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Ndabeni’s barbecue gem, Hoghouse Brewing Company – reviewed

This Ndabeni spot is known for being a well-hidden gem. Don’t let Hoghouse Brewing Company’s office park surroundings fool you, though. The meat, slow-roasted for sixteen hours, is supported by delicious vegetable sides and unique starters. Eat Out critic Richard Holmes has a taste.

Fast facts

Best for: A casual night out with friends or family
Serves: Barbecue galore
Star rating: Food and drinks: 5, Service: 5, Ambience: 4

Food

Bring your friends. All of them, if you can, because chances are you’ll want a taste of everything on the menu at Hoghouse. Start with a selection from the snacks menu: the sweet and sticky pig’s tails are little morsels of meaty popcorn, while the barbecue chicken wings doused in a home-made version of Sriracha will have you fighting over dipping rights to the last dollop of sauce. The Scotch egg with black pudding and pickles is just as tempting.

One of the snacks – the bacon and boerenkaas croquettes with kimchi aioli. Photo supplied.

After snacks it’s on to the main event: barbecue. Chef PJ Vadas smokes his meat the old-fashioned way – low and slow – before cuts are fired up on the wood-burning grill in the kitchen. You’ll find everything from brisket to pork spare ribs and pulled lamb shoulder on offer, all sold in 100g increments. Order a little of each then top up later with your favourites. The pastrami lamb rib is not to be missed.

Start with 100g and top your way up. Photo supplied.

While the focus is on the meat, the vegetable sides are no slouch. The fire-roasted cos lettuce sprinkled with buffalo milk feta, dates and a citrus dressing, for instance, is a perfect partner to the flavour-packed protein.

The vegetables pull their own weight. Photo supplied.

Space for dessert? A compact selection ranges from excellent gelato to flaky pasteis de nata.

Drinks

The Hoghouse ales, brewed right next door, are excellent and well-priced for local craft. The wine list is somewhat mysterious, with a hand-selected range of garagiste wines and limited release bottlings. Don’t go looking for brand names here; you’ll find only cultivars and tasting notes to guide you. If in doubt, opt for the tasting flights.

The staff at work. Photo supplied.

Service

Friendly, warm and welcoming. On-the-ball servers are only too happy to talk you through the menu and cuts of meat.

Ambience

Despite Hoghouse’s lonely location in a suburban office park, there’s an honest warmth and charm to the space thanks to the open kitchen and roaring fireplace. Long tables add a communal, convivial feel, while the upstairs space is ideal for quieter dinners for two.

And…

Start the week off properly by going for two-for-one beers on Mondays.

Hoghouse’s charming interior. Photo supplied.

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay their own way. Read our full editorial policy here

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