Until now, Hout Bay locals have lamented the lack of quality pubs in the suburb. Shiny new gastropub Woodcutter’s Arms has already garnered a following, among them MasterChef SA judge and Hout Bay local Pete Goffe-Wood.
This contemporary take on the British classics is turned out with a measure of finesse. Snack on a chubby pint mug of prawns with roasted lemon mayonnaise for dipping, sausage rolls with a smoked tomato ketchup, or a Scotch egg with smoked paprika sea salt, pea purée and pea shoots.
The main menu includes pub classics like pork or venison sausage with mash, gravy and brown sauce onions, and ploughman’s platters with pork pie, whole-wheat bread, Scotch egg, mature cheddar, apple, rémoulade, pea purée, piccalilli, red onion marmalade, ham and pease pudding. We’re keen to return to try the intriguing-sounding mussels in cider and bacon.
Sunday roasts would make your grandmother proud and come with beautifully glazed vegetables and fluffy Yorkshire puddings. Roast beef with home-made horseradish crème fraîche is full of flavour, and perfectly pink when ordered medium-rare. Other options include an overnight cooked shoulder of pork, apple, chilli and thyme jam, a lemon-and-herb half roast chicken, and a roast leg of lamb.
Dessert options include homely and comforting classics like bread and butter pudding and sticky ginger parkin (a dense oaty cake, possibly a little too heavy) with thyme ice cream. The chocolate toffee pot is indecently chocolaty, but sensibly sized.
The wine list is concise and well-balanced between good value wines, and classier options from Thelema, Meerlust and La Motte. But this is a pub, after all, and on tap you’ll find Windhoek, Amstel, Peroni, Castle, as well as an option from Jack Black and the Cape Brewing Company. Darling Brew, Brewers & Union and several other craft beers are available in bottle form.
Friendly, well-timed and perfect for the relaxed atmosphere of a ‘local’.
The lighting may be a little too bright at present, and the tables quite spaced out, but there’s an easy comfortable feeling to this pub that make it good for a relaxed drink or a dinner out.
Large televisions suggest a good venue for sports fixtures and there’s a fireplace to keep things cosy.
By Katharine Jacobs