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A 50% card deposit will be required upon reservation. Should you cancel your booking no later than 48 hours beforehand, you will receive a refund of the deposit. A discretionary service charge of 12.5% will be added to all tables. Daytime Experience Menu R650 (R950 with wine); Night Gourmet Menu R1450 (R2150 with wine); Tasting Menu R1050 (R1500 with wine)
Groups, Special occasions
Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Zola Nene

The bread course is called ‘Not an ashtray’ and arrives in a smoking pot alongside a lit cigar. It triggers curiosity on sight because the cigar (which happens to be rye bread) looks so convincingly real. The smoking pot is filled with a black garlic mousse and smoked tomato ash that is the perfect smoky accompaniment to the earthy rye bread cigar.

Next up is the oyster course, which is presented on a bubbling coral reef platter. The oysters are topped with caviar foam, a creamy caviar dressing and thinly sliced onion that offers a delicious contrast in texture to the creamy fresh oyster. The ‘Ethical fois gras’ duck egg is next – the name of the dish refers to Rikku’s use of duck liver coming from ducks that haven’t been force fed. It’s served as a mousse topped with cocoa nibs and banana gel, as well as toasted banana bread to accompany. The courses keep coming but it’s with the cauli-cheese course, a cheese lover’s dream, where you have to stop and take a moment. Three different ages of parmesan come together in the form of foam, espuma and a crisp. Nestled underneath them is a pickled and charred cauliflower. This plate is definitely on my list of top three courses.

The standout dish of the evening, without a doubt, is the ramen course. The first thing to arrive is a syringe filled with a honey-coloured liquid and a green liquid. Next a hot stone is placed on the table, surrounded by fresh rosemary and raw seasoned Wagyu beef, which we cook on the hot stone. A bowl is placed in front of us with pickled radish, a quail egg and samphire, over which a deep dark aromatic brown liquor is poured. The syringe is then inserted into the bowl and the liquid inside is pushed out to form the noodles. The cooked beef is then laid on top to be enjoyed with the honey noodles and broth. This dish ticks all the boxes – from the theatre behind the presentation to the intense and rich flavour of the broth and the interactive element. It’s unbelievable, like nothing I’ve ever experienced while dining before.

Chef Rikku’s signature dish of wild peacock (the dish he received 10/10 for when he competed on MasterChef UK) is also to be found on the menu. It’s a deliciously complex plate with charred feta, pickled grapes, black rice and rice-puff-coated peacock.

Towards the end, the intriguing 3D menu is opened to reveal vials of Quoin Rock coffee-infused grappa, which is poured over ice and topped with cream to form a Black Russian cocktail course. That’s swiftly followed by a beetroot candy helium balloon that comes floating into the room. The waiter then instructs me to put my lips to the candy balloon and suck up the helium. I excitedly oblige and giggle at the sound of my squeaky helium voice. It’s such a fun way to end off a meal.

You’d think that after hours of sitting through a 16-course meal, you’d leave bloated and uncomfortable, yet we leave feeling sated instead of stuffed. Chef Rikku has found a way to balance flavours and courses so that the flavours are exciting but not overly rich, which means you can enjoy every course. There’s only one way that I would describe chef Rikku’s menu: theatrical – in flavour, presentation and experience.

The wine list consists of a collection of Quoin Rock wines, a few of which are available to order by the glass. The rest of the menu contains a selection of exclusive international wines. There’s a selection of cocktails available, as well as selected spirits on offer.

Seamless. Our waitress was knowledgeable about the food and even knew the stories behind Rikku’s inspiration for every single dish. The entire front-of-house operation runs with the precision of a military operation.

It’s clear that no expense has been spared in creating this gorgeous restaurant space. The arched entrance is the gateway into a beautiful minimalistic dining area, filled with light wooden tables laid with exquisite glassware and a beautiful geometric golden metal menu. You look out over the rolling hills and vineyards of Quoin Rock.

(December 2018)

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here

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User reviews

  • I took my wife to Gate for Woman's day. The Food was insanely good and the total experience was Epic. A truly Magical Place. Highly recommended to all - Best ever
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  • The Gate at Quoin Rock my new number one restaurant in South Africa so far...... We went to the Gate after seeing an article in Eat Out, and that it had a chef who had worked for Heston Blumenthall, we didn't realise he was actually British until we met him after the meal. We are by no means biased but his food was absolutley amazing hence our number one positioning, we still however have a week to go on our gastronomic delight, can he be overtaken? only time will tell. The evening began by being greeted at the door by a hostess who provided us with towels to refresh and then a cocktail of magarita and thyme served in a glass tea pot with liquid nitrogen so it steamed as it was poured. We were then taken through to the dining room, a fantastic glass fronted edifice with fabulous views over vineyards and mountains with a large terrace also surrounded in glass. The table was bare except for a large brass coloured 20 sided metal object (icosahedron) with writing on most sides saying things like "not an ashtray" and "wild peacock" we were intrigued. Our waitress was a delight and gave us clues to be able to move the icosahedron around to the next dish to come out - sometimes we got it right and sometimes not. The dishes are too many to comment on but suffice to say they all truly delighted. Most memorable will be the "not an ashtray" which was bread and a black garlic espuma, the "ramen" dish which included a syringe which you put into a delicious broth and it made a glass noodle, also with that dish you cooked your own wagu beef on hot stone. "The birth of liver" which was a duck egg which contained a duck liver pate served with banana bread, the delightful "cured oyster" with champagne foam, "from Russia with love" a Beluga caviar dish served with a mother of pearl spoon atop a gorgeous macaroon i could go on and on but i don't want to spoil the surprise and theatrical delights of this new restaurant. If this isn't top 5 next year i would be very surprised
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  • Everything about this place! The food the atmosphere the service it is an experience. Booked up months in advance which is no surprise. Very special
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  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food

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