On the slopes of the majestic Simonsberg Mountains lies Quoin Rock Wine Estate, a serene sanctuary with lush gardens dotted with flowers and mystical sculptures. It’s here, amidst the award-winning architecture of the estate, that you’ll find Gåte Restaurant, recently named 2019 Global Restaurant of the Year at The World Luxury Restaurant Awards.
The restaurant has been designed to take full advantage of the magnificent mountain views and, together with the culinary craftsmanship of the chef team and the careful cultivation of the winery, makes for a transportative Winelands dining experience.
The food at Gåte Restaurant
Head chef Nicole Loubser (formerly La Colombe, The Test Kitchen and the Michelin-starred JAN in Nice, France) and her talented team have crafted an artful 14-course menu, which can either be enjoyed as a five-course lunch or a seven-course dinner. Says Nicole: “We’ve picked 14 countries to embody a taste-driven odyssey, fusing their flavours with South African cuisine.”
Dishes include Upstream 2.0 (salmon rose, Beluga caviar, pickled radish, mango gel, litchi gel, chilli oil and spekboom) – a fusion of Canadian and Russian influences, rooted in South African ingredients and technique; and Starry Night, a dessert inspired by Nicole’s home, a farm in Namibia. “It’s so dark and there’s no light pollution, so lying on the grass and looking up at the moon and the stars is something we always do”.
The menu, paired with a selection of Quoin Rock and international wines, comprises a mix of locally sourced ingredients, and exclusive imported items such as truffles. There’s even a tea- and cocktail-pairing course! A greenhouse is in the pipeline, so the team will soon be incorporating freshly picked micro herbs and flowers into their creations.
The wine at Gåte Restaurant
Quoin Rock was purchased in 2012 by Ukrainian family, the Gaiduks, who embarked on an extensive replanting project that brought 36 hectares of new vineyards, as well as a white grape farm in the town of Elim. Managing director Denis Guiduk says: “My father [Vitaly Gaiduk] has a true passion for wine, and what appealed to us about Quoin Rock was that it was blank slate, which offered us the opportunity to create the vision our family had.”
That vision comes to life in the estate’s two wine ranges: the premium Quoin Rock wines, and Namysto. The latter represents a merging of Ukrainian and African heritage, being named for a traditional neck ornament worn by Ukrainian women, and its similarity to the beaded necklaces associated with African dress.
Winemaker Jacques Maree, along with the owners, pay special attention to the maturation of the wines. White wines are only released after two years in the bottle, while red wines and MCCs are aged for up to six years.
As well as being paired with the culinary creations of Gåte Restaurant, the wines can be enjoyed in the estate’s elegant tasting lounge, which overlooks the vineyards and meadows that stretch out towards the Simonsberg Mountains.
Gåte-way to excellence
Spectacular surroundings, elegant architecture, and cutting-edge cuisine come together to produce a profound Winelands dining experience, one that leaves guests feeling like they’ve travelled to a distant realm and returned with newfound knowledge.
Good to know The Gaiduks have recently purchased neighbouring property, the historic 300-year-old Knorhoek Farm, which will be geared towards a family-friendly Winelands outing, complete with farm-to-table dining, and wide lawns for children to run on.
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