National Hot Dog Month: Gourmet hot dog restaurant opens at Vergelegen wine estate
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Gone are the days when street food was all grease and no glam. No longer is the lowly burger, boerie or hot dog fare predictable.
Over many years, South African palates have become accustomed to all things gourmet, and traditional street food is no exception. And the quirkier, the better.
With July being National Hot Dog Month, the innovative culinary team at Vergelegen wine estate in Somerset West in Cape Town has set up a gourmet hotdog café in the scenic surroundings of its Nguni cattle pastures. It will operate for several months, depending on demand.
Called the Nguni pop-up café, guests can order gourmet hotdogs in the café surrounded by grazing Nguni and their calves.
Vergelegen managing director Wayne Coetze said that after following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s latest announcement, the estate was celebrating that it could welcome sit-down guests and offer on-site wine consumption again.
“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,” said Coetze.
Executive chef Michael Cooke, who is renowned for his super-seasonal dishes and sustainability, has developed a choice of Asian, German and French-style toppings for the beef, pork and vegetarian hotdogs.
Cooke says 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.
The pop-up café is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm, walk-ins only, for sit-down and takeaway meals.
If you would like to check at other options, here is a running list of new restaurants that have recently opened in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.