THE search for the perfect burger is – happily – one that is never-ending. However, you’ll go a long way to reaching nirvana at the newly opened Bovine in Franschhoek.
Owned and run by Oliver and Becky Cattermole, It’s a casual and relaxed eatery where they don’t take reservations. As the website says, Bovine has “great food, craft beer, local wine and a chilled vibe to top it all off- we believe this is something new and different for Franschhoek, that will serve the needs of both locals and tourists looking for a casual, but high-quality dining and drinking experience.”
I came across the restaurant sort of by accident, scrolling through my Instagram feed. Clearly I’d followed it for a reason – fabulous photos being the first and most important. A few clicks later and I’d arranged to come for lunch while I was weekending in Franschhoek.
As you might expect, the menu leans significantly in the direction of meat. This didn’t stop a vegan from coming there to eat there, though. I don’t even know why. Apparently her husband had a steak, so I guess that’s a very interesting home dynamic.
The menu is one of those which presents so many delicious options it takes forever to make up your mind. I eventually started with beef brisket spring rolls, normally served with hot sauce. I’m a wimp when it comes to that so the waitress suggested bringing me mayos instead. That is great thoughtful initiative.
Main course options include burgers, steaks and house favourites, and a selection of sides. Eventually I decided on the COW burger (written like that, in upper case letters) with its 100% beef patty (although I’d expect nothing less) with pulled brisket, cheese, and all the trimmings – that being sliced tomato and pickles, and chipotle mayo. Another pickle is served on the side. Why? Because because the acidity of the vinegar works as a palate cleanser. The sharp tang of a dill, sour, or half-sour pickle lets you taste the rest of the flavours more clearly. Thank you, Google.
The brisket on the burger is an inspired choice which makes it all gooey and yummy. Everything fits perfectly and neatly inside the bun so you can sink your teeth into it without bits and pieces squirting out over the table and down your front. With a side dish of coleslaw and a nice big glass of Black Elephant Vintners & Co Nicholas Red – a Rhone-style blend – it was a very lekker lunch before heading back to Cape Town. A nice touch on the menu is the invitation to buy the kitchen a round of beers. For just fifty bucks, you’ll be contributing to their year-end bonus.
Interned at Haute Cabrière under Matthew Gordon before moving to the UK and working under Michel Roux Junior at Michelin-starred Le Gavroche. Worked as a chef at The Ivy, Maison Novelli and a did a six-month stint on the Silversea Cruises before joining the Cannizzaro Hotel and Bistro in Wimbledon, UK. Returned to South Africa in 2010 and worked at Dash Restaurant and Bar at the V&A Waterfront before moving to Le Franschhoek Hotel. Opened Mondiall with chef Peter Tempelhoff before becoming the executive chef of the Leeu Collection until end-December 2017. Opened Bovine restaurant in Franschhoek with his wife Becky Cattermole in February, 2018.
PICTURE CREDIT: BIANCA COLEMAN