Jason Bakery

Jason Bakery
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R50 avg main meal
Contemporary cool
Bistro fare, Deli fare
Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Katharine Jacobs

In the mornings, egg and chorizo tartlets and bacon croissants sell like hotcakes, while a steady queue of Bree Street locals hums around the hatch in search of their potent artisan coffee, which comes in double shot as standard. The bakers are busy from the early hours of the morning, preparing the spectacular breads and pastries that form the basis of the other dishes.

Later in the day, a range of sandwiches (from R45 to R65) make for great working lunches: The Greek, with its slow-roasted lamb and toppings of hummus and tzatziki, is a winning option, as is The Sushi with smoked Norwegian salmon, wasabi mayo and pickled ginger. Ingredients are carefully sourced and lovingly prepped – think Buffalo Ridge mozzarella, Chalmar beef and Dalewood cheese. These are not your average lunchbox sarmies.

If it’s on the specials menu, go for the Chalmar beef burger. A superbly moist and flavoursome patty, cheese oozing into the toasted brioche bun, crunchy and sweet fried onions, and a fresh cucumber side salad with a sweet poppy seed dressing make for a pretty mind-blowing burger. Another highlight on the specials menu is the duck stir fry. Soft, juicy pieces of duck are accompanied by egg noodles, cashew nuts, bright green edamame beans and chunks of fresh pineapple with a spicy lemony dressing. The mix of fresh, spicy Asian flavours makes for a fantastic lunch.

But if you need another option that makes use their excellent baked goods, opt for the prego steak, with its homemade peri-peri dressing. For afters, the chocolate brownies are gloriously gooey and loaded with chunks of melted white chocolate, and the baked cheesecake is also highly recommended – if you can grab a slice before it sells out, that is.

Aside from the kickass coffee, there’s a fresh fruit and veggie juice of the day, and a range of herbal teas. A brief blackboard menu labelled ‘Puza’ sums up the alcoholic options: craft beer from &Union and Devil’s Peak; Graham Beck bubbly; honest-to-goodness champagne; and a red (Alphabetical blend) and white (Teddy Hall Jan Blanx Super White) wine option available either by the glass or bottle.

Service is swift and accommodating, from a young and trendy bunch.

Although this is hipster grand central, crowded with loads of bearded and behatted creatives, the vibe is friendly and welcoming to all and sundry. You can grab a quick meal or coffee at some of the outside standing tables (there are a few benches as well), or perch at the counter seating available indoors, with either a window-seat view of this trendy part of town, or of the very busy goings on of the coffee hatch. There’s a playlist of cool tunes, plus you’ll have the buzz of victory at managing to nab a table.

Saturday mornings herald the arrival of a limited edition doughssant – a blend of doughnut and croissant. It’s worth following Jason’s Instagram account purely for the weekly announcement.

(August 2014)

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  • Kick-ass pies (like duck and cherry and mac and cheese) and sandwiches (with toppings like chorizo, pulled pork, slow-roasted lamb) and will send you into raptures. Queue up alongside hipsters and businesspeople for your morning fix of coffee and buttery bacon croissants.
  • Katharine Jacobs

    There was a near riot when rumours circulated that Jardine bakery was closing. But, happily for city-slickers, baker Jason Lilley simply renamed the bakery after himself and expanded into the neighbouring restaurant’s space. Regulars will be relieved to learn that Jason is still selling his moreish bacon croissants for breakfast (also try the eggs and chorizo baked into a pastry basket), and the doors are open for lunch.A blackboard menu offers a range of gourmet sandwiches – try The Greek with slow-roasted lamb on ciabatta with hummus, homemade tzatziki and zhough (green chilli paste) or The Sushi with smoked salmon, wasabi mayo, pickled ginger and toasted sesame. Alternatively, opt for the pie of the day, with flavours varying from Chalmar veal shoulder and kidney to macaroni cheese, advertised on the bakery’s twitter stream,!/jasonbakery. Don’t leave without trying a chocolate brownie; visiting the bakery and returning to the office sans-brownie is a fireable offence at Eat Out HQ.

    ‘Beer, bread and bubbles’ is Lilley’s payoff line, and you’ll find a good range of &Union beers, Pannier Champagnes and local MCCs here. Coffee is from Deluxe coffeeworks, and comes standard as a double-shot.

    Casual but adequate, and usually speedy enough to fit a snack into your lunch hour. Order from the hatch if you’re just after a box of croissants or a takeaway sarmie.

    Rough-cut timber and dark, stainless steel interiors make for a masculine, urban space.

    You can order whole cakes in advance. On Saturdays, the main restaurant is closed and The Hatch in Bloem Street is open for customers with seating outside the bakery in both Bree and Bloem Streets. (Katharine Jacobs, April 2012)Wonder how bread is made? Read our behind-the-scenes story [here]( ""Baking with Jason"").

