On Thursday evening myself and The Jen were invited by some friends to join them for dinner at an authentic South African restaurant in Putney called Chakalaka. Its been there for quite a while now but for some odd reason in all the time I've been wandering the streets of London, I haven't taken the time to visit the establishment and see what its like. Now you know that feeling that you get when you wanna kick yourself for not trying something out ages ago, well yes, that is me right now because OMG!
Chakalaka is situated at 136 Upper Richmond Road in Putney, in simpler terms, you walk out of East Putney Station (District Line, yeah the green one) turn left, walk about 50 paces (100 Marky Mark paces) and its on your right. The decor couldn't be more South African, with a zebra skin across the one wall, African artwork on the walls with little price tags on them, just incase you like one of the pictures and feel the need to take it home with you. Theres a nice big painting of South Africa on the wall marking various terrains and major cities in South Africa, although I have one question I'd like to ask the artist… whats with leaving Maritzburg off the map bru? trust me, its a bigger, better and more important place than Springbok, and that made it onto the map 🙂
So anyway, we pulled up a chair and the notably, very friendly and well mannered waiter asked us if we'd like any drinks. So the Jen ordered her usual coke and I thought well since I'm at a Saffa jol, I'll go for the original Dutchman Lager, so I ordered a Castle 🙂 Now one thing I noticed is that in the past when I've ordered a Castle here in London, is that you'll notice on the bottle that its actually made here in the UK and a few people have said that you can taste the difference, however the bottle of Castle that the waiter placed in front of me was definitely imported direct from SA. The reason I know this is because there was a competition on it to win R10 000 🙂 Already I was impressed, because it looks like Chakalaka are trying to be as authentic as possible and they seem to be firmly sticking to that rule, which does say something.
We had a look at the menu and this is when your mind starts chugging away into an endless loop of indecisiveness because if it were possible, I would have said to the waiter, please could I have the entire menu on one plate, because everything on the menu just sounds too good! EISH! The prices are a little above average however there is a very valid reason for this, their steaks are not tough tasteless UK steaks, as stated on their menu, their steaks are imported directly from Namibia from organic grass fed cows and extra matured, so you are getting the real deal. Now as my eyes went down the menu nearing the bottom, looking crazy eyed and dribbling on the table I noticed something that caused my eyes to go into missile lock… I was sold…. This my friends, was the Chakalaka Steak Challenge… 25 ounces (708 grams) of succulent tender juicy full flavoured African steak, topped with my sauce of choice, Monkey Gland sauce, with roast potatoes on the side for 25 pont, and if you clean the plate within 25mins they give you a free T-shirt.
So after ordering we sat patiently waiting while I sipped on my refreshing dutchman lager. Before the food came out we were served with little bread rolls and butter along with a round of Springboks to wet the appetite. A few minutes later the alarm bell went off when I heard the waiter calling in close proximity, "25oz Steak Medium Well!" The time had come, it was here… now I feast!
As the plate was placed in front of me I gazed down completely mesmerized while the awesome smell flowed through my sinuses completely hypnotising my mind, I could have sworn I heard a sweet siren calling, "eat me Marky, EAT ME!" Now there is one thing I really need to note here, I have never in my entire life had such a thickly sliced piece of cow on my plate, this was one monster steak, and it was mine, all mine! And so I was off, I chomped through that thing like a savage, packing it in like a defrosted caveman who hasn't eaten for 2000 years. Another notable point is that I don't know about you guys, but this is the first time I have found steak served with Monkey Gland sauce in London, it was unbelievable, the tenderness fully lived up to the saying, "like a hot knife through butter", the juicy flavour was something I didn't think actually existed in London, I felt as if I was sitting in a restaurant in SA because it tasted exactly like that and I klaared that plate stukkend in 20mins flat. This meal was absolutely worth every penny and as the saying goes, I'll put my c..k on a block and say you will be unbelievably impressed. Take it from me, I wouldn't be sitting here writing a 922 word story about me chomping a piece of steak if I didn't think it was THAT GOOD! Not to mention that the service is not something you'd normally get in your average London suburb, the waiting staff are extremely on the ball and the manager is not hiding in a corner somewhere waiting for something to go wrong, throughout the evening I noticed he was at the fore front and had full control of his jol making sure that everything is running 100%.
Check the bad boy in the pic below, and I don't mean me, I mean the steak 🙂
Check out Chakalaka's website here for more details
Just wanna say a big cheers to everyone at Chakalaka for an awesome evening, keep up the excellent work. You guys definately made a huge impression!