There’s no question about it, South Africans love a braai (“barbecue”). It’s an event where family and friends and persons from all walks of life can come together, socialise and celebrate. Indeed, even those travelling from overseas have come to enjoy this South African staple. And where better to have a braai than between the picturesque 12 Apostles Mountain Range and the Atlantic Ocean. The location: the 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa’s new restaurant, The Apostles Braai.
As most things, The Apostles Braai started with an idea. The late Stanley Tollman, founder and chairman of The Travel Corporation (TTC), wanted a place where he could braai. Said the 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa’s executive chef Christo Pretorius, “Mr Tollman spoke to me and said he wanted a place where he can braai.”
“The idea was, obviously, first the braai,” the award-winning chef added. “The idea was to have a gazebo here; a little gazebo, marquee type of vibe.” However, Mr Tollman, wanted a “proper” place to braai. The plans soon fell into place and the beautifully designed restaurant was built. Speaking of the design, the open-plan yet intimate, and relaxed venue is elegant and, as a braai should, provides for a place where visitors can socialise and celebrate – be it a birthday, a kitchen tea, baby shower or intimate wedding – over a sumptuous meal, enjoyed with some of the best local wines, gins and craft beers South Africa has to offer.
Plankie steak to share
Braai canapés include sumptuous vegan sliders
The 12 Apostles Braai restaurant is located between the scenic 12 Apostles Mountain Range and Atlantic Ocean
Braaibroodjies is a must for any South African braai
Beautifully designed interior provides for a sociable yet intimate, and relaxed atmosphere
An array of beverages are on offer
Christo’s menu stays true to what South Africans and overseas visitors have come to expect and love of a braai. He wanted to keep the menu as local as possible. “Local is lekker [‘good’],” Christo says. However, as this is not your garden-variety braai, the recipes incorporate several ingredients to make each meal truly outstanding.
Upon arrival, restaurant-goers are met with an array of traditional snacks such as beef biltong (dried, cured meat) and venison droëwors (dried sausage), spiced nuts and marinated olives. A selection of vegetarian and vegan sushi are served thereafter, followed by braai canapés, which include chicken sosaties (“skewers”) with chilli garlic mayonnaise dressing and plankie steak (thinly cut beef to share served on a wooden plank) with chimchurri sauce.
However, it’s not all meat. As with the sushi, the braai canapés have been curated to suit persons with various dietary requirements. Included with the braai canapés are delicious vegan burger sliders, charred baby carrots with walnut and red pepper romesco (a tomato-based sauce that originated from Spain) and braaibroodjies (toast made on the barbecue). “Everybody always asks ‘kan jy ’n braaibroodjie maak’ (can you make a braaibroodjie) … so that has to be on the menu,” Christo explains. For dessert, Christo serves a selection of high-tea sweets.
There’s no question about it, South Africans and, indeed, visitors travelling from overseas love a braai. And the braai experience provided by executive chef Christo Pretorius and his team at The Apostles Braai restaurant will only elevate this adoration. It’s a place where persons can get together and share in exquisitely prepared meals and socialise while gazing at scenic views.