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Dog's Bollocks

The Dog’s Bollocks

by Katie de Klee / 10.10.2013

Is eating with your hands playing with your food? And if it is, is that a bad thing? Why is it that we feel so socially bound to use cold metal instruments as intermediaries between our fingers and our faces? We never used to; primitive man ate like an animal, using thumbs as forks and teeth as knives. It shows more respect to the food, doesn’t it, to caress it rather than poke it?

The Dog’s Bollocks is a restaurant in a garage on Roodehek Street, and it’s the loudest secret in town. The phrase the dog’s bollocks is one mostly used when something catches you by surprise with its excellent quality: when something is ridiculously (nonsensically?) good. And this little place really is the mutt’s nuts.

Bollocks

All you get is burgers. Nigel, who is from Yorkshire and looks a bit like he could have ridden with the Hell’s Angels, makes and serves only 50 burgers a night with a choice of homemade sauces written on a chalk board menu. Once the allocation of burgers for any night sells out there are no more – open from ‘five until fifty’. If you don’t get there in time then you can fuck off.

For a while the only liquid on offer was a house red or white served out of cardboard tubes, but the Yard (The umbrella operation that the Dog’s Bollocks now falls under) has started brewing its own artisan beer. What is it is that makes people want to eat meat with their hands and still enjoy a glass of fine wine or craft beer?

beer

Every time I’ve been there, there has always been a crowd. And the rate the burgers are selling out is quicker than ever, but hey – maybe that’s why they call them fast food? If you’re lucky you might find a seat at one of the odd collection of garden-furniture type tables. When Nigel shouts to let you know your burger is ready it is handed over wrapped in paper (everyone knows the best things come served in paper); no plate, no cutlery, no fuss.

There is no way of remaining graceful whilst eating these beasts. I sat with the cold wire under my bum with the heat of the burger that rested on my lap warming my thighs considering how to go about the first bite. If you have a beard beware, perhaps don’t wear white, and if you brought someone pretty here to show off how trendy you are you better hope they like you enough to get messy.

saucy

In a city which prides itself on its exceptional eateries and award-winning chefs there must be something special about this place that so many people are willing to come and lurk in a garage to get such an uncomplicated meal. It is totally unpretentious and it has real soul and that is what the people are drawn to.  Incidentally, the Yard – brainchild of Nigel’s business partner Meg – serves up some of the most bitchin’ lunches in town.

The more I think about it the more practical eating with your hands seems to be. If you used your hands to eat you could take the food apart carefully, picking out the choicest bits and feeling where the gristle or fat was lurking. And you’d never burn your tongue. Recently we’ve seen a return of ‘dirty’ food: street food’s been getting a make over and suddenly it’s gourmet eating. There’s more than one room in the house where dirty is synonymous with sexy.

Eating should be a sensual experience: the first taste is with the eyes, the appetite is enhanced by the smell and we should be able to savour the texture of our food before we masticate it. I think we should go back to a more natural state: let your hair down, run barefoot, touch your food.  Eat at the Dog’s Bollocks. If you can handle it…

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The Dog’s Bollocks, Yard, and Deluxe Coffeeworks can be found at 6 Roodehek St, Cape Town.

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RESPONSES (13)
  1. disappointed reader says:

    Who let this piece go live?

    It’s by no means the worst article I’ve ever read, BUT it’s terribly, terribly written. Mahala peeps, just give this one a re-read – I dare you to disagree.

    Also, I’m fucking hungry now. At least part of the article succeeded.

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  2. regular customer says:

    Why is the Bitches Tits not mentioned at all??

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  4. debongz says:

    i totally disagrees with them…your article is easy read;straight to the point and unsophisticated and pallatable joyous..got my mouth watery too….

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