Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery is ideal for big family outings
Kit Heathcock heads to Spier Wine Farm in Stellenbosch to check out the latest food offering from chef PJ Vadas of Hoghouse fame
The historic Jonkershuis at Spier Wine Farm that was Hoghouse Bakery has been relaunched as Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery.
Chef PJ Vadas remains at the helm of this Stellenbosch eatery, which now focuses on sustainable farm-to-table fare. He's taken the opportunity to work closely with the farmers at Spier and local suppliers; the menu features pasture-raised beef, pork and chickens from Farmer Angus, lamb from Lowerland in Prieska, and fish from the Abalobi small-scale fishing programme.
PJ’s inspiration is still Texas-style barbecue with influences from around the world, and the former bakery's legendary pasteis de nata are still available, but he has also introduced new dishes including varied and substantial vegetarian choices.
The atmosphere is welcoming and informal; there are endless lawns for kids to run around, and ordering is a simple matter of ticking boxes on the menu for the whole table to share.
For the indecisive the chef’s platter is a boon.
When we visited it featured piping hot arancini, melting pork belly with crispy crackling and a superb apple ketchup, barbecue beef brisket, smoked harissa chicken wings with yogurt and pomegranate, cucumber kimchi, and two substantial salads.
We couldn’t resist adding one of the day’s specials: sweet potato lavished with maple syrup and pecans, a generous portion that made sure we had leftovers to take home.
If you still have space for something sweet, wander through to the bakery counter where an overwhelming choice of pies by pastry chef Brady Cromhout awaits.
We decided on an alluring deep pink plum and fig pie, bursting with autumn ripeness, and a decadent pecan bourbon pie, rich caramel and crunchy nuts. An ice-cream bar stocked by Moro Gelato is an alternative tempting dessert.
The renovation has created more covered tables in the back courtyard and converted two of the old Jonkershuis rooms into a lounge for enjoying coffee and bakery treats.
A new parking space immediately outside the courtyard wall gives easy access.
• Visit Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery at Spier Wine Farm, R310 Baden Powell Drive, Stellenbosch. See vadas.co.za
A version of this article was originally published in the Sunday Times Neighbourhood: Property and Lifestyle guide. Visit Yourneighbourhood.co.za