Possibly the most highly anticipated of them all, we were very excited to go to Clarke’s last night. Situated at 133 Bree Street, Clarke’s always seems to be buzzing, whether it’s lunchtime or in the later hours of the evening.
Kim and I decided to go there for some dinner and wine. When we got inside, the place was packed. The seats along the large wrap-around bar were taken, as were the very few tables. We stood around awkwardly until a table was available, which luckily didn’t take too long. I don’t think other people are usually that lucky here though.
We ordered wine and got a menu. We were surprised that there were only two mains offered between 17:00 and 22:00: A cheeseburger or a vegetable sloppy joe. Since there was only one meaty option, we went with that.
The burger itself is R50, but you can order fries for an extra R10 or bacon for the same price. We both ordered the extra fries.
Another weird thing: For a busy Friday night, there were only two waitresses. That’s it. As a result, service was uneven at best.
While we were waiting for our food, we sipped some wine and did some people watching. Yes, this is definitely hipster territory but there were a few families in there too. All in all, it was a laidback atmosphere but with some really cool music playing in the background.
Also, the decor in the restaurant reminds me of what you may find in a big city like New York. There is a minimalist theme throughout, with simple wooden finishing and white walls.
Finally, the burgers arrived and here’s what they looked like.
What you see there is the burger, fries and a small container with pickles and onion. You garnish your own burger as you see fit.
Let’s start with the positives: The fries were really tasty.
Sadly, it’s all negative from here on out.
Clarke’s sources amazing meat but I couldn’t appreciate this fact at all. The burger comes in what appears to be pastry as opposed to bread buns. And it’s all super oily. The oil basically drips from the burger as you try to eat it. I almost heard my arteries protest feebly as I tried to consume the cheeseburger.
I wanted to love Clarke’s, I really did. But if you’re only going to serve two mains at night, they better be amazing! And this burger was anything but. Kim and I decided that even Steers burgers were way better than what we ate at Clarke’s.
Here are the scores:
Food: 2/5. These burgers will take you one step closer to a heart attack. I feel quite ill just thinking about it.
Price: 2.5/5. You’re not getting much value for money here. All of the extras cost something and the burger is more of a burger pie, which you can get cheaply at a petrol station.
Service: 2.5/5. As I said: Tons of people, two waitresses. Not a recipe for quick and efficient service.
Vibe: 4.5/5. The vibe is what would bring us back. Clarke’s is always full of people and everyone seems to have a great time.
Would I go back? Yes, but only if I had eaten already.
Incidentally, we went across the road to &Union after dinner, and it was amazing. This pub/restaurant will get its own review soon. But I will say this for now: They have one of the best music playlists I’ve ever heard.