Venues

Hoghouse Brewing Company

Hoghouse Brewing Company
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Cost
R120 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual, Contemporary cool, Family friendly
Food
African, Bistro fare, Contemporary fare, Pub fare
Payment
Mastercard, Snapscan, Visa, Zapper

Critic's review

Richard Holmes

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.

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.

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.

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.

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  • Katharine Jacobs

    Food
    The thing to do here is order a whole host of snacks, sides and barbecued meats, and share them family-style as if you were at a very excellent braai.

    Begin with a plate of pig’s tails. Even if the concept scares you, these toothsome snacks are delicious – tender meaty morsels inside, and crunchy, chewy crackling on the outside, under a sticky marinade. Steaming hot arancini balls, meanwhile, are loaded with wild mushrooms, and coated in a paper-thin crumb.

    From here, progress to the meat. The ‘barbecue’ section of the menu offers various meat cuts – some of which are smoked in the on-site smoker. There’s gloriously tender brisket, there’s smoky, bacon-y pork belly, there are ribs – ours are slightly dry – and there is pulled pork, duck legs and buttermilk-fried chicken. These are all offered from 100g upwards, and come on metal trays, so try several to share.

    Meat purists will love this celebration of protein – but if you’re less carnivorous, make sure you order several sides to accompany the dishes. The moreish brisket goes beautifully with a brinjal parmigiana – oozing mozzarella and fragrant, fresh basil. The pork belly, meanwhile, pairs nicely with the sweet, tangy pineapple kimchi, which is loaded with peanuts, and fresh coriander. There’s also charred butternut with maple syrup and pecan nuts and great, golden, crunchy chips with a powerful truffle aioli.

    Dessert – if you have room – consists of dainty tartlets from the Spier location – where the focus is more on baked goods. There’s also superb gelato from Moro, served in sugar cones. (Try the pistachio, if they have it).

    Drinks
    Another highlight. The location is also the home to the brewery and taproom – try a generously portioned ‘flight’ of the Hog House’s excellent craft beers for R37. The winelist, meanwhile, offers a changing selection of small batch bottles named only by their lot number – and a description – the idea being that the focus should be the flavour and quality, not the brand. Finish with a shot of the Night Owl, the house-made whisky-based coffee liqueur.

    Ambience
    Hoghouse is a buzzing little beacon in the middle of an industrial area, just outside Pinelands. It’s best suited to a rowdy group gathering – or perhaps a relaxed date, seated at the bar. Décor-wise, it’s industrial chic, but a wood fire keeps things cosy in the winter. There’s secure parking behind the complex’s gates.

    Service
    Efficient and friendly.

    And…
    If you’re a wine buff, look out for their monthly ‘Game of wines’, hosted in the taproom, which merges wine tasting with a pub quiz.

    (September 2016)

    Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.

  • Greg Landman

    An acclaimed chef’s new barbeque-style Cape Town restaurant, situated in an African-style brewery, is every meat lover’s dream, says Greg Landman.

    Food
    Famed chef PJ Vadas (formerly of The Roundhouse and Camphors at Vergelegen has gone all Country and Western with this new venture, The Hog House Barbeque, which is more Texas at its yummiest best than local braai. Things like beef brisket, lamb belly, buttermilk fried chicken, and pulled pork or pork spare ribs will make any meat lover feel like they’ve found heaven.

    Starters to nibble on include nice-and-sticky BBQ chicken wings, tortilla chips with avocado guacamole, and smoked beef croquettes – deliciously crunchy on the outside, filled with a rich goulash and served with tangy coriander pesto.

    Sides to note are the mac and cheese, the duck-fat potatoes, the superb pineapple kimchi, and the best sliced pickles this side of Dallas. And PJ’s homemade hot sauce is so fabulous, he should consider bottling it, like film-star ‘cowboy’ Paul Newman did.

    For dessert, the homemade ice cream comes in five flavours, including an irresistible salted-caramel version with just the right amount of smokiness.

    Drinks
    At the time of writing, they were still waiting for their liquor licence (on its way). But since its a brewery, and sommelier extraordinaire Joakim Blackadder is waiting in the wings, great artisanal beer and quality wines will be available soon. In the meantime, take your own.

    Service
    Smooth and friendly.

    Ambience
    If you’re looking for haute, this is not for you. Set in a courtyard in an industrial setting in Ndabeni, it’s trendy, with no frills. On arrival, a cute little railway engine with fire in its belly greets you. Inside, there are long benches and counters, a washbasin for rinsing those greasy fingers… and down-home pleasures galore, y’all.

    And…
    As it’s increasingly popular with families from the surrounding suburbs, bookings are recommended.

