Brought to life by PJ Vadas (who has since moved on from the company), the Hog House never disappoints. The barbecue-inspired joint consistently turns out smashing food and drink, making this the ideal spot for everything from date night to a venue for a rowdy birthday dinner.
The focus here is very much barbecue, which is done fairly authentically. Start off your meal with the crispy pig’s tails, coated in a maple glaze, while you make a decision on the rest of your meal. The ‘low and slow’ style of cooking means you can look forward to number of tender cuts of meat, such as the soft and sticky pork ribs, which are quite exceptional, as well as a decent offering of fried chicken. If you’re veggie, this is (surprisingly) the spot for you too, as the side dishes are veg-heavy and interesting. We loved the baked aubergine topped with a zingy tomato sauce and mozzarella, as well as the coal-roasted cos lettuce tossed in a punchy citrus dressing. Despite the meat, the flavours are very clean here, so you won’t feel like you’ve overindulged. Whatever you do, though, keep space for dessert – and Hog House’s famous pasteis de nata in particular.
The brewery in the room next door is a major drawcard, so if you’re beer-inclined, don’t miss the opportunity to sip on some of the country’s best craft beers. They only stock their own Hog House brand beers, but you won’t feel like you’re missing out, as they range from a delicious pilsner to a dark porter and everything in between. Otherwise, the wine list is neatly curated and features a number of local wines.
The staff here are knowledgeable, welcoming, and always keeping a close eye to ensure you’re having a great time.
You’re eating barbecue in a brewery, so expect the ambience to echo that. Having said that, the space is warm and comfortable and generally good fun.
The brewery often throws events, so if you like your beer and barbecue with a side of beats, then keep an eye out for these.
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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.
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.
Space for dessert? A compact selection ranges from excellent gelato to flaky pasteis de nata.
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.
Friendly, warm and welcoming. On-the-ball servers are only too happy to talk you through the menu and cuts of meat.
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.
Start the week off properly by going for two-for-one beers on Mondays.