Staff at NGC Blairgowrie

July Restaurant of the Month: NGC Blairgowrie

NGC is not what you’d expect to find at the busy intersection of Barkston and Conrad Drive in Blairgowrie. There’s a tire store across the road and a lawnmower repair shop next door, and it just doesn’t feel like the right place for a classy restaurant.

And yet here it is, amidst the Joburg sprawl: a little bistro that could pass for a Paris pavement café.

Outside NGC in BlairgowrieOutside NGC: The man in the photo is the chef, Gareth, who owns NGC with his wife Emma. In case you’re wondering, NGC stands for “Neighbour Goods Café”.

I had lunch at NGC on a Saturday afternoon when I was really, really hungry and busy catching up with friends. So I don’t have many photos and this will be a short post. But I don’t want to delay writing it any longer. This is a restaurant not to be missed.

Saturday Lunch at NGC

In many ways the NGC menu is standard 2018-style bistro food, with a selection of “small plates” and larger main dishes and burgers. All very classy and what a lot of nice Joburg restaurants are doing. But NGC stands out because it’s particularly unpretentious, and because the food is So. Freaking. Good.

My two friends and I ordered four small plates: the beetroot salad, the pulled pork sliders, the tempura aubergine, and the fried mac and cheese bites with bbq sauce. Then we were still a little peckish later and ordered the fish cakes.

“Small plates” is a term that has become almost as cliché as “hipster”. I usually hate small plates because I feel like they’re a ploy to convince groups to order lots of food without paying attention to how much it will all cost in the end.

But in this case, the small plates tasted so good that I didn’t give a f*ck. (Plus they don’t even cost that much.)

small plates from NGCPulled pork sliders, fried mac and cheese, and tempura aubergine (eggplant).

Fish cakes at NGCSmoked fish cakes.

It was all delicious but my favorites were the tempura aubergine and the mac and cheese bites. Actually I’m pretty sure if I had to choose only one food to eat, three meals a day, for the rest of my life, it would be these mac and cheese bites.

NGC also has a nice-looking wine list, although we didn’t order from it on this particular day, and craft beer on tap.

Inside NGCInside NGC.

Staff at NGCFriendly waiters.

This is a tiny restaurant — bookings are essential. Small plates range in price from R55-80. Mains cost R85-175, and burgers are around R90.

NGC is at 75 Barkston Drive, Blairgowrie. Call +27-79-581-0725.

Read the rest of my 2018 Restaurant of the Month series.

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  • Reply dizzylexa July 27, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Mac and cheese bites – sound delicious.

    • Reply 2summers July 27, 2018 at 12:33 pm

      Best food ever.

  • Reply autumnashbough July 27, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    OMG. That first photo of the sliders and the fried man& cheese and the eggplant??! Yum.

    • Reply 2summers July 27, 2018 at 9:48 pm

      Yeah. Fried Mac and cheese – it’s a miracle.

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