    (September 2015)

User reviews

  • We had dinner here with a group of friends and it was fantastic. A great place to go with a group as you can order many things and have a feast. I got to try a large part of the menu. For starters the croquettes where fantastic as well as the chili poppers and aranchini balls. The pig tails had a syrup over it so was sweet which I did not expect as I stopped reading after pigs tails and was looking forward to crispy salt bombs (not bad though). Yes we did order all the meat, obviously.... The burnt ends was a standout for me as well as the pork belly. For sides the best onion rings ever and also nice crispy chips. The grilled aubergine is also a must try. For dessert i tried the pasteis de natas as well as the salted caramel ice cream, both was fantastic. Oh and they have great beers and the wine list has unlabeled wines with only numbers and the type of wine and we had a fantastic shiraz that I need to find out what it is. Will definitely be back
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  • If you're a meat lover this will be your favourite restaurant. In truth I can't find a reason why this isn't our new favourite restaurant experience in Cape Town. Diaz Tavern, the Greenhouse and Il Leone now have a worthy challenger :-) Thank you to the chef and staff for an amazing evening all round. We've already booked for next week.
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  • Every time I go back to the Hoghouse Brewing Company, I find something new to enjoy - without ignoring old favourites of course! This really is a friendly neighbourhood local where everybody knows your name. And the food is fabulous too - and not just the meat. What always impresses me about the Hoghouse is that as much attention is paid to the vegetable sides as the meaty mains. My favourite sides: the classic rocket, parmesan and avocado salad is a great light and acidic accompaniment to the meat. When it's available, don't miss out on the crispy delicious Brussel sprouts with bacon. And in winter, warm up with a beautiful aubergine melanzane. For the meat, my favourite is the beef brisket with pickles, but the chicken marinated in buttermilk is delicious - an upmarket KFC. And leave space for dessert - the gelato (especially salted caramel) is the best in Cape Town, and let's not forget the yummy pastries, headlined by the pastei de natas. Can't wait for my next visit...
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  • Loved our experience at Hog House. The food was delicious - aside from the smoky, juicy meat (we had short rib, lamb shoulder and pork belly), the crisp duck fat chips and brussels sprouts with bacon were standouts. But the absolute winner of the night was the INCREDIBLE pasteis de nata! Sjoe, worth the visit alone.
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  • Such an amazing concept and vibe! It has a real 'smoke-house' feel, and the food is delish. You can't order Beef Brisket anywhere else (that I know of), just gorgeously yummy! The side orders are lovely (especially the broccoli with capers and almonds), but they can get quite pricey. Share sides, as it is more than enough. The pig-tail starter is really, really good. I've had pig-tail at other restaurants, but this is top quality, done in a honey and mustard glaze. The beer is great and prices are really really good, because you are buying direct from the cellar :). All in all, great food, very professional yet chilled service. Loved it and will be back for sure
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  • A return visit to Hog House Brewery Co. made us regret that we had not been again sooner. From the staff at the access to the secure on-site parking, to the welcome and friendly competent staff in the restaurant, who obviously enjoy working there, this venue reflects and reminds us so much of what modern British venues with their many talented chefs (and certainly not just in London), are offering today. Yes there are wonderful craft beers, but also good wines by the glass, caraffe and bottle, great starters and sides in addition to the barbequed and smoked meat mains (those not into meat are also well catered for). Too many good things to mention, but great Scotch Eggs (not the stale hard and cold pub version of old) were delicious in their casing of black pudding, whilst mushroom and meat croquettes reminded us of the real Dutch version. A great vibe for a couple or a group of friends and family, PJ Vadas just gets it! Much is made of the location which is actually minutes from well known corporate supported venues like 'Magica Roma', and frankly the Woodstock/Salt River area now very in, can be rather desolate on a cold Winter's day, whilst this has the atmosphere, the innovation and delivers - so no wonder it was full on the evening we were there!
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  • Our first impression of the Hoghouse, is Lucky at the gate. You have a goldmine in this wonderful man. He has a great sense of humor. So we entered the premises with a laughter. Please don't lose him. The waitrons are welcoming and explain how the process works for "first timers" The quality of the food makes makes the whole experience worthwhile. I had pork ribs that were sublime. Soft and easily pulled of the bone. I will not eat pork ribs or any other pork meats anywhere else. I will heartily endorse the Hoghouse Brewing Company and will be back many times without a doubt. However, make sure that you book in advance as this is a popular restaurant.
