannesburg in general at night, this area in Mandela Square, had good security, and we didn’t venture off the courtyard area. There was a Hard Rock Cafe there, as well as several other hotels and restaurants.
Once back at the hotel, we had a nightcap with our friends Kevin and Allison, and we both exchanged our stories of our night out in Johannesburg. Kevin and Allison had gone to another restaurant not far from the Butcher Block Grille, and we had rode the shuttle together to and from our respective restaurants, ironically finishing up about the same time.
So onward we go, as we’re checking out in the morning for our flight up to our Safari Camp. This is our last night together as a group, as DOS and I will be staying at a different safari hotel than the rest of the group, as we are staying a couple extra days and they weren’t available at the same resort.
As we walked back up the path to our room in the main building, we were welcomed back with the quiet and romantic solitude of the moon-lit night, and the tree-lit and faint lights of our hotel ‘mansion’.