The new spring menu at Gåte displays creative gastronomic mastery from chef Paul Prinsloo.
Looking out over the Quoin Rock vineyards in the secluded Knorhoek Valley outside Stellenbosch, Gåte has established a niche of its own in the fine dining world. The flamboyant theatricality of Gåte’s early days has simmered down to beautifully conceived modern elegance under head chef, Paul Prinsloo, who takes fine Southern African cuisine a notch further, blending local seasonal exuberance with innovative culinary techniques.
“I take inspiration from the fynbos that grows on the farm,” Paul says, “garlic buchu butter, wild rosemary to smoke confit quail legs…” He prefers to describe his approach as “modern” rather than strictly Southern African, which gives him freedom to introduce choice imported ingredients (such as jamon iberico) when the menu dictates.
Meet the chef
Even when dishes look simple on the plate, such as the savoury “beef” with sweet mustard and garlic, multiple layers of technique and meticulous application have clearly gone into the preparation. Not surprising given Paul’s training in classic French cuisine (with Chef Gregory Czarnecki at The Restaurant at Waterkloof) before joining Quoin Rock in 2020. Having earned the title of Best Young Chef in Africa & Middle East at the prestigious S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy awards in 2019, when he was just 25, Paul continues to push boundaries in the Gåte kitchen, where he is proud of the energetic and creative young team he heads up.
A culinary journey
If you count the bread course, canapés (which are miniature artworks in themselves), and generous petits fours, the seven-course menu stretches to 10 (a parallel vegetarian menu reveals equal complexity). Allow a leisurely three or four hours and make the most of it with wine pairings from the multi-faceted Quoin Rock and white-wine ranges. Or go for the equally delicious, pared down Reduced Tasting menu (a two-hour experience which still shouldn’t be rushed).
Grapes from Quoin Rock’s Elim farm combined with the Knorhoek Valley harvest give winemaker, Schalk Opperman, a varied terroir to play with and the menu showcases it beautifully – ranging from the Quoin Rock chardonnay complementing the “prawn” dish with its hints of ginger and coconut, to spicy Quoin Rock Shiraz with the chicken, mushroom and potato, concluding with the zesty Quoin Rock Vine Dried complementing the delightful play on raspberry and mango in the exquisite and surprising “hot dog” dessert.
Speaking about the new menu, Paul says, “Spring and summer resonate with freshness, vibrancy, and warmth. Our menu mirrors this ethos, aiming to transport diners to sunlit vineyards and balmy evening soirees with each bite.”
The exquisitely designed, light-filled restaurant adds another essential layer to the experience, with views of the dramatic Simonsberg Mountain casting its spell, as does the warm and attentive service.
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 2pm (last seating for tasting menu 1.30pm)
Thursday – Saturday, 6pm – 10pm (last seating for tasting menu 6.30pm)
Cost R1 900 (seven courses with pairings); R1 250 (without wine)
R1 400 (five courses); R900 (without wine)
Contact 021 888 4750, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Quoin Rock Wine Estate, Knorhoek Road (R44), Stellenbosch
Book through DinePlan
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