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Spek & Bone

Spek & Bone
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Cost
R100
Ambience
Bar scene, Groups, Quick meals
Food
Modern, Tapas
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
No BYO

Critic's review

Katharine Jacobs

Food
Bertus Basson’s wine and tapas bar might be more casual than some of the chef’s offerings, but this food means business. The short, changing tapas menu features some packed-with-flavour gems.

Organic-maize tacos appear topped with translucent slivers of radish, tangy, sweet pork shoulder and piped dollops of sour cream. The gnocchi – feather-light pillows – has been sautéed until golden, and comes in a lemony, creamy froth, with meaty mushrooms and a sublime crispy, parmesan-laced crumb.

The real standout, though, is the cauliflower dish. As one of the waiters – apparently not much of a vegetable fan – says: “If I like a cauliflower dish, then you must know it’s good.” A head of cauliflower has been roasted until slightly crisp at the extremities, and served in a creamy cauliflower purée with roasted macadamia nuts, salty, crispy onions and sweet little raisins. It’s a triumph.

Portions are fairly generous for tapas, so set out cautiously, and order more as you go. We’re told to start with two tapas dishes, and go from there. Three turns out to be plenty for two – especially if you’re planning dessert.

The Peppermint Crisp cones (two to a portion) have become something of a signature. The ice cream is beautifully textured and the flavour mimics Peppermint Crisp tart cleverly. I sort of wish they were smaller and cuter – it is a lot of ice cream – and that they had a nugget of chocolate at the tip of the cone, like in my childhood memories.

The other pudding that shouldn’t be missed, if available, is Tannie Hetta’s apple pie – a sublimely sweet, soft apple sponge, soaked in syrup and served with ice cream and custard. Food coma stuff.

Drinks
This is also a wine bar, with an interesting wine list to match. Think Ghost Corner, Crystallum, Luddite and AA Badenhorst. Prices range from R150 for a bottle of Gavin Brand’s Cape Rock Rose, to R795 for Eben Sadie’s Palladius. There’s also a list of local gins to slake your thirst, and local craft beer.

Ambience
“What a hidden gem,” exclaims a diner at a neighbouring table, shaking his head. It is hidden – look for the sign at Oom Samie Se Winkel, and disappear down the alley into the back courtyard. The location is maybe a bit underwhelming, but that sort of adds to the surprise factor. It’s a pleasant enough place to pass an afternoon, with the town’s oldest fruit producing vine providing shade in the courtyard, and hip marble tables, and glossy black and white tiles inside.

Service
Efficient and unobtrusive. The team handles small errors with grace and sincerity, which is all most diners want.

And…
The restaurant is named for Bertus and Mareli Basson’s gorgeous pet pig and dog, whose likenesses appear in photos and various artworks around the restaurant. As far as we can tell, though, they sadly don’t frequent the restaurant themselves.

(October 2017)

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

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User reviews

  • I took my girlfriend to Spek and Bone for our 1 year anniversary. Let’s just say it did not disappoint, the food and wine selection itself was cause for celebration. The friendly waitstaff and manager made us feel welcome. Lovely space and vibrant energy. I will definitely be back and hopefully not just for the next anniversary, I don’t think we can wait that long for another gnocchi.
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  • Went to Spek & Bone the other night for dinner. Truly a magical place hidden away in it's own little corner. As you walk thrpugh the alley way it feels like you leave the hustle of the town behind. The food was great with a good amount of variety, portions not too big so that you can enjoy several different dishes of the menu, especially when you like to pick it your food like I do. Excellent wine list with a few lesser know wine makers, but still great quality. Service was good and allowed me to take it at my own pace without feeling rushed or unwelcome. A must try if you want to do something different from the usual night out.
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  • I went to Spek & Bone for the first time two weekends ago... and I'm still thinking of the food! Each dish took us on a journey, with unique flavours and textures. The standout was the mosbolletjie steak tartare sandwich. So South African, so delicious. At the recommendation of our server, we had the cauliflower salad, which was also mindblowing. And the pork belly tortillas were just yumminess personified. There were so many other dishes that I wanted to try, I will definitely be back!
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  • The food was very delicious and intriguingly done all around. The fish tacos were done ingeniously and the yellowtail and octopus was texturely amazing. The cheese in the Tomato salad was a little too strong, seemed to dominate everything else. The steak was tender and juicy but a bit simple. Ice-cream is fantastic and highly recommended. Wine list is one of the best I've seen in SA. My only real complaint is their concept of serving. I love the idea of family style tapas, and the idea here is to create your own plate. But when everything is brought out at once, things tend to get cold by the time you reach them. I just wish dishes were served over a longer period of time and not all at once.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Dinner
  • Lunch

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