Right, let’s get into it. Let’s hit the heart of it. Spek and Bone is just damn fine dining. We have visited before and we loved it before and here is the blog post to prove it. And the way I remember Spek and Bone is a casual eatery in the heart of Stellenbosch featuring smalls plates such as crispy calamari, mac & cheese and super fabulous gnocchi. These are all dishes I love but what I would typically pop under “casual eatery” kind of dining. Spek and Bone is still an absolute gem in the heart of Stellenbosch BUT let me tell you – the dining is elevated! The days of casual eatery are behind them!
And that is not to say the vibe isn’t warm and welcoming. That’s not to say that you can’t rock up in jeans and a t-shirt. And that’s CERTAINLY not to say the food is “pretentious” or “stuck up” in any way or form. The food is so delicious, the service is attentive and welcoming and you can 100% arrive in jeans and a t-shirt. But honestly, if this is a date night and you play your cards right AND pop on a fresh shirt – you may just get lucky! (Wildly inappropriate statement but true).
Our dinner at Spek and Bone
We joined them for our first night out in Stellenbosch in 2020! Which is kind of heartbreaking that I am talking about September! But that’s alright – we’re rolling with the punches this year.
Bertus Basson, across his restaurants, has had a little pivot and a little rethink and out of that has come a more accessible dining option. At Spek and Bone it is a fabulous set menu for two. At Overture the pricing has come down across the menus and their offering a Terrific Thursday special of 50% off your food bill until the end of November.
Our set menu was R285 per person for two rounds of small plates featuring three dishes in round one and four dishes in round two. I do see the price has crept up to R315 per person but to be honest at R285 per person it was just stupid good value! Their new pricing is still great value but maybe a little less stupid! It is summer in Cape Town after all!
I couldn’t resist the snacks!
I have always been a woman who can’t resist the snacks and is almost always hungry. This Friday night was a true combination of both those truths!
We started with the homemade milk rolls with whipped makataan butter and the marinated olives with orange, coriander seed and chili. The milk rolls are sensational and are warm fluffy cloud like buns that get slathered in sweet and ever so slightly salty makataan butter which melts as soon as it is very liberally spread. If Spek and Bone sold that makataan butter – you can trust I would be leaving with some. The olives were good but not a must order and with so much feasting ahead of you they can easily be skipped.
Let’s quick talk wine?
So this is one of the few positives of the Rona – innovation! Spek and Bone have done away with their wine list and now feature a beautiful wine library on their wall which showcases the wines on offer. This is clever in so many ways – saves on paper, allows for interaction from diners and 100% allows you to judge a book by it’s cover. I would love to see this trend catch on with more and more restaurants because it just brings me so much join.
We ordered pretty pricey wines because we were in full “treat yo self” mode but there are options at all price points. If you’re looking to go all out I can highly recommend a the Cartology and the Crystallium Pinot Noir.
Small plates: Round One
Raw abalobi yellowtail, spicy coconut, avocado, cucumber, sesame, radish and bonita. Big punch flavours and five star delicious. Beautiful yellowtail served with fresh bright flavours with tons of texture and crunch. Really beautiful summer dish and was a knock out with our bottle of wine.
Mediterranean spiced lamb, slow roasted aubergine, cumin yoghurt, coriander and mint served in a sort of pie flaky situation. Overture’s menu is super seasonal and dependent on the best ingredients available at the time. We had lamb in our dish but already they were changing it up with venison the next night. I loved the flavours of this dish which almost had a Middle Eastern / Moroccan flavour nod that I adored. And the spiced lamb was slow cooked to tender perfection. Could definitely eat a full sized pie version!
Fior Di Latte, courgette, lemon, nutmeg, wood sorrel and Hamilton & Russel Olive oil. The mozzarella was a lovely fresh addition to the dishes but probably our least favourite dish of the night. We found the Fior Di Latte a little chewy and the dish maybe lacked the wow-factor every other dish had. Did love the courgette scale presentation though!
Small plates: Round Two
Potato gnocchi, mushrooms, Huguenot cheese and mushroom emulsion, and chives. I love a gnocchi and this one was no exceptions. Them potato gnocchis with their golden crust were fabo and the squeaky exotic mushrooms and the Huguenot mature style cheddar cheese situation pulled everything together.
Roast hake, daikon, parsley sauce, gremolata and capers. This was a really delicate fish dish and the hake was roasted beautifully. I loved the pops of salt and acid from the capers.
Chalmar beef sirloin, caramelised onion puree, baby onions and beef jus. Look, it is a great steak cooked perfectly. It is sweet whole caramelised baby onions. And it is flawless deep rich beef jus. This dish, cooked like this, is going to be a knock out time and time again and there’s just no other way around this. Perfectly cooked beef with it’s best mate the onion plus a fair amount of butter? Count me!
Forgotten carrots, carrot puree, charcoal oil and cashew nuts. This was the surprise of the night. My favourite dish award goes to the carrots – can you bloody believe it? These carrots were roasted but soft, sweet and smokey and that puree was really something else. I could eat this dish again and again and would consider swapping my mom for the recipe! She’s a really nice lady, Bertus?
Topped off with fantastic service!
Over and above the great food and wonderful wine – the service was really five star. On the night we visited, Michael was running both the front and back of house – checking in with guests, taking wine orders and answering questions all whilst popping in and out of the kitchen. The evening ran so smoothly with all the chefs coming out to explain different elements of the dishes. You will honestly feel so looked after – and gently reminded why looking after our restaurant industry is so important.
- Opening times: Tuesday – Saturday, lunch from 12pm to 2:30pm and dinner from 6pm to 9pm.
- Location: 84 Dorp Street, Stellenbosch
- Contact details: 082 569 8958 or email@example.com