Being in Bloemfontein is the ideal spot to find really good biltong, and I mean REALLY good. Around every little corner, in almost every store, you’re bound to find a wide selection of biltong in either local butcheries, delis, convenient stores or small shops. My absolute favourite biltong is created in a butchery behind Emily Hobhouse Square called “Mike’s Butchery”, or in Afrikaans “Mike’s Slaghuis”.
Mike’s Butchery is owned by the Eksteen family for quite a lengthy period of 22 years, and is a very well-known butchery in Bloemfontein. They are known for their extensive range of marinated and aged meats, including giant sosaties (kebabs) made of rump or chicken, delicacies like deboned legs of lamb, sausages and their oh-so delicious biltong. Everything is prepared (cut and packed) on site to meet their customers’ preferences, allowing you (the customer) to get exactly what you require.
Mike’s Butchery’s sliced biltong is the best I’ve ever tasted, which is why every opportunity I have to visit my folks in Bloemfontein, always includes a quick trip to visit Mike’s Butchery, simply to purchase their sliced biltong. Mind you, we’ve been going to Mike’s Butchery for over 7 years now (wishing we’d discovered it earlier). The biltong is semi-wet and when I first laid eyes on it, I have to admit, I was slightly anxious because of the raw look and feel. But after that first bite, all fear is forgotten! Now, the succulence and flavour of the pieces of sliced biltong cause me to salivate at the very thought. My sister and I often purchase a bag of their sliced biltong spice as well, in which we use with our braais we have in Cape Town. The spices that they use include ingredients such as course salt, coriander seeds and black pepper, the rest… you’ll have to go and have a taste for yourself.
The experience at Mike’s is always the same. From walking through the door, to being greeted by the tinkling sound of a little bell, to seeing Mike, Priscilla and their son, Ryno, behind the counter, either assisting customers or working their magic around the kitchen. I place my usual order: “R200 of sliced biltong with spices”. They fetch a large and solid piece of biltong or two, slice it through the machine in front of you, weigh it in brown paper bags and add the spices accordingly.
Left: A prize for most user-friendly butcher in town.
Right: Mike Eksteen and his son, Ryno Eksteen.
You can find Mike’s Butchery at:
27 Toon van den Heever Street
or contact them:
051 436 1810