I always enjoy taking a drive to Umhlanga and seeing the rapidly changing landscape with new roads, bridges and buildings. One of the newer buildings is the lovely Pearls Mall which is part of the luxury Pearls development. It consists of various stores and eating establishments, with one of those restaurants being Cattle Baron.
The Cattle Baron franchise currently consists of 21 stores with each store being individually owned and run. Cattle Baron Umhlanga Rocks is owned by Essery Hamilton who takes a hands on approach to running his restaurant.
Cattle Baron is a steak ranch / grill house but don’t get it confused with that other well known brand (you know who I mean). Here the decor consists of simple elegance with wooden floors, wallpaper, comfortable chairs and white tablecloths.
Staff are quick to greet you at the entrance and show you to your table. I joined a number of local Durban media at a large table towards the back of the restaurant. Since we were early (I arrived with Inge Loker of Snap, Sizzle & Cook), we ordered cappuccino’s and relaxed while looking at the menu. It is an extensive menu so a lot of looking was required.
I finally made a decision to order the Venison Carpaccio (thinly sliced venison, drizzled with rocket and walnut pesto. Topped with pecorino shavings and creme fraiche). Great presentation and I so enjoyed the flavours. I also enjoyed the portion size and it wasn’t overly filling as the main course was still to come.
If you are in a steak house you order steak and Cattle Baron has so many steak options to choose from. Quite a few of the attending media chose their famous Chateaubriand but I was drawn to the Carpetbagger – in particular the one stuffed with crispy bacon, feta cheese and Peppadews. I asked for mine to be cooked to medium and to be served with chips (fries). All main meals are also served with various vegetable options which are delivered seperately to the table and can then be spooned onto your plate. My Carpetbagger steak looked amazing and it tasted even better. Perfectly cooked, tender and with no chewy bits. The filling also created its own taste sensation. I was however disappointed with the chips which turned out to be shoestring fries, which I always associate with that American fast food chain. I much prefer my chips to be chunkier – crispy on the outside and soft inside. The next time I would rather order a baked potato instead of chips. I took some of the butternut and creamed spinach as my vegetable options.
As you can imagine there was a lot of talking and laughter and I really needed something more to drink. I love to treat myself to a banana milkshake every now and then, but unfortunately (or fortunately in this case) they did not have banana. Instead I ordered the Ferrero Rocher milkshake and it was divine!
What is a proper meal without ending it with the perfect dessert? Cattle Baron makes all their desserts (except one) and I was pleased to see creme brulee on the menu. Unfortunately the last one had just gone to a diner in the restaurant – sob! I settled on an other favourite of mine – chocolate mousse and Inge and I shared it. It was the cherry on top ending to a wonderful lunch.
This was actually my second visit to Cattle Baron Umhlanga Pearls and I am very pleased to say that it was just as great as the first visit. I have a steak craving again just from looking at the photos I took of my Carpetbagger steak.
Don’t forget to take a walk on the Umhlanga Pier after your meal. There is a great view of Umhlanga’s iconic lighthouse.