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  • This place is an absolute breathe of fresh air. Not entirely situated in a common 'restaurant location', Hoghouse has now become Ndabeni's main attraction! Ambience The dècor is chic, modern and fitting for the vibrant energy experienced when entering the restaurant. The folk country music playing in the background was ideal for American style smoke house they have created. Service I can absolutely say that the service in this place is on point! Friendly and efficient staff members who really know their stuff. Food The best part of the evening! Starters consisted of wild mushroom arrancini with chipotle aioli, duck spring rolls with salsa and delicious pig tails. The arancini was golden brown on the outside with a soft, flavoursome filling on the inside. The duck spring rolls were absolutely AMAZING! I must say though, I do prefer them without the salsa distraction. My favourite starter were the pigtails! The honey and mustard basting created the perfect hardened shell on the outside and once you've bitten through the crunchy exterior, you find the most tender meat inside. I needed more of it, but room had been spared in my belly for the main and boy was it worth it! Buttermilk fried chicken with hand cut chips and truffle aioli was my choice of main and I was impressed! Seasoned and fried to the perfect gold and crispy texture, the chicken was AMAZING! the hand cut chips was light and fluffy and the truffle aioli could not have made a better bond! The combination was spot on! There was no space for dessert as I tucked my fork into everyone else's mains as well (who in their sane mind can resist brisket buns and brisket burnt ends?). Drinks Craft beer heaven! Because of my indecisive nature, the tasting flight, I feel was made just for me! Four different brews to taste and about an hour later, I settled for the smooth, dark velvet Roadhog Porter, dark chocolate in colour and taste with a hint of coffee as well. Also try Their pineapple beer (if you're lucky enough to spot it on their black board menu). It's so refreshing and happens to be a combination of my two favourite things. Hog House...I will back, with room for dessert.
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  • The location and setting might be so unpretentious as to make you wonder if you're in the right place, but Hoghouse Barbeque is well worth a visit. The food is exceptionally well-priced for the quality, the service was efficient, and the staff were friendly and relaxed. We were a party of 5 who arrived at 6pm to catch up over drinks followed by supper, and we left at 9pm, completely satisfied. The menu appears simple but offers a good variety of dishes, but don't go hoping for seafood: meat is supposedly the speciality, but the vegetable side dishes got full marks too. My choice of a portion of pigtails in a honey mustard baste as a starter for the table to accompany our drinks didn't go down too well with the group – only one friend was brave enough to try it with me! They were delicious - crispy rind on a nicely reduced fatty layer, with tasty meaty bits around the bone; eaten with one's fingers, they were delicious! For mains, most of the meat dishes are priced per 100g portion, and portions can be doubled up but not halved. Most of us opted for the pulled pork, which was lightly smoked and melt-in-the-mouth juicy and tender; the brisket was also praised highly. We aim to try the ribs, pork belly and lamb on future visits. The imaginative selection of sides puts other Cape Town restaurants in a similar price category to shame. By chance we each chose a different side dish and were happy with our choices, but after seeing the duck-fat roasted potato wedges with truffle aioli dipping sauce, we promptly ordered a portion of those for the table. Cauliflower with goat's cheese, almonds, capers and shitake got 10/10; the rocket, watercress, avo and green bean salad topped with parmesan and sesame was a generous plateful of fresh green healthiness; celeriac remoulade with apple in a tangy mustard and garlic sauce was a new taste for most of us; but the charred butternut with maple syrup and pecan nuts raised everyone's eyebrows: it looked unappetisingly black, but looks were definitely deceptive. Despite ogling the selection of tartlets on my way in to the restaurant, we didn't have space for dessert and will have to try them out next time too. The restaurant is on two levels. We were seated upstairs which felt cooler than the ground floor level (most welcome on such a hot night) but became quite noisy when all the tables were full, so it might be worth asking about the pros and cons of upstairs vs downstairs when you make a booking.
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  • The location and atmosphere in the Spier garden is wonderful - quiet, cool, calming and visually entertaining. The food is excellent - perfectly cooked with Spier's fresh organic produce. The service is impeccable. A thoroughly pleasant experience = almost. Would we go back? No. Because I resent the underhand way this crowd charged me R25 for a glass of water.
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  • It's so refreshing to see a once fine-dining focused chef play with simpler ingredients and flavours – and then do it so incredibly well. I wish this place was down the road from where I live; I would go once a week! Everything is delicious and perfectly prepared, most notably the duck fat roast potatoes (might not have those every week... my waistline will not survive) and the brisket burnt ends. My highlight? The Hertzoggie ice cream. Chef PJ Vadas perfectly captured the taste of my ouma's beloved bakes. So lekker!
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  • Encouraged by the fact that Peter John Vadas or 'PJ' as he is known had opened this venue, we are nevertheless not great craft beer drinkers and were somewhat uncertain as to what to expect. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, PJ very much in evidence, modest and friendly as always, and we shared a range of interesting and delicious starters. Whilst meat orientated, there are other interesting choices, efficient and helpful staff and my beef brisket was superb. Like other new venues they await their liquor licence, its BYO for now. A great evening out and we will be back. Good news too that 'Hoghouse' will soon be at 'Spier' too, serving breakfasts and lunches there.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Beer served
  • Dinner
  • Fireplace
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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