Bootlegger is probably best known for its consistent Rainforest Alliance-endorsed coffee and those breakfasts made with free-range eggs. The brand began in 2012 when three best friends Pieter Bloem, De Waal Basson and Antonie Basson began roasting beans. Since then, the restaurant has grown in leaps and bounds.
But for this new Constantia location – the 11th restaurant in the stable – the team wanted to do something a little bit different. At -BCG-, charcoal walls, real leather banquettes, beautiful joinery and brass detailing capture the mood of an opulent vintage club. Clearly, the food here needed to be special, too.
Enter Eric Bulpitt of FABER, whose restaurant was nominated again this year for the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards. Working as a consultant for the restaurant, Eric focused on crafting the best-ever versions of grill and bistro dishes that we know and love.
“It’s about taking those fine-dining skills into a pizza or a steak, and seeing how good you can make it,” says co-founder Pieter.
What does that mean in practice? Here are five dishes recommended by -BCG- head Chef, Jayson Wicomb:
Steaks are perfectly seared at very high temperatures in this charcoal oven. They’re then basted with herb butter, and served with roast baby tomatoes and a tempting array of sides. Good luck choosing between the baked sweet potato, roasted until almost caramelised and filled with a dollop of crème fraîche, and the hand-cut fries with creamy roasted garlic aioli. There’s also a 1.2kg T-bone Florentine to share, served with three sides.
Think Julia Roberts, Eat, Pray, Love. Made with 48-hour fermented dough, these Neapolitan-style beauties are baked in a 400 degree wood-fired oven. Thin, chewy bases – with just the right amount of leopard-print char – come in classic combinations. If you’re in the mood for something traditional, try the Margherita, made with tomato, basil, Puglia mozzarella, Morgenster olive oil and Parmesan. “I grew up eating burgers, pizzas and sandwiches, and I find it so exhilarating to make a really great version of those dishes,” says Eric.
The dessert kitchen is ruled by pastry chef Peter Nyaude, whose superlatively creamy ice cream Pieter first tasted when Peter worked at Kitima. At -BCG-, he dreams up inventive flavours of the day such as lavender, mint, or rooibos, which are all served in house-made cinnamon sugar cones. If you have space, Pieter also highly recommends trying the brûlée cheesecake, served with a scoop of wondrously creamy lemongrass ice cream. “Last night, a customer insisted on meeting the man who made her cheesecake… So she could give him a hug.”
Think sweet tomatoes, dressed with Morgenster’s excellent olive oil, fresh basil leaves and a ball of Burrata, sourced from local cheese wizard, Puglia. Simple, but perfect.
Tuck into an omega-3-rich portion of salmon, served with new potatoes, parsley, basil, cherry tomato and onion mustard dressing.
Side tip: Pair your meal with a glass of wine from Higgo Jacobs’s carefully curated winelist, which focuses on Wine of Origin Cape Town. Insider tip? Order a glass of the Cape Point Isliedh or the Steenberg nebbiolo cabernet sauvignon, two excellent wines not often available by the glass.