I have been on the hunt for Cape Town’s best burger – I do this wherever I am, hunt out ‘the best’ of certain favourite meals and drinks I am partial to. It’s a nice way of getting to know a city and it often turns out to be quite pleasantly surprising, in more ways than one. This was one of those times; a rare and unique moment in time where I was faced with meaty, stodgy, perfection – and therefore rendered completely speachless (not least because of the enormity of the burger I was attempting to devour). Sitting there, watching the sun go down on the bustling streets of Cape Town, I had to pause to take it all in – the burger in question, had just made it to the top of my list.
Simplicity really is the name of the game at Bree streets buzzing hotspot Clarke’s. Their menu is something of a quiet affair, unlike the atmosphere and the crowd which it attracts; it features only cheeseburgers, a veggie sloppy joe for the non meat eaters out there, a handful of side dishes and some sweet treats as an after thought. Thinking about it, I have never eaten anything after that burger, I don’t know how anyone could possibly think of dessert after engulfing the enormous mound of meaty amazingness which is fast becoming known as the best burger in Cape Town. I am inclined to agree, it definitely gets ‘best in show’ on my burger list; the meat is cooked medium-rare and is juicy and pink, the fries are the skin-still-on, thinly sliced and fried to perfection sort, and the tiny side dish of paper thin gherkin slices in vinegar are a welcome treat as their sharp flavour gently cuts through everything else (fat, meat, bun and all). The star of the show, however, is the bun, and oh what a wonderful bun it is.
These buns, along with some of the bread on the Clarke’s daytime menu, come from the ever elusive Trevor Daly of Worcester. He recently started baking in Woodstock too, which has made things at Clarke’s just that little bit better as they now stock an assortment of his pastry treats as well (get there early in the day to avoid disappointment). But, I digress, I was talking about the buns! They are somewhere between a croissant, a brioche and a really good burger bun, buttery and heavenly, and the perfect marriage to the deliciously simple meat which is encased between the two halves. I would love to get my hands on that recipe, but at the moment, there’s only one place I know that sells these amazing burgers and the even-more-amazing buns. So if you have a burger craving, you now know where to go.
Clarke’s Dining | clarkesdining.co.za | 133 Bree street | +27 (0) 21 424 7648