Devil’s Peak Brewing Company pours new life into De Oude Welgemoed in Bellville.
If ever there was a hidden gem it’s Devil’s Peak De Oude. It’s easy to miss the historic manor house cloaked in old oak trees above Bellville Golf Club, the entrance tucked away behind the local karate and squash clubs. But once through the gates, it’s another world – rope swings hang from sturdy oak branches, a sheltered terrace overlooks green lawns. The heritage buildings offer a choice of dining venues, from bistro with wood-fired pizzas to the beer hall with 12 taps and bar snacks, coffee and pastries in the deli, and a full restaurant menu in the Manor itself that’s strong on wood-fired cooking.
Husband and wife chef team Jacques and Michelle Fourie are fresh from the success of their London wood-fired eatery, Ember Yard, which brought traditional charcoal cooking methods from Spain and Italy to the heart of Soho. “Everything was touched by smoke, slow-cooking with a custom grill, and that is the inspiration for the style of food we’re doing here,” says Jacques. They fire up the hot smoker every day, perhaps slow cooking a whole pork shoulder, and the pork belly cooked this way is truly scrumptious, the fat completely rendered leaving succulent and delicately flavoured meat, served with crispy crackling, butternut and beer braised onions.
It was peaceful and sunny on my visit, several tables taking advantage of the very affordable weekday lunch special: a glass of Devils Peak brew with a towering burger, the patties a secret mix of three beef cuts that took a year to perfect; and on a less meaty note, the chive and pea risotto dotted with fresh goat curd tasted of spring with crunchy migas, a Spanish topping of breadcrumbs fried with garlic.
Local families have already claimed De Oude as a weekend escape, kids playing on the open lawn in between bites of wood-fired pizza, burger or fish and chips from the kids’ menu, while parents chat for hours over a leisurely meal, with 18 craft beers on rotation and an intriguing wine list featuring small estates from the Durbanville and Swartland areas. Still to discover is the charm of morning coffee and breakfasts, or business lunches with peaceful green views; at any time of day you’ll find a comfortable niche and tasty local flavour on your plate and in your glass.
Experience for yourself:
- Devils Peak De Oude | 021 200 5802 | devilspeakbrewing.co.za/de-oude
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.