Stop beefing, come and enjoy yourselves!
That’s the message from the innovative culinary team at Vergelegen wine estate in Somerset West, who’ve set up a gourmet hot dog café in the scenic surroundings of their Nguni cattle pastures.
Visitors who enjoy relaxed outdoor eating, and who might think they’ve seen it all, are in for an Instagram-worthy surprise when they enjoy an honest-to-goodness, alfresco meal surrounded by a vast herd of indigenous, multi-coloured Nguni cattle. There are dozens of adorable calves too – particularly enjoyable for children.
“Following President Ramaphosa’s latest announcement, we’re celebrating that we can welcome sit-down guests and offer on-site wine consumption again,” says Vergelegen MD Wayne Coetzer. “July is also National Hotdog Month.”
“We’ve decided to make the most of this great news and our fantastic outdoor setting. Guests can enjoy delicious made-to-order food, drink in the views, and relax in a one-of-a-kind rustic environment while remaining socially distanced.”
Visitors have two seating options – a vast glass conservatory, stylishly bedecked with greenery and soft furnishings, or an outdoor grass-covered deck. The cattle graze and tend to their calves around the conservatory, which offers stunning views across the green pastures to the majestic Hottentots Holland Mountains. Laid-back country moo-sic adds to the rustic vibe.
Vergelegen Executive Chef Michael Cooke, renowned for his super-seasonal dishes and sustainability, has developed a choice of Asian, German and French-style toppings for the beef, pork or vegetarian hot dogs.
“The ‘loaded’ Asian hotdog offers topping ingredients such as slaw, Japanese-style (kewpie) mayonnaise and nori seaweed; the German-inspired topping includes mustard, sauerkraut and pickles; and the French-style topping incorporates truffle aioli, Comté cows’ milk cheese, and bacon bits,” says Cooke.
“You can order fries with mayonnaise on the side, and we’ve developed the ultimate chocolate éclair with milk tart filling.”
The Nguni Pop-up Café is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 10h00-17h00, walk-ins only, for sit down and takeaway meals, for a maximum of 50 people at a time.
Opening prices are R80/hotdog with topping, R40 for a kiddies’ hot dog, R35 for the dessert éclair, R30 for side fries. Guests can order Vergelegen wine or bubbly by the glass, or choose from a variety of soft drinks, and coffee.
“We’ve had a great response on the first weekend, come and join the herd!” says Coetzer.
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