It’s official. This pocket-sized restaurant in the West Coast town of Paternoster was named the Best Restaurant in the World at The World Restaurant Awards in Paris in February 2019. Situated in a charming revamped fisherman’s cottage on the Paternoster coastline, this intimate, 20-seater restaurant offers a one-of-a-kind experience, where diners get to witness firsthand the passion and devotion of chef and feted forager Kobus van der Merwe.
While deliciousness is a given, it’s the innovative techniques, commitment to sustainable practices, and selection of locally sourced ingredients (most of which are foraged from Paternoster itself) that make this experience so extraordinary.
The restaurant is named after the nearby Wolfgat cave – an archaeological wonder containing remnants of an ancient culture, and rumoured gateway to underground passages. Says Kobus: “There is a rich history of early civilisation on this coastline, which we find very inspiring.
“The menus at Wolfgat usually come about very intuitively,” he continues. “We are inspired by the West Coast landscape, with its dramatic seasonal transformation, and unique Strandveld Fynbos plant kingdom. Dishes are adapted according to the weather and the season, led by what we find on our daily exploration of the coastline.” It doesn’t get better than that!
Kobus’s unique gastronomic style and philosophy has been dubbed hyperlocal Strandveld cuisine. “Because we serve things that people often haven’t tasted before, such as indigenous succulents and herbs, those elements in the dishes are mostly served raw, or with minimal manipulation. Our kitchen is deliberately unindustrial. We like our dishes to showcase the unique ingredients.”
His reverence for his ingredients and their provenance, coupled with his playfulness and skill, are evident in the summer 2018/19 menu. “We have decided to revisit some recipes from our cookbook, Strandveld Food, which was written five years ago,” explains Kobus. “We are reinterpreting those ingredients and flavour combinations with a fresh take, and in a new context,” he says.
Good to know Oep ve Koep is Kobus’s other popular eatery in Paternoster.
Please note Reservations can only be made online; booking is essential.
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