It does exactly what it says on the label: bacon. In a million different ways. Well, okay, only around twenty, but still, plenty. The one page menu is an ode to (arguably?) the best thing to do with pork – covering breakfast, sandwiches, salads and light bites. The options are plentiful, but we advice you to stick to the simple ones. The ones where the bacon gets all the attention. Point in case is the Anti Hero – a simple bacon butty, made from the house sourdough (shaped like a government loaf!) and plenty of crispy bacon and ketchup.
Or the Smokey Joe, another sourdough winner with bacon, cheese and a dusting of homemade smoked paprika. Frankly excellent for anytime of day – with or without a hangover. There is of course also the basic Bowl of Bacon, which is just that: a bowl of heavenly, crispy bacon. If you insist on going for something a bit more complicated, options include the magical-sounding Unicorn burger (made with a pork patty with chorizo spices, and served with leaves, tomato and fried onion). On paper it looks like a good idea, but in practice it is a bit too much (very rich and spicy). You will struggle to eat the whole thing. Other options include a charcuterie board to share (with a selection of cured meats, pate, labneh, caponata and melba toast), All About Eve (sparerib coated in an overly tomatoey BBQ sauce with yummy fried onion rings but an uninspiring slaw) and the rather disappointing Miami Vice. These bacon and duck cheese croquettes are too cheesy and not 'bacony' enough. Desserts are uncomplicated and yummy: gelato, sorbet, affogato or cake.
The drinks menu caters for the fact that a bacon craving can strike anytime of the day. The excellent coffee is by Kamili, there are a handful of wines and craft beers, and there are a few raw pressed juices and some cocktails. Look out for the Bacon Mary cocktail – a Bloody Mary with bacon-infused vodka.
The service is perfect for a popular weekday lunch spot. Swift and friendly.
The space is modern and clean, and in line with its hip Bree Street location. In summer, enjoy a pavement table in the sun, and in winter cosy up to counter to watch the rain and passing crowds. Be sure not to miss the fridge packed with owner Richard Bosman’s prized charcuterie and bacon.
The downstairs room has a revolving showcase of interesting local art. Worth a look.
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Katharine Jacobs and Linda Scarborough
Cape Town’s very first ‘baconporium’ has opened up in Bree Street, promising naturally, ethically farmed bacon of exceptional quality. We visit Bacon on Bree.
This is bacon as you’ve never had it before: unctuous, umami-rich and expertly-cured – a far cry from watery supermarket bacon. It is the deserved hero of the brief, but satisfying menu.
If you’re after a pure, unadulterated bacon kick, there’s a simple bacon butty on sourdough with homemade ketchup. The Smokey Joe however, with bacon, beautifully melty Cheddar and a dusting of smoked paprika, will also serve to satisfy any cheese craving you might be harbouring.
If you’re into sweet and salty combos, The Yank might be your bag. An über-buttery croissant spread with Richard’s special macadamia-honey butter (with a touch of cinnamon) and crammed with the crispiest bacon rashers imaginable, it’s an explosion of creamy sweetness and savoury crunch that’ll have you weak at the knees.
If you’re not quite on the bacon-on-bread bandwagon, try Le Coq Sportif, a generous portion of sticky chicken wings with an ‘umami bacon’ sauce made with soy, mirin and shiitake mushrooms. There’s also a salad (admittedly with bacon, endive, avo, blue cheese and croutons). Low-carb bread is available for those who are only the banting train – or those avoiding wheat.
In future, a specials board will announce new sarmies, soups and salads – and also reveal the bacon being used that day. “It’s a small kitchen,” explains co-owner Richard Bosman – so the changing bacon-of-the-day gives all the different kinds of bacon a chance to shine. (Hoorah!)
Fresh juices – including pink lemonade – join the array of coffees by Kamili. Once the liquor license comes through, Richard plans to serve craft beer and wines, as well as a selection of bacon-infused cocktails. (We can hardly wait for the Bloody Mary with bacon-infused vodka, or the Old Fashioned with bacon-infused whisky.)
It’s a light and uncluttered space that lets you get down to business – bacon worship. Find a little stool at the blonde wood counter looking out onto Bree Street or try grab a seat at one of the neat tables outside. There’s more seating downstairs, too, if things are a little cramped up top.
Inside, two small shelves boast Kamili coffee, some homemade ketchup and jars of the fantastic ‘mac nut honey butt’ to take home. There’s also a fridge packed with gleaming rows of Richard Bosman’s charcuterie and bacon.
Order and pay at the counter, then find a seat and await your food. They’re only just opened, so they’re still ironing out small service bumps like timing and clearing.
The space is available for private functions in the evenings, so your dream of a bacon-themed engagement party could soon be a reality.
Tackling those dreary morning blues is Bacon on Bree, with its superb winter special. Pick up a fried egg and bacon sandwich for R30 every weekday morning between 7.30am and 10am and get a free glass of bubbly with any breakfast item from 8.30am to 10am on Saturday mornings.