Sunday Lunch at St Francis Bay Brewing Company

Sitting under the shade of a giant Fig tree enjoying a superb traditional Sunday Roast was a perfect way to escape the week’s events.

St Rancis Brewing Company - St Francis BayJoining Lance and Linky Kabot at St Francis Brewing Company in St Francis Bay for lunch on Sunday was just the distraction I needed after a week of breathing soot laden smoke and being constantly aware of impending danger. A hot beach blonde would probably have been an equal distraction but I chose instead an ice cold “Beach Blonde” from the Brewing Company’s selection of craft beers on tap to clear my palate of the soot before sitting down to a traditional Sunday lunch of Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding.

As a kid I well remember those traditional Sunday Roast for whilst my Mom. bless her soul. Was a great teacher and renowned hockey coach, her prowess on the hockey field did not follow her into the kitchen. A Sunday lunch usually comprised an overdone cut of beef more suited to using to sole shoes than consume as a Sunday treat. It was little wonder I preferred to take my chances with boarding school over weekends rather than visit home at weekends.

Living in a small rural village as a kid we did not have restaurants or takeaways and the only food of a restaurant or takeaway nature was an occasional treat at the Cuban Hat on Durban’s beachfront on rare visits to the coast. And one could hardly expect perfectly cooked beef and boarding school so my first introduction to with what was to become my favourite source of protein was after school when I discovered the steak house culture. And beef the way beef should be prepared, medium rare, more rare than medium.

Considering my early experiences with Sunday lunches my delight was palpable when Linky placed the array of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and roasted veg on the table.  The beef was roasted to perfection and the Yorkshire pudding light, fluffy and perfectly presented. Not being much of a veggie fan the little veg I did savour was nice but it was the perfectly cooked beef, Yorkshire pudding and accompanying sauce that received my full attention. I use the word sauce rather than gravy for that is what is was, tasty, light and complementing the beef rather than drowning its flavour.

To round off what has to rate as one of the best meals I have had since settling in St Francis, Chef Hoffman twisted my arm, very gently, to have the dessert of fresh strawberries served with a delicately infused cream with an alcohol tasting sauce.  The slightly tart taste of the strawberries, it is not always possible to find sweet strawberries and personally I prefer them to be a little sour,  was perfectly offset by the infused cream and light sauce.

St Francis Bay Brewing Company has employed the services of professional Chef Daniel Hoffman who started his career at the famous Meikles in Harare progressing from there to a stint on luxury yachts before gaining more experience at a couple of top Cape Town restaurants. Apparently Paul’s parents have settled in St Francis and thus Daniel’s sojourn to our region.  Sauces so often make or break a dish and it certainly seems if the Chef Hoffman has a flair as a sous chef for both the beef and the dessert sauces were exciting and complimented the respective dishes perfectly.

The setting of St Francis Brewing Company makes for a great venue to kick back, relax and enjoy not only their weekly Sunday lunch but during the week for lunch or supper  for they have a small but good choice on their menu including fresh seafood and daily specials.  Of their specials currently on offer the Pork Pie with apple chutney and lemone greens at R65 looked particularly delightful and even though the Sunday Roast was on offer several people had ordered the pie.

And of course there is the beer, wine and spirits for those who are not into their beer, although with the wide range of beers available on tap there is something for everyone, you just have to order the taster tray to see which suits your palate the best. Interestingly brewer Lance has managed to get a few imported craft beers including Fuller’s London Pride, Punk IPA from Scotland, &Union from Germany and Liefmans Fruitesse from Belgium to complement other local craft beers and his own Beach Blonde, Lighthouse Ale, Stormrider Stout and Wildside IPA.

Interestingly the imported beer is cheaper in South Africa than overseas with the Fuller’s costing the equivalent of two Pounds as against four Pounds charged in London. So you don’t need to buy an air ticket to visit London, simply visit St Francis Brewing Company, order a Fuller’s and a pork pie and there is your overseas holiday at a fraction of the cost.