I haven’t driven on the N2 through Riviersonderend in years, taking a route via Robertson and Swellendam to get to the Garden Route.  The town with one of the longest names in the province is clearly known for its wonderful pies, which makes a stop at the bakery there an absolute must, I have learnt.  Now the pies have come to Cape Town, with Ou Meul Bakkery opening in the city, and past country customers cannot wait to try the new city counterpart.

I had read about Ou Meul Bakkery opening in Cape Town on Twitter, and popped in yesterday. Ou Meul Bakkery opened in Riviersonderend in 1984, and was taken over by Antonie Basson four years ago.  The previous owners run the country branch, while Antonie is hands-on in his city branch. He is also the co-owner of Col’Cacchio in Cavendish Square.  Antonie grew up in Franschhoek, and was a residential property developer before the economy turned four years ago.

Antonie said that they are best known for their light and fluffy pies, a range which includes chicken (R16,50), venison, bobotie, pepper steak, steak, steak and kidney, spinach and feta, ham and cheese, and mutton (R24,50) pies, as well as sausage rolls.  Their sweet treat baking is also popular, and the range include delicious apple turnovers, melktert, and Hertzoggies (R3,80 each), as well as pecan nut chocolate tarts, apple crumble, and lemon meringue (R9 each).  Breads are sold too, and used for making sandwiches, and include baguette (R11), ciabatta (R18), sourdough (R20), and 100% rye (R28).  I enjoyed their cappuccino (R15), the beans coming from Union Hand Roasted, whose owner Gerald Childs was the only local roaster to be invited to the World Coffee Roasting Championships in Vienna two months ago, and which supplies the Seattle Coffee Company, Antonie said

A Deli section stocks a large range of Brenda’s (wife of the winemaker at Fairview, Antonie told me) branded products, included canned peaches and guavas, green fig preserve, sweet chilli, marinated olives and feta, and grape, wild black berry, and ripe fig jams, marmalade, and orange preserve.  Brenda’s Himalayan Crystal salt and Gourmet grinders, mustard glaze, balsamic glaze, lemonade, and sweet red and pepper chutney are also available. Gansbaai honey, rusks, fudge, and Wedgewood nougat can also be bought.

As has become popular, Ou Meul Bakkery has a large wooden-top ‘communal table’, as Antonie called it, with additional small tables for seating inside and outside in the generous area.  A mix of wooden chairs to seat 40 guests was selected by Bone Interior Design Studio.  The baking area is open plan.

Antonie also owns GoGo, having four outlets in Woodstock, St George’s Mall, the Metropolitan building, and 11 on Adderley, with an extensive menu of fresh sandwiches, salads, wraps, and breakfast foods, which are served with the same excellent Union Hand Roasted coffee.

Ou Meul Bakkery, 14 Long Street, Cape Town.  Tel (021) 419-0662. www.oumeul.co.za. Twitter: @OuMeulBakkery   Monday – Friday 6h30 – 17h30, Saturday 7h00 – 14h00.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: WhaleCottage