Scrump­tious on the stoep

Head here for a week­end brunch (which could last all day)

Getaway (South Africa) - - ESCAPE BITES -

‘There should be no food envy at my ta­ble,’ says Renoir Sardinha, which is why his menu is ta­pas only, ‘so ev­ery­one can have a taste of ev­ery­thing.’

Opened in July, Sprout & Sprocket Eatery is a large, re­laxed ve­randa on a farm in Hekpoort with sweep­ing views of the Ma­galies­berg. Renoir’s kitchen opens onto the stoep, which means he gets to in­ter­act and chat with his guests while he pre­pares the food.

Be­fore he came here, Renoir had trav­elled and cooked around the world. It was in Dubai, while work­ing at a restau­rant called Zuma, that he fell in love with the idea of shared eat­ing (the way it’s tra­di­tion­ally done in the Mid­dle East).

The ta­pas menu of­fers va­ri­ety (at least 10 op­tions, rang­ing from pâtés and pe­tite pies to ke­babs and risotto balls, priced at around R80 each), and be­cause it’s sea­sonal – with in­gre­di­ents sourced from sur­round­ing farms – it’s tweaked reg­u­larly. Din­ers are un­likely to ex­pe­ri­ence the same meal twice, though they should hold thumbs the smoked tomato cap­puc­cino fea­tures.

Renoir’s other cre­ative out­let, apart from con­coct­ing fan­tas­tic dishes, is a pas­sion for up­cy­cling. ‘I en­joy us­ing scrap metal and wood to make art,’ he says. His restau­rant is dec­o­rated with de­light­ful ex­am­ples of his work – parts from a wash­ing ma­chine turned into a hang­ing or­na­ment, a vase made from lawn­mower parts, unique chan­de­liers and ta­bles (all for sale).

Sprout & Sprocket is not the kind of spot you pop into en route to some­where else – apart from its small size (it seats 35 at six ta­bles) and the fact that book­ing is es­sen­tial, the am­bi­ence is slow-go­ing, su­per-chilled and calm­ing. The moun­tains, trees, bird­song and a cool­ing breeze have a lot to do with it; you’ll want to lounge, and never leave.

• Open week­ends (no kids un­der 16; cash only). No liquor li­cence so bring your own – no cork­age charged. Off the R563, Hekpoort. 079-113-7011

ABOVE Chef Renoir Sardinha of Sprout & Sprocket. LEFT, FROM TOP Macadamia- and pesto-stuffed mush­rooms; look­ing out over the labyrinth.

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