Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery Boasts Mouthwatering Fare
Conscious cooking, remarkable food and a fun family environment make Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery a real treat.
When someone suggests going to a smokehouse or grill restaurant, two things happen. Carnivores picture succulent meat dishes bursting with flavour, and vegetarians cringe at the prospect of only having a plate of chips or a lettuce leaf to eat. And who can blame them? Vegetables are not usually at the forefront of these establishments' menus, but times have changed, and eateries like Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery are changing the game.
Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery has achieved a remarkable feat - it has created a menu where the vegetarian dishes are just as delicious (if not better in some cases) as the meat dishes. Chef patron PJ Vadas headed up the popular Hoghouse BBQ & Bakery at Spier Wine Farm for three years before relaunching it as Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery late last year. The space has been transformed to reflect the new direction that Vadas is taking with the restaurant.
For the meat lover, Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery has everything you could want and more. The 'hog' from the Hoghouse is still there smoking various cuts of meat to perfection. Expect things like brisket, pork belly, chops and the most amazing chicken wings. Vadas Smokehouse sources as much from the farm as it can and relies on local suppliers for produce. Vadas has decided to be as respectful and resourceful in his cooking as he can by using as much of the animal as possible. This means you get to eat something daring, different and delicious – think pork-fat fried chips, whipped chicken fat with freshly baked bread, chicken hearts in peri peri sauce and the most addictive chicken skins. Once you get over the initial surprise of what you're eating and dig in, you're rewarded with something truly remarkable.
The real surprise, though, are the veggies. Oh the veggies! They are full of colour, texture and flavour. We sampled beets with feta, grapes, pistachio dukkha and pickled fennel flowers; roasted tomato panzanella salad, buffalo mozzarella and smoked olives; and fire-roasted broccoli, mustard cider vinaigrette, and macadamia and smoked cheddar. The broccoli was undoubtedly the standout dish of the day, which is saying something when eating at a smokehouse restaurant.
A new addition to Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery is a beautiful glass house. This is where visitors can sit, where the desserts are displayed and where the bakery is located. The desserts are simple. There is a selection of American-style sweet pies, divine Moro Gelato and Vadas' famous pastéis de nata tartlets to end off your meal the right way. And smellling the bread bake in the ovens on site and watching the baker kneading and shaping dough is such a treat.
Contemporary interiors meet heritage architecture at Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery, which is housed in the 200-year-old Jonkershuis building on Spier Wine farm. When you walk in, you're greeted by white and yellow walls adorned with a variety of artworks by South African artists. There are different rooms where you can sit, each with its own atmosphere, including one with an impressive custom-made red couch that fits across an entire wall of the space. There's also a working fermentation room, where you can see shelves of jars filled with interesting offerings that will eventually end up on your plate. There's Vadas Smokehouse's vinegar, preserved lemons and homemade kombucha, which is out of this world. But while the inside of Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery is beautiful, you'll probably only be in there in the evenings because during the day, the allure of the glasshouse and the beauty of the surrounding wine farm is too much to ignore. It's the ideal setting for a relaxed lunch with family and friends.