I’m ashamed to say that this past weekend was the first time I’ve ever been to Braamfontein at night. I often go to pick up takeaways during my lunch break, and of course I’ve been to Neighbourgoods plenty of times, but I’m always wary of driving into town at night.
It’s such a stupid notion, because an incident could happen anywhere, at any time, and it’s silly to avoid areas because of a certain perception one may have. I think as long as you’re streetwise, nothing will happen. I also used to see the CBD as being “far” from my home in Rivonia. After Google-mapping it, it’s actually quicker to get to than Parkhurst, which I frequent.
I’ve been hearing too many awesome things about Braamfontein’s night life, so I decided to start off with dinner at the Smokehouse and grill, and then head to Great Dane and Kitchener’s. I want to do a story about Braamfontein after dark in the Sunday Indy, so I’ll just focus on Smokehouse in this post.
It’s very seldom that a restaurant surprises me. I try to only review places that are generating good buzz, so I usually have a pleasant experience. If I’m reviewing pizza, the pizza is good, and so on.
I did NOT expect to taste the best ice cream OF MY LIFE at a grillhouse. Like, better than Dulce de Leche in Buenos Aires. Better than Haagen Dazs Cookies and Cream. Better than gelato in Rome. This peanut butter ice cream was creamy, not too sweet, and just melted in my mouth. I can’t even describe it. You have to taste it.
So, back to Smokehouse. It’s an unpretentious, trendy spot with face brick walls and whitewashed wooden floorboards. The furniture (tables and chairs) is all wooden, and it’s bustling! When we went, the restaurant was about 75% full and there was quite a vibe, meaning it did get noisy, but not in an unpleasant way. I loved the diverse crowd- there were hipster students, business people, yuppies, old people, young people.
There’s an outside deck and bar counter, plus indoor seating. The owners felt that there was a gap in the market for traditional smoked ribs and meat, so they brought in a smoker from the US and the concept has caught on to Joburgers like wild fire.
They’re most renowned for their pulled pork sandwich, 12 hour slow smoked pork shoulder served on a sesame bun with Carolina coleslaw and BBQ sauce, R85. Sadly, this was sold out when we went, as were the Jalapeno poppers 🙁
I went for a chicken breast burger, R60, while Rishav tried a bit of both the pork and beef ribs. The food was tasty- wholesome and comforting. When it comes to chicken burgers, Smokehouse’s version is probably on par with my number one – Gourmet Garage. Rishav said the ribs were good but not as tender as his number 1, Turn and Tender.
I was stuffed after all of this, but the owner insisted that we try some ice cream, homemade by one of the owner’s mothers. Who was I to say no? I tasted the peanut butter ice cream by itself, which was heaven, and then I added the butterscotch sauce and was transported to one of my top 3 foodie moments of all time (other 2 are calamari at Cafe del Sol and fish at Terroir, in case you’re wondering). I have literally been fantasizing about it since. It’s that good. Take my word for it ppl, go and try this ice cream!!!! If you’re not a fan of peanut butter they also have peppermint crisp ice cream which is almost as good 🙂
So go and check it out and let me know what you think? Note, they’re closed on Sundays and are open for lunch and dinner every other day.
Smokehouse and Grill contact details:
Address: Corner of Juta and De Beer Street, Braamfontein
Telephone: 011 403 1395