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The number 6 restaurant in SA: The Restaurant at Waterkloof

On a biodynamic wine farm in Somerset West you’ll find magnificently light, sophisticated fare in a cantilevered glasshouse. The Restaurant at Waterkloof made it into the Top 10 for the first time this year. Watch chef Gregory Czarnecki hear the news.

Eat Out critic Graham Howe explains why you need to book a table at The Restaurant at Waterkloof.

Food

Applying French culinary technique, Chef Gregory Czarnecki creates fare as light and ethereal as his glasshouse lair in the mountains of the Helderberg. Classic meets contemporary in innovative winelands cuisine inspired by the natural landscape, using organic, free-range ingredients like farm eggs, mushrooms, lamb, wild herbs and salads grown on this biodynamic estate, with seafood sourced from False Bay.

A fish and

A fish and vegetable dish at The Restaurant at Waterkloof. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The sense of transparency in an open glass kitchen translates into simple, honest flavours; this is South African fare with a sophisticated spin. Artisanal suppliers and growers are highlighted on a menu designed to showcase the estate’s wines. The changing seasonal à la carte menu delights with meticulously crafted compositions like farmed Mulloway kabeljou with pistachio, broccoli and endive, or Joostenberg Vlakte duck with orange confit and sultana fritter. Signature starters tempt with sublime flavour combinations such as Smiling Valley marron with piquant grapefruit, and delicate textures of peas paired with truffled buttermilk. The dishes at The Restaurant at Waterkloof are artfully plated with subtle reductions, foams and emulsions. There’s limited choice for vegetarians when it comes to mains.

A fish and vegetable dish at The Restaurant at Waterkloof. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Another exquisite creation by chef Gregory Czarnecki at The Restaurant at Waterkloof. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Desserts are divine, including the likes of a fantastic local cheese platter and a wonderful quince-and-verjuice terrine with buffalo yoghurt.

Drinks

Enjoy the estate’s own renowned wines paired by the glass to every course, as well as complimentary spring water bottled on the farm.

The exterior at The Restaurant at Waterkloof. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The exterior at The Restaurant at Waterkloof. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Service

The approach is warm and attentive, from arrival to departure and ranging from wine to food service.

Ambience

This is smart, intimate fine dining. Cocooned in a contemporary glasshouse cantilevered on the Schaapenberg, the diner enjoys spectacular views all the way to False Bay.

And…

In winter, try the popular platter of terrine paired with their own organic olives, breads and a trio of cheeses that includes Waterkloof’s own Healey’s slow-matured cheddar, served in the tasting lounge next to a roaring fire.

The Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards are judged by a panel of judges. Eat Out critics and judges dine unannounced and pay their own way. View the judging criteria here.

The interior at The Restaurant at Waterkloof. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The interior at The Restaurant at Waterkloof. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

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