Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A rare find

Pioneer Butchery & Grill at Hazyview

I seldom rave about a restaurant.
Though often regarded by some as a simple plate, there are a lot to be said about a good steak meal

I regard it as an important part of the total South African experience. It is a necessity to the itinerary of the foreign visitor. Unfortunately with its overwhelming helping of Americana, Spur surely does not offer an atmosphere typical of the rainbow nation, though the fare is strictly according to popular local taste.
Ageing, selecting, preparing and grilling the various beef cuts to taste and to perfection remains an art. From chargrill to plate a lot of expertise is expected and that is precisely what you get at Pioneer’s Butcher & Grill at Hazyview’s Rendezvous Tourist Centre.
Situated at one of South Africa’s busiest tourism centres a meal here is a true South African culinary experience where only the best is offered.

After many years of begin the convener of the South African Steakhouse of the Year event, even to me this was one of those few unexpectedly good meals that sometimes crossed one’s path. The shop itself is a fusion of simple African colonial with its verandah on the outside and a blend of dark wood and leather, typical of a gentleman’s club inside - complete with a great classical bar area which calls for a night out with good friends.
On arrival and without asking, a charming waitress called Marsha gives me a proper rundown on the ageing process and maturation period of the beef cuts available. Wet aged between 21 and 28 days for the boneless cuts. On the bone it is an open process at a temperature of five degrees. Like the current trend elsewhere, Pioneer also serves as a butchery offering choice cuts to visitors planning a braai while enjoying this side of world.
Covered with a cloth of deep-burnt sienna with contrasting fine white crockery, good cutlery and a professional steak knife and crisp damask serviette, complete the picture at the table. A welcoming touch is the home-made boerewors in a sweetish basting as appetiser, combined with slices of freshly baked Portuguese bread.
My choice of 300 grams rare sirloin could not have come off the grill better! At just under R100 including a choice of crispy baked potato wedges, waving the offer of additional vegetables, this was without doubt the perfect steak meal. Though a choice of the best Cape wines is on offer including regular releases form the Bergkelder’s exclusive Vinoteque selection, my meal was rounded off with a currently released Chateau Libertas at a reasonable R68.
Like the golden days of owner grillers as at Cape Town’s famous Black Angus, Wooden Shoe and Buccaneer’s of days gone by and Bruce of B’s at Hermanus as an example of a restaurateur still following that tradition, it is similar here at Pioneer’s with the vivacious Denee Fick running a tight ship from behind the flaming grill. To me, promoting tourism in Mpumalanga, it is exceptionally gratifying to know we here have that same tradition and hands-on quality at offer.

Find out more at or see our guide for contact number

By Marius Bakkes

Thursday, February 3, 2011


More Denee,

Jammer ek sê nou eers dankie, maar na die vakansie, by die werk, het ek nie eers mooi grond gevat nie, toe het ek al vergeet ek het vakansie gehad.

Ek wil net vir jou baie, baie dankie sê vir die heerlike aand wat ons daar by julle restaurant gehad het op 31 Des. Dit was my verjaardag en ons almal het dit vreeslik geniet. Alles was puik!! Die diens, ons kelner spesifiek, hy het later saam met ons grappe gemaak, was puik, die kos was heerlik, uit die boonste rakke, net soos elkeen dit wou hê, die atmosfeer was lekker!! Ons het lekker gekuier en verjaardag gehou, ek het tot ‘n kersie op my nagereg gekry!! En daar is vir my gesing! Denee, nogmaals baie dankie, julle het my 60ste verjaardag spesiaal gemaak!!

Ons sal enige iemand wat in julle omgewing gaan wees aanraai om by julle ‘n draai te gaan maak! Dis die moeite werd!!

Voorspoed vir die res van die jaar, hoop dis vir julle almal ‘n wonderlike jaar!!

Baie groete

Dawie Strachan
(Lichtenburg - NW)

(Ellen van Tranquil Nest het ons aanbeveel om by julle te gaan eet!)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Skukuza Bookclub

Hi Denee
On behalf of all of us from the Skukuza Bookclub we would like to say to you, Bernard and all your other staff a very heartfelt thank you for the lovely dinner you prepared for us. We had a really fantastic time. The table decorations were wonderful, the meal was superb and the service exellent. We would just recommend smaller portions next time as we couldn’t finish all the delicious food.
Thanks again to you and your staff and also wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Best wishes from Michele and Skukuza Book club girls.

Michele Hofmeyr

Manager: Skukuza Indigenous Nursery
Scientific Services
South African National Parks (SANParks)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Letter from Leanne and Graham King

Dear Willem Fick and family

My husband and I visit the Kruger National Park many times each year (9 times in 2009 and 4 times, to date, in 2010). We absolutely love the tranquility of the Park and the wonderful opportunity it offers to relax and unwind. We are “Principal & Educator”, so this quiet time is an absolute treat for us.

When not staying with friends in Marloth Park, we always look for accommodation for one night, when leaving for our breaks, so that we can enter the Park early in the morning. When our children were younger we used to wake at 03:00 and get the travelling done with them sleeping, but now we just enjoy a leisurely drive, sleepover and dinner, before entering into Kruger.

We have tried numerous places in Sabie, Graskop and Hazyview in the past, but have to pass a huge compliment to you on the wonderful facility that you offer. Besides the very competitive price, the accommodation was superior and the friendliness of all your staff admiring. The room was spotless and super comfy. We also enjoyed a superb meal at the Pioneer’s Grill. Your daughter deserves to do extremely well – hope she does not give up her talent for the attraction of the BIG CITY. What a loss that would be!

My husband incidentally stayed at Hotel Numbi when he was a child approximately 40 years ago, and has raved to his parents and siblings, recalling its new charms.

We wish you all continued success in your family business, and may you continue to go from strength to strength. We will definitely be back!

Enjoy the Soccer Season.

Best regards

Leanne and Graham King