YOU’D be hard-pressed to spot a big game hunter in the placid streets of Bicton, but the call of the wild attracts people to Zebra’s steakhouse on Point Walter Road.
Passing through the innocuous front entrance and a crowded beer garden, my dining companion and I were startled to enter what seemed like a cavernous, dimly-lit safari tent.
Zebra pelts, woven baskets, African masks, and trophy antlers were hung on the walls, with brown cloth draped from the ceiling and mood-lighting to complete the impression.
A smiling waitress showed us to our table.
She was back in a jiffy to take drink orders, but as first-time visitors we needed time to process the decorations and come to terms with the menu, which features ostrich, crocodile, and monkey gland sauce (don’t panic: it doesn’t contain monkey).
We had to try the crocodile sosatie ($18), which came with chunky-cut capsicum and onion salad, and a delicious sweet soy sauce dressing.
Predictably, my partner remarked that the croc tasted “kind of like chicken”, which I took as a sign of approval.
We both let the team down by not ordering a meaty main course at a steakhouse.
I went with the vegetable chakalaka ($28): a filo parcel packed with steaming veggies and topped with spicy beans.
The beans and pastry were beautiful, but the bed of rough-cut tomato and lettuce salad could have been more exciting.
My partner chose the piri piri prawns ($36), which came with cumin flatbread, chilli biltong, and smashed avocado.
She appreciated that the sauce didn’t overpower the generous pile of fresh king prawns, but had a bit to say about rolling up her sleeves to deal with the shells.
She was also stumped about prawns with biltong and avocado: “It’s like four separate dishes that don’t really complement each other”, she said.
We were contentedly full by the end of the meal, but decided to share the koeksisters ($13); a sweet, braided pastry soaked in sugar syrup, and served with chocolate sauce, apple puree and a wafer.
We agreed the koeksisters were brilliant but the accompaniments were nothing to write home about.
I could have gone for another pint of the award winning Zebra’s billabong kariba wheat beer, but it was already late and we made our exit remarking the meal was surprisingly good considering Zebra’s steakhouse clearly specialises in meat.
by TRILOKESH CHANMUGAM
Open Tuesday to Saturday, 6pm to late
1 Point Walter Rd, Bicton
Ph: 9319 1414