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Review: Spek & Bone, Bertus Basson’s new tapas spot in Stellenbosch

Bertus Basson opened Spek & Bone with a slightly different concept than you might expect from the chef: it focuses on the sharing of small tapas plates and great wine. Quite in agreement with the charming origin of the name – Spek, the chef’s pet pig, and Bone, his pet boxer, are the best of buddies – the tapas-style restaurant will capture your imagination and tantalise the palate, says Eat Out critic Thulisa Martins.

Fast facts

Price: An average meal will cost R200 per person, depending on the number of dishes ordered
Food type: Tapas style with a local flair
Best for: Relaxed and sociable lunch and dinner
Parking: Park outside along the street
Star ratings: Food 4, service 4, ambience 4

Food

The menu at Spek & Bone supports local produce as much as possible, and the food is creative and delicious. The shared plates come out of the kitchen as and when they are ready, which is a fun way for guests to do a bit of guesswork on what’s coming next. You’re sure to be surprised each time you visit, as the menu will change quite frequently to support the principle of seasonality.

Amongst the goodies, the herbed potato churros served with mushroom ketchup are full of flavour: crisp and warm with a light, fluffy interior. For meat lovers, the slow-cooked lamb ribs with shiso leaves, caraway, confit garlic and chimichurri is just the thing. The ribs have an appealing caramelised surface and a melt-in-the-mouth interior, served on a bed of sweet-and-sour braised beans.

A dish of creamed lower-land organic maize served with mushrooms and Edwin Heim white asparagus is tasty, a modern take on the South African speciality of pap. Another dish of note is the smoked hake, cooked to perfection and served with tasty butter-braised leeks, potatoes and chives.

The dessert menu is compact and interesting. If not choosing the brioche doughnuts with apple purée and vanilla ice cream, then try the Peppermint Crisp king cone. Beautifully presented on a wooden stand and served with caramel popcorn and chunks of peppermint, it’s pure indulgence.

A photo posted by Romy (@romywilson_ct) on

Drinks

A small selection of wines and Champagne, including Billecart Salmon Brut, leaves visitors with plenty to please their tastes. The Duchess virgin ‘gin and tonic’ is perfect for those avoiding alcohol.

Service

Professional and well-informed waiters are quick to advise guests from the selection. They’re so passionate about the dishes it’s almost as if they’d prepared the food themselves.

A photo posted by Spek & Bone (@spekenbone) on

Ambience

Outside is the ideal setting for a relaxed dinner, especially on a warm summer evening. A few tables are situated underneath the oldest fruit-producing vine tree in Stellenbosch, with the branches overhead draped with fairy lights. Part of the historic building used to be the original market in town. The open-air garden is intimate, which would suit couples and larger groups.

And…

Quirky solar-light jars are used on the tables.

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

Have you been to Bertus Basson’s Spek & Bone in Stellenbosch yet? Tell us about it in a review and we will pledge a meal for a hungry child through Stop Hunger Now SA. Write a review now.

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