Dutchy’s Gourmet Sausages in Plantation takes diners on a culinary safari to South Africa

Outside Dutchy’s on SR 7.

South African ex-pats are serving up a taste of Afrikaner cuisine, including sausages, curries, and more, at a combination restaurant-butcher-and grocery store.

By Alan J. Wax

After a recent lunch at Dutchy’s Gourmet Sausage in Plantation, friends and I left ecstatic about the food, and the hospitality.

More than 24 hours later, our elation had not abated. We continued to extol the virtues of this tiny South African eatery on SR7 just south of Broward Boulevard among ourselves and to our friends.

What could possibly bring on such good feelings? 

Simple. Partaking of a cuisine that none of us had experienced before and coming away with an appreciation for the simple, flavorful dishes that we enjoyed.

First some background.  South African cuisine is a fusion of indigenous African cooking as well as Dutch, French, and Malay cookery, among others.

Dutchy’s kitchen and wine bar.

Izak and Natasha De Wet, natives of South Africa, brought the cuisine to South Florida in 2013 when they established a butcher shop and grocery called Dutchy’s Gourmet Sausages. The store specialized in a wide selection of all-beef, pork-and-beef, and lamb sausages, as well as traditional South African foods such as biltong (a South African spin on jerky) and droëwors (dry beef sticks).  About three years ago, the DeWets moved Dutchy’s a few blocks to its current location on State Route 7 and added dining to its grocery offerings.

Only open from 8 a.m. until late afternoon six days a week, Dutchy’s now occupies a free-standing building. Inside, it’s a tad rustic with wooden tables and steel chairs —there’s seating for only about 20 inside with a few tables outside — filling the aisles between shelves of wines, packaged South African and British foods, and refrigerated cases holding house-made sausages, beer, and unique desserts.

On a recent weekday at lunchtime, the restaurant was virtually deserted. We were told that in-season a wait for a table would not be unusual.

We seated ourselves not far from the kitchen. Soon thereafter our server dropped off menus and a complimentary small bowl of biltong. These thin-shaved slices of air-cured beef were a delight, more tender than American meat jerky with a taste that suggested room-temperature beef pastrami. Many ingredients, typically including vinegar, salt, sugar, and spices such as coriander and pepper, help give biltong its taste and crispy texture. What a way to whet your appetite!

Natasha Da Wet watching her patrons.

Natasha, ever-present in the dining room, hovered  near our table like a mother hen, changing out our plates and silverware after each course, calling everyone, “My love.”

We started with a trio of Pork Belly Lollipops ($12), 24-hour cured and roasted pork belly squares, basted in Dutchy’s barbecue sauce which they call monkey gland sauce, and topped with what they called cowboy candy (candied jalapeños). These squares exuded Asian, hoisin-type flavors. Pork belly braii, as this dish also is known in South Africa, offers amazing juxtapositions of textures and flavors. The crispy squares are layers of melt-in-your-mouth soft meat and rich fat covered in a blistered-up crispy skin with a sweet glaze. And yes, the cowboy candy.

Next, we shared a spin on a popular South African sandwich called a Gatsby ($15), which at Dutchy’s is a hoagie roll stuffed with a flavorful, coarse-grained farmer sausage known as a Boerewors, tipsy onions (onions pickled in Vermouth), chutney aioli, and candied jalapeño slices. It arrived with crisp, spiced fries, a perfect accompaniment. (A traditional Gatsby sandwich is made with garam-masala-braised chicken, pickled cucumbers, Peppadew peppers, and French fries.)


Pork belly lollypops.

Namibian beer.

Farmer’s sausage Gatsby.

Russian sausage and chips.

Malva Pudding

Our other entree was Russian and Chips ($16) — grilled, South African-style, slightly smokey, Russian sausage (a/k/a Kolbasa in Russian) accompanied by salt and vinegar fries and chakalaka ketchup.  The fries, akin to steakhouse fries, are served soft and floppy thanks to a sprinkle of salt and vinegar. Chakalaka is more a tangy chutney than a bottle of Heinz, combining tomato ketchup, onions, bell peppers, garlic, chilies, and curry powder. 

Alas, we did not get to try the another South African classic, Lamb Bunny Chow, much as our minds, but not our stomachs, were inclined to do so. A truly innovative fusion dish, Bunny Chow originally was cooked by the Durban-based Indian Africans. It’s served in a hollowed-out loaf of white bread. That will have to wait for a future visit.

The dessert menu is filled with such delicious Afrikaner classics as Malva Pudding ($4.50). A Dutch import, Malva Pudding is a sweet and sticky baked sponge pudding made with apricot jam and served smothered in a hot cream sauce. It’s South Africa’s answer to the British sticky toffee pudding. To me, it bore a resemblance to Eastern European honey cake. Here, it’s made from a batter that combines sugar, eggs, apricot jam, flour, salt, baking soda, butter, milk, vinegar, vanilla extract, cream, and Sherry wine. A large square arrives with a small cup of creme anglais (vanilla cream sauce), which you pour over.  It’s a wondrous sweet treat. In fact, I bought an entire loaf ($18) to take home, along with a can of the custard cream. 

To drink, besides water and soft drinks, there is a selection of South African wines at $9 a glass and South African beers at $6.50 a bottle. There was no reason to step over to the cold box. Natasha brought over several bottles for us to consider. I opted for a Windhoek Draught, an easy-drinking European-style lager produced in Namibia, a neighboring country directly north of Cape Town on the West Coast. C risp and with just the right balance of hops, it was a perfect quaff for this perfect lunch.

Dutchy’s, to be sure, isn’t around the corner, especially for those in Palm Beach County, but the 39-minute drive sure beats an almost 16-hour flight from Miami to Cape Town. The experience and the cuisine are different for most of us and quite appealing. It’s worth the drive.

Dutchy’s Gourmet Sausages

401 S. State Road 7, Plantation


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