Thursday, April 14, 2016

Pork and Beer at The Hoghouse, Ndabeni

It is always fascinating when a chef changes his style diametrically. We have seen it before; a classically trained French style chef goes to the Far East and is enchanted by the wonderful array of Asian produce and spices. Or a chef realises how negative his impact on our world is and changes to greener, locally sourced foods produced with care and respect. PJ Vadas is one such chef who has changed direction. He is well known and lauded for his excellent, innovative gourmet food when at The Round House and then at Vergelegen, where he has delighted us. His about turn has taken him to barbecue foods and craft beer and, on Wednesday night, we went to see what he is now up to. It is a very positive move
There are two Hoghouses, one in Stellenbosch on Spier and the one we went to in Ndabeni, on the way to Pinelands. It is at 42 Morningside Street and, if you know where Ellie’s or Merrypak are, you know the neighbourhood. You go through security gates where you will be met by Lucky who will show you to parking and you probably do need to book. Phone: 021 810 4545 http://hhbc.co.za/
A brewery needs a lot of space, so the restaurant and Brewery are in a large warehouse building
Outside is the ' train' - it is actually a portable barbecue known as The Hog. Which means they can take barbecue to your special bookings. To quote them re barbecue: "It is a noun, not a verb. You do not BBQ meat; you smoke it until it becomes BBQ. And it is not a meal so much as a meditative process, perched somewhere between science and art"
There are tables downstairs and the bar
Chef PJ Vadas in his kitchen kingdom
You get a view of the brewery from upstairs
They have just been awarded their licence. These are some of the spirits offerings
We shared a table upstairs
And spotted some wine/food friends across the room - the crew from Vergenoegd!
This is a meat eater’s place, they even have a bronzed warthog skull
You can taste all four ales for R32 ....
.... or order a pint or a half pint - in metric of course. This was the Warthog IPA , full of bitter orange flavours with a bit of sweetness, very quaffable and refreshing. Dr Tom Nowicki is the Brewing Director. They currently have five signature ales: an African Pale Ale, Saison, Porter, IPA, and Amber Ale
Firewood is fuel
Beverage Director/Sommelier Joakim Hansi Blackadder brings his talented palate to the creative and quality management at the Brewery"
We moved tables to enable a large group to share one
And so to the food. This was the order of the 3 girls on our table and gave us an idea of portion sizes and what we fancied
Anne and Lynne shared this tray. Top left cauliflower with goats’ cheese, capers, shiitake mushrooms and almonds, buttermilk fried chicken, brisket burnt ends, pickled cucumber and spare ribs. The dishes come in 100g portions, as they do in the USA. You can order more. This was plenty for two hungry lasses, some went home in a doggie bag. We also shared a portion of the moreish chips
John had ordered 200 g of pulled pork so he received two; next time we will know. And a portion of the very best crisp chips, which come with a truffle aioli. The food has lots of flavour, it is tender, the chicken had a great crisp coating
The beverage menu
The Hoghouse Barbecue menu. There is mostly meat, but there are quite a few interesting snacks and side dishes
And some desserts. We did not have any room. Perhaps next time
The bill with service. We will be back
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016

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