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Brioche gatsbys and pickled fish bunny chows: we review Home Town in Woodstock

Home Town restaurant is located in the reinvented creative hub of Woodstock. Following suit with its hip and trendy counterparts, it joins a growing community of dynamic eateries. The vision of owners Warren Carney, Kevin Harwood and Andrew Wex was to create a place that represents their roots and everything they hold dear.

Chef Warren Carney, who used to work at Madame Zingara, Asoka and Kloof Street House, runs the kitchen.

The chicken wings. Photo by Rupesh Kassen.

Fast facts

Cost: The average main meal is R85
Serves: South African and Cape Malay cuisine
Parking: Street parking available
Star ratings: Food: 5; Service: 4; Ambience: 4

Food

Expect a menu packed with an impressive range of traditional South African and Cape Malay flavours. Chef Warren has put his own twist on these classics and the food could be described as Kaapse chic.

The daaltjie chilli poppers at Home Town. Photo by Rupesh Kassen.

Sharing is a great option for this experience. Start with a selection of items from the ‘Klein kos’ starters section. The chilli popper daaltjie is a genius marriage of a Cape Malay classic fused with the traditional jalapeño popper. House-made chakalaka is used to marinate olives and feta, bringing spicy African flavour to this addictive snack. The Home Town wings are a signature dish, made with secret ingredients that the chef won’t share. Step aside Colonel Sanders, these crispy wings are tender and juicy, with an umami hit from the secret sauce.

The pickled fish dish at Home Town. Photo by Rupesh Kassen.

More substantial options like vetkoek and curried beef sliders are a play on flavours of bobotie in a vetkoek hug. Pickled fish and hot cross buns, a combination well known in the Cape Malay community, is transformed into a bunny chow inside a cloud-like hot cross bun. This was my first experience of this strange combination but it won’t be the last.

The vetkoek and curried beef sliders. Photo by Rupesh Kassen.

Chef Warrens’ reimagined gatsby is not to be missed. A majestic tower of a brioche bun is filled with deep-fried onion rings, chips, salad, cheese and tender masala steak. This is a serious, delicious mouthful if you can get it all in one bite.

Sides such as boere boontjies, mash and braai mielies sound like great dishes to enhance this authentic experience. To round off this lekker South African journey of flavour, try the gooseberry malva pudding with koeksister-and-Amarula ice cream.

Drinks

The restaurant is currently in the process of acquiring their liquor licence. You’re welcome to BYOB.

Service

Friendly and relaxed staff makes you feel at home and caters to your needs while the owners keep you entertained with their stories.

Ambience

The restaurant has a quirky, homely feel where you’ll be welcomed by vibey tunes and a hanging garden. You will be surprised by the 80s caravan that is actually a fully kitted DJ box. The large deck outside is perfect for summer days and sunsets, offering views of Devil’s Peak.

Home Town, with its 80s caravan. Photo by Rupesh Kassen.

And…

Aside from the phenomenal food, they have a passion for good music and renowned DJs. Check out their social pages for their events and Sunday soirees where you can enjoy boeries, beats and drinks with a great view!

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here

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