Gåte Restaurant: Superb Wine Sets the Stage for a Seven-Course Summer Menu

Gåte Restaurant: Superb Wine Sets the Stage for a Seven-Course Summer Menu

A wine-drenched journey of discovery.

On the slopes of the majestic Simonsberg just outside of Stellenbosch, Quoin Rock Wine Estate is a serene sanctuary whose vast vineyard-dotted terrain is a fitting canvas for Gåte, its fine-dining and award-winning restaurant.

Purchased by the Gaiduk family in 2012, the estate underwent an extensive replanting project: 36 hectares of new vines at Quoin Rock, as well as a white-grape farm in Elim in the southern Cape. “My father [Vitaly Gaiduk] has a true passion for wine,” says Ukrainian-born managing director Denis Gaiduk. “What appealed to us about Quoin Rock was that it was a blank slate, which offered us the opportunity to create the vision our family had.”

A vision that has certainly come to fruition in the form of a full-package Winelands destination: Superb wines? Check. A fine-dining restaurant? Check. Five-star accommodation? Check. Plus picnics and several other pleasurable pursuits.

Welcome to Gåte

Gåte Restaurant Quoin Rock

Upon entering the restaurant, the bold, clean-lined architecture, courtesy of Denis’ wife Julia, creates a striking impression and also maximises the enchanting mountain and vineyard views. Pared-back furnishings and a muted colour scheme further conspire to allow the resplendent terrain – and the gorgeously plated food – to shine.

The kitchen is helmed by Jack Coetzee (formerly of Urbanologi in Johannesburg), who joined the Gåte team in October 2020 with a mandate to take diners on a voyage of discovery. Focusing mostly on the ingredients available in the immediate vicinity, Jack has put his own imaginative stamp on the farm-to-table concept.

“All our dishes are ingredient-led,” he explains. “We conceive and curate each one according to the compatibility of the flavours, and then make sure it has that wow factor! We’ve called it ‘micro terroir cuisine’ – it’s designed to excite.”

Bold new summer dinner menu

Your seven-course experience begins with a cocktail and canapés: a Wagyu truffle barley taco, potato samosa, and steamed bun stuffed with chakalaka.

Gåte Summer Menu

The first course sees Jack’s interpretation of the classic Italian vegetable soup, minestrone, served as a clear consommé of leek, celery, tomato and spice. It is poured from a teapot over a deep-fried vegetable terrine, and garnished with toasted garlic, fried tagliatelle and creamy Parmesan and sundried-tomato milk gels.
Wine Quoin Rock White Blend 2018

Gåte Summer Menu Gamefish Tartare

Next up, the gamefish tartare for the second course was inspired by Angolan-Cuban cuisine. Swordfish, marlin or tuna is mixed with fresh mango, red onion, avocado and lime segments, and topped off with a creamy mascarpone and gooseberry gel and crunchy deep-fried ginger and chilli.
Wine Knorhoek Chenin 2019

Gåte Summer Menu Third Course

A scallop-and-corn dish sings for the third course, with the focus being on four variations of corn on the plate (shoots, chips, kernels and custard). It’s all complemented with a cauliflower purée and prawn cocktail sauce, finished with preserved shimeji mushrooms.
Wine Quoin Rock Chardonnay 2018

Gåte Quoin Rock Estate Summer Menu

Chef Jack loves foraging for mushrooms in the pine forests around Stellenbosch and was inspired to recreate the forest floor in his fourth course “umami bomb”: seared springbok with mushrooms – porcini pebbles, pickled shimejis, fried shiitakes, earthy mushroom chutney and a fermented porcini beurre monté sauce, with pine needle and juniper rusks adding extra texture and aromatics.
Wine Quoin Rock Red Blend 2016

Quoin Rock Gåte Summer Menu 2021

For the fifth course, duck gets the top-to-tail treatment, with every part of the bird used to make roast breast, duck leg stuffed with liver and glazed with soy tea, biltong made from the wings (using Chinese 5-spice), and a sauce from the roasting stock.
Wine Quoin Rock Shiraz 2016

Gåte Summer Menu Lemon Meringue

The sixth course is a sour-sweet pause, a deconstructed lemon meringue made with coconut shortbread crumb, lemon ice cream and piped meringue.

Gåte Summer Menu Dessert

The pretty pink seventh course is called Amasi & Blood Peach on the menu. Jack’s experiment of fermenting honey with beer created something like mead. Nectarines are poached in this liquid and it’s used to make fermented honey jelly cubes to garnish the dessert, which also features vanilla and rice wine vinegar ice cream and a lavender tuille.
Wine Namysto Sweet Wine

To bring the meal full circle, snacks at the end mirror those served in the beginning, this time more sweet than savoury: crispy choux churros, a rhubarb taco and dark chocolate truffle.

There is a vegan version of this seven-course menu available, and for lunch it can be a three-course or five-course version. Whichever you choose, it’s original and utterly delicious, and will have you lingering for longer. As it should be.

Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 2.30pm
Friday + Saturday, seating 6pm – 6.30pm
Contact details 021 888 4750, gate@quoinrock.co.za
Address Quoin Rock Wine Estate, Knorhoek Road, Knorhoek Valley, Stellenbosch

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Cheers with estate Cap Classique

Quoin Rock Estate

This award-winning Black Series Méthode Cap Classique 2014 is made using handpicked pinot noir and chardonnay grapes that are whole-bunch pressed and then stored in French-oak barrels, where natural fermentation starts and the base wine is matured for 10 months. The wine is then bottled and aged on the lees for a further 52 months, then disgorged and given an additional six months of bottle maturation before being released. It’s perfect for salmon tartare, oysters and sushi, but it can be enjoyed on its own and at any time, for any occasion.
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