By: Beverley Dias

With forty years of fine steaks under their belt, Turn ‘n Tender have finally ventured into KZN and opened their doors at Ballito Junction on 23 March 2017. My partner and I arrived on a Sunday afternoon (tummies growling from hunger after walking the mall from top to bottom) to a warm welcome by Vaughan, the restaurant’s General Manager, who was our initial introduction to the efficiency of the staff in the establishment. With a smile and handshake, we were ushered to our seats and our waitress appeared to take our drinks and starters order, which all arrived in record time. Don’t let anyone tell you not to order seafood at a steakhouse because my grilled calamari tubes were tender and tasty. My partner had to part with some of his focaccia since I couldn’t resist the smell of garlic on freshly-baked bread. It tasted as good as it looked!

My mains were succulent 300g sirloin served with a baked potato smothered in sour cream, served on a wooden board to allow the meat to relax (faaaaancy!). The partner opted for a half portion of pork ribs in barbecue sauce and chips. Our meat was succulent and flavourful and, as a lover of all things pretty, I fully appreciated the presentation. The portions are impressive and the food tastes like it was prepared by someone who is passionate about their job. By the end of it, we were so stuffed and both agreed that the restaurant’s location is part of the strategy. Turn ‘n Tender is at Entrance 3 right next to the parking lot, which meant that we could basically roll ourselves to the car. At Vaughan’s insistence, we had dessert (not that he needed to twist our arms). I was immediately drawn to the lemon cheesecake parfait, which is a decadent piece of work made up of layered lemon cheesecake topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of lemon zest. The man in my life could easily live on ice cream for the rest of his days, so the vanilla ice cream topped with a Bar One chocolate sauce served in a phyllo pastry case was right up his alley.

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All in all, Turn ‘n Tender is a fine dining establishment with a homely feel and offers value for money. The ambience is relaxed and can be enjoyed by both young and old. Although there isn’t a play area for little people, the environment is accommodating.

The soft music in the background lends a laid back feel to the well-furnished area and creates a good atmosphere for conversation. Vaughan informed us that since they opened, they have had a steady flow of patrons and many had become regulars. We sat next to a couple who were clearly huge fans and were debating which items on the menu to try next. After sharing our meals on Instagram, I got my friends drooling enough to clog my DM with messages enquiring about this joint. I will definitely be making a return trip to sample the ostrich fillet, lamb potjie, rump espetada and baked kingklip fillet baked in a mild curry ‘n coconut sauce. I also want to lay my hands on their chocolate volcano and crème brulée (it has a hint of Amarula).

I could wax lyrical all day, but let me leave it here for now. If you want to impress your guests or just crave some really good food with the Fam, make a booking at 032 586 0975 or email ballito@turnntender.co.za for more details. You’ll thank me later.

Bon Appetit

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