User reviews

  • I am a regular at Jason's and today was the first time I ordered a sandwich called "The Sushi". Really one of the best sandwiches I have eaten, especially on sourdough. Thank you, life changing :) Carmin
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  • Best croissants in the world!!
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  • The best sandwiches, salads and light, informal lunch in Cape Town! Great coffee and pastries for an early call and an innovative, often altered, lunch menu which never fails to please and satisfy. Not the best location, nor service as it has a lot of take away and sitting orders, but, the food is quintessentially Capetonian and worthy of your patronage.
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  • I thought the muffin was very dense but extremely tasty. I enjoyed the samon/egg tarlet and the cappuccino was good. No complaints. A little bit pricey for my budget though.
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  • When I hear someone talking about a bakery, I involuntarily think of an old German bakery. A bakery that is located at the town square in a small village behind the seven mountains in the homelands of the seven dwarfs, covered in snow. I don’t imagine a cartoon bakery though, but rather one just as cosy, warm and comforting as a Czech fairy tale movie that they used to shoot in eastern Europe back in the 50s. Those that I used to watch as a child with a hot chocolate on a Sunday afternoon on the couch and it’s snowing outside and where the world is stilling in order. Does any of you know the German fairy tale about the troublemakers “Max and Moritz” that got caught in a bakery and were cooked into bread for their mischief? That’s exactly how I imagine a banking-house.

    But I am not in Germany anymore, we are living in rather futuristic circumstances and I don’t live behind the seven mountains. I live just behind between Lions Head and Table Mountain! Although the world has changed, my imagination which restores most of my memories from childhood has not.

    Be that as it may. It is about time to introduce you to a new food spot in Cape Town. A food spot that I can’t leave unmentioned when I am talking about “Sharing one Food Philosophy” in Cape Town.

    Jason’s Bakery

    I have to admit, I was kinda honoured to meet self-taught captain bread, Jason himself, for a chat a couple of weeks ago.

    I watched him talking excited about his home-made sour dough and about its carefully selected ingredients. I was smiling by myself, looking at him and was thinking that it is kind of interesting when people live more than 6000 miles apart from each other but have so much in common. I can’t help telling you who Jason reminded me of. As a teenager, I used to work in a tiny sneaker-shop in Frankfurt. He reminded me so much of my Ex-boss “Pomo”, a German Ex-Hooligan, full with tattoos – super tough from the outside but with sparkling eyes when talking about what he loves most. Pomo loves old-school sneakers just as Jason loves baking bread for him and others.

    And the funny thing is that they even look a like. But I know you can’t look into my head, so let me rather tell you about the food.
    Jason’s Bakery offers quite a wide range of different exclusive food selections. Others might offer a lot but sacrifice on freshness or quality of the ingredients, whereas some go save, offer exclusive high quality food but keep the menu simple and small. Not at Jason’s bakery though. The menu that Jason gave me to take home with is 4 pages long and all what is offered is the real stuff – It’s what I call a decent menu that shows thought and passion and doesn’t hint at any hidden compromise. The wide range includes the local juice box, local beers, Pannier Champagne Brut selection and herbal tea, tempting egg & chorizo tartlets, amazing kick ass pies (named by Jason himself) and the freshest blueberry and apple crumple muffins. The selection of bread is not simple but classic, Brioche loaf, baguette, sourdough rye, focaccia and more. The nice thing is that although the choice of products is big for a bakery, I was not disorientated browsing through the menu. I liked it’s simple structure.

    All of the products are free of preservatives. The bread is baked every day fresh, without enzymes. Jason developes the cultures himself and applies his own pre-fermentation to the dough. He uses 100% Jersey cream butter and organic flour from Swellendam.

    Jason the baker runs the baking spot in Loop street, Cape Town, together as a team with his sister as the business woman. It’s funny because people often talk about how unwise it is to start a business with a family member. They never really convinced me and Jason’s bakery, Frankie Fenner or Pizza Vesuvio are living proofs that succesful family businesses can work.

    I really enjoyed my breakfast at Jason’s bakery – a super nasty deluxe bacon, Emmental cheese, medium poached egg croissant and Shakshouka with fresh coriander. Shakshouka is apparently an oriental dish with eggs poached in tomato sauce and it is believed to have Tunisian origins. It reminded me a lot of a dish called Ejja, which I used to eat a lot with my Tunisian friends in Germany and during my stay in Tunisia. The Shakshouka seemed to be the more sophisticated version of the Ejja, that I used to make out of some tomato puree, harissa, cumin, egg, salt and pepper. I actually think it is the same, but I couldn’t find a proof for that. Anyway, I liked it, especially with some fresh coriander. But to be honest – nothing beats this croissant with a warm and soft poached egg and runny egg yolk!
    I liked his story about the pies he is making for “The Meat Merchants”. They would pass by, drop off some good pieses of meat, yet they would never tell him how to make the pies because they have full faith in his baking skills.
    Review by Dennis Molewa

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  • Accepts credit cards
  • Beer served
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Serves food

Stores and Markets

Opening times: Monday to Friday 7am-3:30pm, Saturdays 8am-2pm (closed on Sundays & Public Holidays)

What used to be Jardine Bakery is now Jason – but never fear. The bacon croissants that made the Jardine Bakery hatch so popular are still around, as are the best chicken Caesar sandwiches in town, and an array of other delectable baked goods. This cosy corner café with stools looking out over busy Bree Street is the haunt of hipsters who appreciate an excellent coffee, but don’t let that put you off – the coffee and baked treats really are that good.
Smart shopper tip: The bacon croissants sell out faster than hotcakes, so call first thing in the morning to reserve yours.

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