Gabriëlskloof has been one of my favourite restaurants for years. I love the food, I love their wines and most of all I love the vibe: this is relaxed country dining at its best.
Breakfast holds the usual suspects, but you’ll also find trendy additions like a quinoa bowl, a savoury waffle with tomato jam and poached eggs, and a banana bread French toast. For lunch, there’s an a la carte menu with some more serious items to choose from, or an accessible deli menu with burgers, salads and great platters. On the former, starters include delicious items like salt-and-pepper calamari with smoked lemon and thyme aioli, and pickled fennel. On the mains side of things, there is almost always a pork belly to be found, as well as duck (today, it’s confit duck with potato and butternut dauphinoise). A cut of the day (rib-eye, grilled perfectly medium-rare), shares the plate with a piquant artichoke and rocket salad, and fat chips. Portions are ample, so pace yourself.
A chocolate marquis sandwich with berry compote and braaied marshmallows is every bit as decadent and moreish as it sounds, and a fitting end to the meal. That is if you manage to resist the nostalgic allure of a mosbolletjie bread & butter pudding with mascarpone and hanepoot jam … Don’t leave without popping into the deli – the estate olive oil in particular is a wonderful addition to the kitchen.
This being a wine estate, it’s mostly the Gabriëlskloof wines on offer, but this is no hardship – their wines are wonderful. If you’ve the time, start with a wine tasting in the tasting room – the wine service is excellent. You might even end up having lunch there, as the deli menu is available to order and the sharing platters are delicious.
Hearty – staff are welcoming and happy to oblige.
Inside, things are a bit more formal, with crisp tablecloths and gleaming glassware. (This is a lovely, cosy option on colder days.) Outside, the atmosphere is very rustic – you can’t help but relax when sinking into one of the comfortable couches, or settling in for a lingering lunch. It’s a kid- and dog-friendly spot, with the owners’ own pets doing the rounds and plenty of space to run around. Come long weekends and holidays, you’d be wise to book in advance – they’re super popular, and for good reason.
A long, loud lunch with the whole family, and the dogs as well.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.
If you’re on your way to or from somewhere on the N2 just outside Bot River, you’d do well to stop off at Gabriëlskloof for breakfast or lunch. Breakfast is a hearty affair offering the usual suspects, plus “eggs Gabriëlskloof” – roosterkoek with bobotie mince, poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce. There are also omelettes, filled croissants, nutty granola, banana bread French toast and pancakes.
Lunch offers rib-sticking farm-style fare including starters such as koring (wheat) risotto topped with a Parmesan disc and slow-cooked brisket (vegetarians can opt for slow-cooked carrots instead of brisket); salt-and-pepper calamari with charcoal mayonnaise, cauliflower kimchi and pressed cucumber; pea soup; sweet potato-and-linefish croquettes with home-made chakalaka and amasi foam; bone marrow topped with salsa verde; and fried pork and duck rillettes with mustard aïoli, deep-fried capers and mustard seeds.
Mains are generous, so choose your courses wisely. They include the likes of lightly cured west coast hake with mussel, chorizo and prawn paella; a cut of the day (sirloin when we visited) with a mushroom duxelle, confit new potatoes, Brussels sprouts and a jus; pork belly (ask for it crispy if you like) with spring onion mustard mash and a piquant pickled apple-and-fennel salad; Asian-style duck leg with harissa pumpkin purée, pickled beetroot and dukkah. Vegetarians will enjoy spinach-and-feta ravioli with tomato-and-basil sauce.
For dessert, choose between a chocolate fondant with passion fruit curd and ice cream and honeycomb; a gluten-free orange-and-pear cake with Chantilly cream and a pear-and-vanilla compote; milk tart souskluitjies (dumplings) with burnt honey custard; a cheese platter; vanilla ice cream with the estate’s olive oil and salted pistachio praline; or a scoop of home-made ice cream with chocolate or salted caramel sauce.
The estate makes three ranges of superb wine, the entry-level Estate range, the mid-range Reserve collection, and the top-tier Landscape Series. You’re sure to find a bottle (or more) to suit your palate. There are also local and craft beers and on offer, as well as soft drinks and milkshakes and hot beverages.
Friendly but can be slightly slow on busy days.
Warm and cosy inside the farmhouse near the fireplace in winter. In summer, sit outside and enjoy the views over the rolling hills.
Browse around the small deli, which sells the estate’s excellent olive oil, as well as local cheeses, baked goods, sweet treats and décor items.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.