Mitchell’s Plain has it’s first grill house that has all the flavours of a braai at home without the effort of starting a fire.
The Grillfather, in Westridge shopping centre, opened it’s doors in September, but even before then the owner and self- taught master griller Shane Swiegelaar had already made a name for himself in the area.
“I started this business in my garage this year. I’d sell food on a weekend, and Friday’s was my busiest day,” says Shane. “Then a neighbour complained about all the traffic in the road and I started look- ing for a space for my business,” he adds. Shane, who previously worked in the clubbing scene in Cape Town, had to first renovate the space before he could install his grills and shop fittings. It was worth it, though, and now his home-made mush- room, chilli, pepper and barbeque sauces are a hit with hungry customers.
The name of the business is born out of Shane’s love for the Godfather trilogy, and that coupled with his love for good food is a match made in foodie heaven.
One of the Grillfather’s main selling points is that the menu is small and the most expensive plate of food is R55, the Don Corleone Steak, a 200g steak served with coleslaw and chips.
The steak, which is made to order, is smothered in home-made sauce, which is really the star of all the dishes.
Shane orders 80 percent of his meat and ingredients from Mitchells Plain sup- pliers because he has “a great relationship with a local butcher in Mitchells Plain”.
It’s this love for his food that is evident in the foot traffic through his grillhouse on weekday afternoons when most take- aways in the area rely on weekend trade.
“Most of my advertising was on Facebook and then word of mouth,” says Shane. “I tested all the dishes on my friends, my wife and family before I opened, and of course I tasted it myself,” he said. The barbeque marinade is a
secret recipe that Shane says he will never share because it took him years to perfect. “I won’t sell food I won’t eat, food that I would serve at home is what comes out of
the kitchen,” he says.
The chicken wings are reasonably priced at R40 and are smothered in the barbeque sauce, and the smoky taste from the grill gives it a tasty flavour you’d expect from a backyard braai.
Shane does share some of his cooking techniques, though, and says: “So with the steak I spice, and of course there’s the oil I use. Then I flame grill it first before
I rest it in the marinade and then grill it again.”
He promises the wait for takeaways won’t be longer than 15 minutes, and says he’s not looking to compete with the big commercial fast food and restaurant chains in Mitchells Plain.
“I want to give people a decent burger and a decent steak without them having to drive out of Mitchells Plain,” he says.
Shane has big plans for the Grillfather and says he’s already been approached by business people keen to franchise the business.
“Most people have tasted everything out there in terms of fast food. What I am offering is fresh and flame grilled, and it’s like your braai at home, expect I’m doing it for you,” he says.
The Grillfather Mitchells Plain is open Tuesday to Thursday from 11am to 9pm, Friday & Saturday from 11am to 9pm and Sundays 11am to 5pm. The Grillfather Woodstock is open Tuesday to Thursday 12pm to 9pm, Friday & Saturday 12pm to 11pm and Sunday 12pm to 6pm. They also do call-and-collect orders.