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Texan Barbeque Grub at Hoghouse Brewing Co and Restaurant in Cape Town
Enjoy a Southwestern-style feast at this unassuming new watering hole in Ndabeni
Besides being home to the famed Merrypak store where Capetonians can get their hands on all sorts of party items, the suburb of Ndabeni is known as pretty much just an industrial zone. The area is lined with factory-filled streets and office parks and not much goes on there apart from everyday light industry work.
But that’s changed with the launch of the Hoghouse Brewing Co. This new eatery and brewery, which is headed by esteemed chef PJ Vadas, has swung open its doors to treat inhabitants of nearby Pinelands and Maitland to a classic Texan barbeque-style dinner offering that goes well beyond the confines of what the area has become known for.
While PJ is renowned for his fine dining background (he’s worked with Gordon Ramsay in New York and has headed two Eat Out Top 10 restaurants), he’s taken an alternative route with Hoghouse. “This is very different from what I’ve done in the past,” he says, “but I’m having so much fun with the concept because it’s so nice and casual.” In other words, this is the kind of place where locals can sit back, relax and tuck into A-grade grub within an environment that’s as laidback and unpretentious as they come.
“Barbeque comprises three basic components: meat, potato salad and coleslaw,” explains PJ. He learnt all about this culinary custom while in Texas in October 2014, and now, at Hoghouse, he is able to combine that knowledge with a whole lot of passion to create authentic smoked grub. Patrons are able to tuck into Southwestern-style barbequed items like beef brisket, pork spare ribs and buttermilk fried chicken. PJ emphasises that all meats are locally sourced and free range, and because of the high quality factor, he rather “lets the meat speak for itself” and adds only salt and pepper as seasoning.
The side dishes, though, are quite the contrary. It’s with these trimmings that PJ really gets to flex his muscles and put his creativity to the test. Guests are able to pair their succulent meats with accompaniments like sweet corn and cabbage slaw with chipotle mayo; fire-roasted corn on the cob with goat’s butter; and charred sweet potato with pecan nuts and maple syrup (heaven for vegetarians). These items will change according to the seasons: winter makes way for heavier mushroom-dominated dishes, while summer welcomes the use of ingredients like mozzarella, tomato and asparagus.
In addition, visitors will soon be able to enjoy another fundamental component that really completes the barbeque experience: good old beer. Although the venue is yet to receive its liquor license, it also operates as a fully-fledged craft brewery (you can even see the brewing area from parts of the restaurant) that produces five main drinks: the Hog Tail, an African Pale Ale; the Hog Wash, an English-style beer; the Warthog, an Imperial Pale Ale; the Road Hog, a dark Porter; and the Wise Hog, a Weiss beer. Until the paperwork is done, patrons can bring their own bottles and also sip on non-alcoholic beverages, such as soft drinks, pour-over coffee and unique tea infusions in a laidback space that PJ really hopes will turn into “the neighbourhood restaurant.”
While no neighbourhood restaurant has existed in this area to date, it’s good to note that the location is actually ideal to pull off the kind of authentic barbeque experience that PJ wants to offer people (the BBQ method produces a lot of smoke so the eatery’s position in a more remote suburb works well). But who knows, in time the restaurant might just evolve into a popular hangout that’ll have people recognising Ndabeni for much more than its industrial activity.
Tip: The chic yet laidback venue is available for hire. For more information, call the Hoghouse Brewing Co on +27 (0) 21 810 4545 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bill: Prices at the Hoghouse Brewing Co are competitive. Barbeque meats like beef brisket, pork ribs and lamb shoulder are priced between R30 and R60 per 100g (cooked weight). Side dishes start from R25 and go up to R80. Snacks like smoked salted almonds, marinated olives, biltong and more range from R30 to R55. Desserts, like ice cream and sorbet, cost between R25 and R30 per scoop. Cold beverages ring in between R15 and R40 while hot drinks are all priced at a solid R20.
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 5pm – 9pm (booking is recommended).
42 Morningside Street | Ndabeni | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 810 4545
by Dudu Luthuli
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