Venues

Jason Bakery on Bree

Jason Bakery on Bree
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Cost
R75 avg main meal
Ambience
Contemporary cool
Food
Bistro fare, Deli fare
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
500

Critic's review

Katharine Jacobs

Food
Drive down Bree Street on any given morning (except Sunday or Monday, when they’re closed) and you’ll see a queue of people outside this bakery, hovering in hope of getting a table. With so many places to indulge in this stretch of town, it might seem a little odd that people are prepared to wait, but Jason is the captain of all things decadent. The offering changes daily but might include broekies (the world’s most delicious brownie cookies) with a soft gooey inside and a crisp outer crust, or peanut butter chocolate chip cookies stuffed with homemade marshmallow. A croissant might be heavy with an inner core of peanut butter, wrapped in bacon and drizzled with maple syrup and a pie might be loaded with crayfish and mac and cheese. The sweet treats might be a bit much for some – but if you’re not planning to nap for the rest of the day, even the sandwiches are pretty special. The Chuck Norris is made with slow-roasted chuck from Frankie Fenner Meat Market, Colby cheese and deep-fried shallots and served on a peppered brioche roll; the Marie Brisket with Frankie Fenner brisket, coleslaw and pickles on the same, inspired form of carbohydrate.

Drinks
The Deluxe coffee comes standard as a double-shot, and there are &Union beers and a small selection of wines (Alphabetical red, Teddy Hall white or Groote Post bubbles). A freshly squeezed juice might help offset the guilt you may be feeling after eating Nutella-filled doughssant holes.

Service
Waiters do their best to seat everyone in a fair and orderly fashion – and the kitchen manages pretty well given the occasional overcrowding.

Ambience
Gun-metal grey, wood, chalkboards and golden vinyl croissants, turned upwards in an irreverent, rock gesture: the décor mirrors its tattooed, Harley-riding creator. The majority of the seating is outside, with a great city view of Lion’s Head. Fitted window sheets come down on rainy days to make things slightly cosier – alternatively you can perch inside at the bar counters.

And…
Follow @captainbreadza on Instagram for a tip-off on what he’s baking, and to find out what flavour of dough-ssant (Jason’s interpretation of the cronut) is available that Saturday. They’re also open in the evenings on First Thursdays.

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  • Katharine Jacobs

    Food
    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.

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

    Ambience
    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.

    And… 
    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)

  • 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

    Food
    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, https://twitter.com/#!/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.

    Wine
    ‘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.

    Service
    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.

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

    And...
    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](http://www.eat-in.co.za/News/Category/Features/1554/Baking-with-Jason ""Baking with Jason"").

User reviews

  • While the croissants here aren't on Paris level, they are among the best I've tasted in South Africa, and thats coming from a person who would run a marathon for the the perfect croissant. By the time we got there at around ten o'clock, there were only two more pain au chocolat left, so we scrambled and ordered both. The bread here is real good bread with a crispy crust and a flavorful interior. We enjoyed the Cubano sandwich, the artichoke and roasted potato salad, and the ememtal poached egg croissant. Through no fault of the restaurant, the day we went was a rainy and windy day. unfortunately this caused where we were sitting to be quite chilly, but the staff was extremely accommodating to show us to a new table. Beware though on days such as these because there isn't much seating and I think we got lucky to be able to move tables.
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  • After tasting the Bakery' wonderful bread at the Eat Out awards I was excited to try some of there other baked goods. A Friday morning trip into the centre of town afforded me the opportunity. With a busy crowd still present at 10:30 in the morning, I had very high expectations for the take away window. A friendly waitress helped me with my selection for a late morning croissant which I must admit was a feast for the eyes, all golden looking and very inviting. The reality however was a little disappointing, were I expected soft, light and flaky I was met with a very crunchy outer layer and a rather doughy/ oily centre. This experience was not limited to just one type as I tried both the almond and the bacon. I must give them points for being inventive and hope that this experience was a once off as there bread is amazing. So with hope in my heart I will give them another chance on my next trip to town as who can resist a fresh coffee and croissant on a beautiful morning in Bree Street Cape Town.
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  • 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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Facilities

  • 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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