Everyone has their secret indulgence. The one thing you can eat day after day, in all its glorious shapes and forms, and never tire of it. The thing you crave most when you’re happy, when you’re sad, when you’re hungry or when you’re just bored. Some people have a love affair with chocolate, some with pizza. Some with both. My secret indulgence is bacon. Needless to say, when I accidentally bumped into Baconville during a foodie day out, I felt like a kid in a (bacon) candy shop!
Setting the scene
The day started out pretty indulgent. My friend in foodie goodness, Sam from Chocoholic and the Sweet Tooth, and I planned a gorgeously hedonistic day of food feasting. We stocked up for our road trip at Olympia Bakery in Kalk Bay and whilst nomming on cinnamon twists and Truth Coffee, ventured to the Northern Suburbs. You may ask, what are you doing in the Northern Suburbs? Well my friends, it was the annual Chocolate and Coffee Festival! But that is a whole different blog for a different day…
After a morning of stuffing our faces with all things chocolatey and buckets of caffeine, we felt quite hungry for real food. You know, food without sugar or cocoa in it! Something comforting and quite self-indulgent. I decided that we’re bound to find some good grub at the nearby Willowbridge Shopping Centre. We slowly circled all the various offerings, until our noses lead us to the place where all our foodie dreams came true: a tribute to all things pork, a proper bacon emporium, the lost city of pork, the big daddy of all bacons: Baconville.
I was immediately drawn by the beautiful, golden lettering and branding of the eatery. By now you should all know I’m a sucker for good branding! We looked at each other and without saying a word, we slowly nodded in agreement. It would be an honour to wrap up this chocolatey good day with a salty, crispy bacon dish.
I’m not usually one for eating in a mall. But then this wasn’t an ordinary mall and neither was this piggy palace an ordinary restaurant. Next time you’re walking around Willowbridge, see if you can walk past Baconville and resist the smell of sizzling bacon and freshly baked bread. And there’s always a first, right? I was way too intrigued to walk past, and judging by the packs of hungry people entering the front doors, I knew it had to be done.
We sat outside in the sheltered eating area and were soon presented by beautifully rustic menus with a jaw-droppingly good selection of sandwiches and other bacon inspired creations. I love a cheeky menu, and this was most certainly one of those. I delight in word plays and inter-textual references, so my experience started with carefully perusing the menu in detail, squealing at each well-placed sandwich name or quirky item description.
After what felt like hours drooling over the menu, we settled on two different sandwiches to share: the classic BLT and the Harvey Specter, which is a delectable sandwich made up of a gorgeously soft ciabatta roll, stuffed with bacon, brie, tomato and pesto. The (not-so) classic BLT was a French toasted ciabatta roll with bacon, rocket, tomato and a homemade baconnaise. Ok, stop right there and let’s all take a minute to appreciate. Baconnaise. Baconnaise! Yes, it is exactly what you think it is: mayonnaise infused with itty bitty bacon bits, supercharging the creamy spread with a holy smokiness of porky goodness. We of course also had to order a portion of shoestring fries, with even more baconnaise on the side to share.
Whilst we hungrily waited for our sandwiches, I could see the eatery filling up fast. It was lunch time on a Saturday, and many famished shoppers purposefully made their way to the bacon kingdom. Others lazily doodled past, only to make a u-turn to come back and take a seat. The interior was small, but modern and current and very moody, but in good-moody way, not a bad-moody way. Everything was sleek and polished, and the beautiful fridges were filled with their products that you can purchase and take home. Even the baconnaise! As bacon is their game, they only use the best. And that takes the shape of pasture reared, air-dried bacon supplied by Richard Bosman. This high standard of quality is very apparent in the taste of the bacon; none of the greasy, watery, fatty pale pink slivers of store-bought bacon; instead, an artisan product with a deep, rich colour and different layers of flavour, delicately cooked to crispy perfection.
The main event
Our food arrived and I knew I was going to make a little piggy of myself. The sandwiches ticked all my hedonistic boxes; it was loaded, colourful, fresh, local. The fries were delicately spiced and full of flavour even before you added the indulgent baconnaise. I had to resist the urge to scoop the last of the sauce from the bowl with my index finger and give it a good lipsmacking lick.
The presentation was beautiful and the waiters super friendly. The food was delicious and the vibe was chilled. The sandwiches were stuffed with bacon. I was totally in my happy place, and continued to read the menu throughout lunch, as if it was a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey. As I crammed more bacon into my face, I already daydreamed about the Unicorn burger, the Hairy Biker breakfast and the Hall-Elujah halloumi and bacon salad. This little piggy will run all the way to Tygervalley crying “feed me, feed me!” instead of home.
As my first taste of Baconville was just a quick pit-stop for a sandwich, I wish I could’ve lingered a bit longer. I can imagine having a lovely get-together here, with a large table of friends all sharing meals and tasters of each other’s dishes. I can imagine a lovely, relaxed breakfast with family, before you hit the shops on a Saturday morning. It’s really suited to every taste and inclination. They have a lovely kiddies’ menu selection, and a surprisingly diverse of beverages, both hot and cold, both naughty and nice. And if things can’t get any better, they also offer a takeaway option, which I really should’ve considered before I left.
Baconville turns the much-debated food group of bacon into a gourmet meal, carefully pairing these slivers of goodness with just the right ingredients to let the food take the centre stage. Each meal is a performance of note, and nobody needs to sell you the food by way of words; it speaks for itself. Baconville pays homage to the humble piece of pork, relished through the ages in all shapes and forms. It elevates an everyday staple to a full-blown taste experience, and showcases the versatility of this cut of meat in such creative ways, with just a little bit of dramatic flair.
Dear Bacon Master, please open a branch in the Southern Peninsula? I will be your most humble servant ever. And if the Southern Peninsula is too far away, even the City Bowl will be better than to trek out to the other side of the world; that kingdom you call the Northern Suburbs (by the way, this sounds like something out of Game of Thrones!). But if that is your wish – that I drive for an hour to get to your baconporium – then who am I, a mere mortal, to refuse your calling?
The Little Hedonist has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, I do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, menu changes, opening times, and contact details.