Scrumptious on the stoep
Head here for a weekend brunch (which could last all day)
‘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.