BBQUES at Groot Constantia
If you can’t have fun, then this isn’t the place to come,”
A saucy new Southwestern-style restaurant
While most restaurants at Cape Town wine farms are all about tableclothed refinement and sophistication, Groot Constantia estate’s new Southwestern-style grill, BBQUES, is going against the grain and bringing a spot of down-home relaxed revelry to the Winelands.
“If you can’t have fun, then this isn’t the place to come,” exclaims business partner Rudi Minnaar, summing up his and owner Mike Lumb’s vision for the rustic barnyard-themed eatery.
Intent on offering something truly unique, the two hospitality gurus have converted a large old cellar formerly used for functions into a pastoral pop-up type space – it’s only open on Friday and Saturday evenings – that’s centred on providing grown-up members of the family (no under 18s allowed) with some solid entertainment.
Hence, at the informal open-plan BBQUES, which rests right next door to the farm’s celebrated Simon’s restaurant, upbeat live music is as key as saucy Southwestern grub. More specifically, visitors in for a good time can look forward to tapping their toes to catchy original folk rock tunes strummed by the up-and-coming four-piece Nick Marucci band (rumour has it they’re SA’s very own Mumford & Sons).
As for the fare, the focus of the weekend eatery is on finger-licking good American-style comfort food, with sticky, succulent meat as a main highlight, of course (though, there are salads for the health-conscious too). While the menu will change regularly, anything from ribs, steak and Southern fried chicken to gumbo ya-ya, pulled pork, fish skewers and mussel chowder is on the bill, and each table will be treated to a selection of six different sauces.
Diners can wash the full-flavoured dishes down with a wide array of beers and other booze – there’s a fun spin on the way beverages are served – and can opt to share a long wooden communal table with other like-minded revellers or take a seat at one of several smaller perches (in winter, arguably the biggest fireplace in the Southern Hemisphere turns the space into a cosy, glowing haven).
In essence, though it’s first and foremost a restaurant (visitors can’t just come for a quick dop), the colourful, country-style BBQUES is the spot to stop for good ol’ adult fun and frivolity and a rare taste of no-frills Winelands dining.
Payment details: As this will be my last CTDC meetup as organiser (see message/discussion board notice to follow), I am foregoing the usual advance payment but R15.00 will be required at the meetup to cover site costs. You are responsible for you own bill for food and drinks on the evening.
If 16 people do not turn up on the nite the restaurant manager reserves the right to place "strangers" at our table.