Love me or leave me. Make your choice but believe me

Fillet steak in bacon, mushroom and bourbon cream.

Fillet steak in bacon, mushroom and bourbon cream.

Published Jun 9, 2024


1904 Bistro Américain

Where: Delcairn Lifestyle Centre, 12 Village Road, Kloof

Open: Daily 10am to 10pm

Call: 031 035 0105

It was something out of the movies. And certainly one hell of a date night.

First a giant steak gets wheeled out on a trolley and flamed with much fanfare at the table. Then a decadent chocolate dessert comes out complete with a sparkler flashing. Then he gets down on one knee and offers her a ring with a hopeful smile. When she gives him a big hug and a kiss the whole restaurant bursts into spontaneous applause.

In all the many years of eating out, it is something I’d never seen before - the restaurant proposal. I have seen and overheard many strange things, but never “will you marry me”.

Pulled pork poppers.
Jalapeno poppers with a sour cream dipping sauce.

I wish the young couple every happiness together.

I’m with the Glass Guy and his aunt Patricia at 1904 Bistro Américain in Kloof. Celebrating the American bistro it is basically a steakhouse with some American style dishes thrown in. Burgers and hot dogs naturally. It’s a large modern restaurant, comfortable and well lit, and on a chilly evening on the upper highway, nice and warm. We’re greeted warmly and the wine soon flows.

Cheesy baked prawns.

The small starters selection includes the likes of southern style chicken livers, crispy salad and pepper squid, voodoo chicken wings and cornmeal and buttermilk crispy prawns. We leave it to the Glass Guy to decide. He goes for the jalapeno poppers (R69) which were the pick, and weren’t poppers at all. They were more like jalapeno croquettes served with a sour cream dipping sauce. I liked them. Then there were the pulled pork bombs (R69), which were more croquettes really served with a spicy Asian inspired sauce. We enjoyed them. The cheesy prawn bake (R95) was served in a snail dish with lots of bubbling cheese on top. Can’t complain here either, although a little more bread to mop it all up might have worked.

Beef short rib with mash and roasted veg.

So burgers include the likes of caramelised onions, brie and avo, or bacon and aged cheddar or blue cheese, to one with a bone marrow butter. There’s a New York inspired version with pastrami, pickles and mustard sauce, and another stuffed with mozzarella cheese. There’s a vegan falafel option, and a “mother clucker” if beef is not your thing. Hot dogs include everything from Philadelphia cheese to sauerkraut. Smoked BBQ dishes include pulled pork, brisket, chicken and ribs, or any combination of them.

Seafood hot pot with fragrant rice.

For mains Patricia looked no further than a steak (R175) which was cooked exactly as ordered and smothered in a smoked bacon and mushroom cream sauce laced with bourbon. Again it was the pick of the meals. She had it with mash once she enquired about their side salad option only to find it somewhat boring.

The Glass Guy wanted the fall off the bone short rib (R195). It was tender but didn't quite fall off the bone. For me that would mean you could eat it with a teaspoon. But he needed the steak knife. It came in a good red wine, tomato and herb sauce, on mashed potato with roasted veg. I stole a couple of good caramelised carrots.

The kitchen sink ice-cream sandwich.

I tried the seafood hotpot (R179), expecting something akin to a Louisiana gumbo. It was a substantial dish complete with mussels, clams, line fish, calamari and prawns. It was enjoyable but despite having all the right ingredients - celery, bell peppers, tomatoes and onions - didn’t quite have that zing I was hoping for.

Jerk chicken and lamb casserole might have been other options.

The dessert list is substantial and I was certainly tempted by the American style apple pie. The others were stuffed. Then I spotted the “kitchen sink ice-cream sandwich” (R59). Patrica accused me of having a junior moment. “It’s not Spur,” she laughed. I imagined it to be some sort of eskimo pie filled with a rocky road style ice-cream stuffed with marshmallow bits and crushed Oreos and jelly tots. Well fortunately we were spared the jelly tots. This was two large buttery stacked with vanilla ice-cream, M&Ms etch and dribbled in sauces. Patricia pinched the marshmallows.

Food: 3

Service: 3 ½

Ambience: 3 ½

The Bill: R1225 for three including 2 bottles of wine

Independent on Saturday