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Devil’s Peak Taproom (Salt River)

Devil’s Peak Taproom (Salt River)
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Cost
R70 avg main meal
Ambience
Hip & happening
Food
Food from the Americas
Payment
Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Linda Scarborough

Food
Once you’ve got your drink in front of you, apply yourself to the smart bar snacks to soak it all up. Options that hit the mark are flash-fried broccoli, sesame-beef short-rib and Korean chicken lollipops. We opt for chilli poppers, which arrive fat, golden, hot and suitably creamy inside.

Burgers are the perfect size to eat with your hands – satisfying but not gargantuan – and come on boards with regular fries, but you might want to upgrade to truffle-parmesan fries here. They’re crisped up with finely grated parmesan and a hint of truffly aroma – highly recommended and delicious with a pint of Devil’s Peak lager. After our meal has arrived we spy delicious-looking puffy onion rings on someone else’s burger board. Something to enquire about next time, as they are nowhere to be found on the menu.

The Green Chilli burger option is a tangy and not-too-hot affair with pickled jalapeños nestling in white cheddar atop a gorgeously smoky-flavoured patty. It’s super tasty, with soft and slightly sweet buns buttered and toasted on both sides to add extra yum factor and crunch.

Vegetarians might like the chickpea burger patty, else they could opt for a salad (butternut, beetroot, lentil and goat’s cheese sounds like a winner) or the porcini-and-gruyère risotto.

If you have space after all that deep-fried everything, try some churros with hot chocolate sauce or throw caution to the wind with a Banoffee Mess.

Some menu items aren't always available, so don't set your heart on things before chatting to the wait staff.

Drinks
Devil's Peak beer is on tap, with tasting notes to guide you. You can also go to see the glistening taps up close and ask for some advice from the friendly bartenders. If you’re not a beer drinker, don’t despair – the menu has some promising wines, hard tack and a solid selection of local gins, some of which are made in the neighbourhood.

Service
Staff are very sweet if a little inexperienced and vague. The tables and menus are rather grubby – but you’re in a Woodstock brewery taproom after all. You get the feeling a firm hand on the management side of things could really make a good space into a great one.

Ambience
Devil’s Peak Taproom has cleverly transformed the front half of a brewery warehouse-type space into a bar and eatery. High ceilings can make it feel a bit cavernous and noisy, but the reward is huge windows looking over onto the urban scene, with some bar stools and counters along the road-facing section, and a balcony that must pump in summer. The industrial feeling is softened somewhat with beautiful blue wooden chairs and pops of proteas in old wine bottles.

And…
A few TV screens dotted around make this a good place to watch sporting events with a rowdy crowd. (LS)

(September 2016)

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

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Jeanne Calitz and Linda Scarborough

    The food
    The offering is what one would expect – and demand – of a beerhouse: hearty dishes like robust sandwiches, burgers, fish and chips, with a few interesting quirks.

    The adventurous of appetite should order the chicken and waffles, a very generous portion of Southern-fried bird served on a waffle with bacon-and-blue-cheese gravy. The little waffle square can get quite soggy under the crispy chicken, but the sauce is just the right measure of smoky cheesiness. It’s incredibly rich but delicious, especially when paired with the sweet and malty Devil’s Peak First Light Golden Ale.

    The burgers are also really good – lots of flavour, not too fatty – and come in perfectly manageable portion sizes. (What is it with all these other enormous burgers about town? How are you supposed to get them into your face?) Remaining options include the popular pulled pork sandwich (almost big enough to share), prawn pasta and the fish and chips, with the hake battered in Devil’s Peak Silvertree Saison. Disappointingly, the food and beer pairing board – R100 for flights of First Light and grilled hake; Saison and prawns; Woodhead and pulled pork; Blockhouse and Reuben sandwich; and one of the explorer series paired with a speciality cheese) is not available at peak times such as Friday nights.

