There’s no better place to while away an afternoon in Cape Town than at Spier Wine Farm. The picturesque farm in Stellenbosch offers a wide variety of dinning options, including the brand-new family friendly Vadas Smokehous and Bakery. The exciting spot opened its doors in November last year, replacing the much loved Hoghouse eatery, and has quickly become a popular destination for families and groups of friends looking for a laid-back hangout in the winelands. Those who were sad to see its predecessor go will be thrilled to learn that Hoghouse head chef, PJ Vadas, is the chef-owner of the new spot, which promises to offer guests a host of new reasons to visit Spier and the Stellenbosch winelands.
Created as a space where families and friends can join together and eat food that is carefully, ethically and healthily sourced and prepared, Vadas is the type of restaurant you just can’t get enough of. When it comes to seating, guests have loads of choice depending on the occasion. Warm, summer days call for a table outside on the cobblestone courtyard, which flanks Spier’s luscious green lawns. The outside seating area offers the perfect place for parents to sip on a glass of wine while they watch their little ones run and play on the lawns to their heart’s content. For a more cosy vibe, grab a table inside the beautiful historic Cape Dutch-style farm building or on the glass-covered patio and enjoy a relaxed dinner with a real family dinning feel.
As for the food, the menu at Vadas offers diners simple food that is jam packed with flavour. The dishes on offer might sound basic, but once your food arrives at your table it’s immediately clear that the kitchen pays close attention to detail, proving that in the culinary world, less really is more. The menu at Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery changes almost daily and is hugely dependent on what is available on the farm and from other local suppliers. There is a butchery on the farm, so all the beef, pork. chicken and eggs, used at Vadas is supplied by Farmer Angus while other ingredients are sourced from some of the best suppliers in Stellenbosch.
This also isn’t the kind of place where you can’t be selfish with your order. Say bye-bye to food envy because sharing is the order of the day at Vadas, where everything is served family style and guests are encouraged to curate their own meal for the whole table to enjoy. From small snacks plates of jalapeño poppers, chicken wings, and steak tartar to a full sized leg of lamb for six people, the menu at Vadas take the idea of ‘sharing plates’ to a whole new level. This place is tapas on steroids and I absolutely love it!
Rather than a traditional menu-waiter system, Vadas makes use of a tick-box menu and table runners, who are always on hand to grab a drinks order or whisk your meal selection to the kitchen. To order you simply tick off the items you want to enjoy and the quantity, and hand it to a runner as they whiz past your table. Your meal is then served family-style on trays in the middle of your table and everyone can grab and taste as the mood strikes.
Because we wanted a little taste of everything we ordered the Smoked harissa chicken wings with pomegranate and yoghurt dressing (R70), Sourdough bread and butter (R45), Smoked brisket and BBQ sauce (R75 per 100g), Fried chicken with garlic aioli (R65 per quarter), Pork fat fried chips and truffle aioli (R50), and a Braai broodjie (R50 each).
If you love sweet, sticky chicken wings, you can’t go wrong with the harissa chicken wings. It’s just the right amount of sweet and the freshness of the pomegranate and yoghurt dressing served with it helps to cut through the sweetness and make your taste buds sing. If you’re more of a Southern-style chicken kind of person then the Fried chicken with garlic aioli will definitely impress. It’s comfort food done oh-so-right! Of course, you can’t have fried chicken without chips and Vadas’ crispy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside Pork fat fried chips and truffle aioli take fast food-style indulgence to a whole new level.
Last, but not least, the Braai broodjie. This wonderous Braai broodjie was the piece de resistance for me. Boerenkaas, red onion and tomato sandwiched between two slices of freshly baked sourdough bread; this simple sarmie offers guests a gourmet take on a classic South African snack. I absolutely love Braai Broodjies so this cheesy, gooey delight was pure heaven on a plate for me.
Vadas is open Monday to Saturday from 12:00 – 15:00 and 18:00 – 21:00, and Sundays from 12:00 – 15:00. Friday night is pizza night from 18:00 – 21:00. For a better idea of the menu click here or, to book online click here.
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After years of working as an Editor and writer for popular websites like Joburg’s Darling, Cape Town’s Darling and Joburg.co.za, Crystal left her sanity and an established career in lifestyle journalism behind to follow her dream of creating a website for the intellectual and discerning woman. Today she spends her time chasing the thrill of being the first to know about ‘the next big thing’. She’ll try anything once and has been known to put her body, hair and health on the line – all in the name of research.