    Vegetarians can order the mushroom pizza that’s liberally sprinkled with truffle oil, the salad of the day or the mushroom pasta. The bar menu also features a small selection of snacks like onion rings, flash-fried broccoli and bowls of fries.

    If you have room for dessert after all the carbo-loading, there’s grilled banana and butterscotch waffle, the thought of which has us weak at the knees.

    The drinks
    Most people would come here for the excellent Devil’s Peak craft beer, but if you’re tagging along and are not really a beer person, there’s also a small but interesting selection of local wines, including the Hermanuspietersfontein Bloos, the Secateurs Chenin Blanc and the Joubert Tradouw R62.

    As far as the brews go, there’s no question that the guys at Devil’s Peak know their stuff. Leaders in the local industry, they consistently deliver in quality and bold flavour. Eat Out’s in-house cerevisaphile (yes, this is a real word, meaning beer lover) heartily recommends The King’s Blockhouse IPA (Indian Pale Ale) for its strong, hoppy character and good balance.

    The service
    On a pumping weekend night the staff handle large groups with aplomb, carefully noting who sits where and what they’ve ordered. Trays of drinks and food arrive right on time and the patient waiters manoeuvre deftly between the tightly packed tables and chairs.

    The ambience
    The high-roofed warehouse space with its concrete floors could easily have been unwelcoming and cold, but they’ve managed to warm it up with the odd wooden touch, some artwork and piles of old-fashioned bound books. Mismatched furniture and homey brick-a-brack lends it the comfy, almost grungy feel of an eccentric uncle’s study. The bar area, long benches and bottomless beer make the Taproom a good spot for lively parties of twenty-or-thirty-somethings, but smaller tables are dotted around to accommodate couples and smaller groups. The vibe is rather masculine but welcoming nevertheless, and there’s that striking view of Devil’s Peak from the big curved windows facing Table Mountain.

    And…
    The venue is also open on weekends and holidays, which makes it a great option for a cheerful lunch with friends and family. However, it’s not the most savoury part of Salt River at night – it’s pretty dark on the streets – so share rides if you can and be nice to their official car guard.

    The verdict
    With great food, fantastic beer and a buzzy vibe to recommend it, we will definitely be returning to sample the rest of the Taproom’s charms.

User reviews

  • Happiness is... finding out that The Taproom at Devil's Peak Brewery is open on Sundays (12-6pm). So often my favourite go-to places are closed on Sundays, and with Winter approaching one's choices can be limited... that Winelands picnic may just pose a risk, which is exactly how we ended up at The Taproom. Great spot for a chilled Autumn/Winter's afternoon - craft beers, wine and good food; also live music (although not sure if this is a permanent feature). The cheeseburger (R75) remains my favourite - it's simple, yet perfect.
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  • If you're looking for a chilled night out or a quick mid week dinner - you should hit up the Taproom's Tuesday Burger and Beer special... At only 50 bucks it's a pretty good deal - and if that isn't incentive enough, they've thrown in some live music too (one-man acoustic set-up).
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  • The food here was amazing and such a variety on the menu from vegetarian options to chicken on a waffle! Great flavour on every well presented dish. The beer and ciders topped off a great afternoon
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  • The first time I went there was for lunch. The waitress told me about the amazing pizza they have and once I was thouroughly convinced that that was the only thing I felt like eating, she came back to inform me they only serve the pizza in the evenings. The next time I went at 8pm especially to order the pizza that the waitress waxed so lyrical about, only to be told that they were out of stock and didnt have any pizza left to serve! I came from far especially to try out the pizza and was less than impressed. Its a great place, but the menu is very limited. They shouldnt put items on the menu that they cant serve at all times, especially something as popular as pizza.
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  • The Blockhouse IPA will keep me coming back to this understated brewpub. The Pork Belly is excellent as well.
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  • Beautifully presented 'beer tasting' of a couple of small glasses of different beers matched with a selection of different bites. Great vibe and delicious food.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Beer served
  • Booking required
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Serves food

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