Venues

The Restaurant at Waterkloof

The Restaurant at Waterkloof
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Cost
R370 for two courses; R480 for three courses; R900 for six course degustation menu (R1100 with wine)
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Fine-dining food, French, Modern
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
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Critic's review

Graham Howe

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.

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 are artfully plated with subtle reductions, foams and emulsions. There’s limited choice for vegetarians when it comes to mains.

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.

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.

(September 2015)

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    Food
    This restaurant is the ideal destination for lovers of modern food and modern spaces. Using seasonal produce, lots of it biodynamically farmed on the estate, chef Gregory Czarnecki’s menu is deliberately light and fresh, with a noticeable absence of heavy sauces. The offering seduces with a deliciously velvety foie gras parfait with sweet apple and pistachio – a light and airy dish showing perfect balance of flavours, expertly matched with straw wine. Then there’s delicate lime-cured trout with avocado, daikon and salmon roe, showing a lovely combination of textures, and finally a wonderful dish of marron with fennel panna cotta and chive purée – and that’s just for starters. A dessert of salted hazelnut with chocolate and granadilla brings the meal to a surprisingly simple but completely delicious end.

    Wine
    The offering is limited to the estate wines, but these pair deliciously with the fresh, contemporary style of the food. There are some great recommendations by the sommelier, and all the wines are decanted and poured at the correct temperature.

    Service
    Expect a warm welcome and attentive service from both the front-of-house staff and the sommelier. The approach is personal and full of character.

    Ambience
    Step into an expansive, airy space with astonishing views over a triptych of sights: the vineyards, mountains and False Bay. There’s a feeling of class here, with bespoke tableware and excellent attention to detail.

    (August 2014)

  • Food
    A contemporary menu focuses on locally sourced ingredients foraged from artisan growers and fresh, organic produce from farm to plate. French chef Gregory Czarnecki demonstrates the classic culinary techniques he learned at top Michelin restaurants in the treatment of ‘eco-conscious produce’ from farm eggs, wild mushrooms, herbs, micro-greens and carrot shoots from the ‘leaf lab’ to free-range lamb, beef and springbok, sustainably farmed trout, kabeljou and marron. A changing seasonal menu preserves the natural flavours and textures of top-quality ingredients in dishes that bear the hallmarks of simplicity and integrity. Elegant interpretation of South African ingredients is demonstrated in signature starters like soft-boiled farm egg or lime-cured trout sashimi, while mains like springbok loin and Magaliesburg duck are enhanced by intensely flavoured reductions and purées, custards and crumbles – plus playful plating on the cutting edge of culinary trends. Chef reinvents the familiar family roast in a variation of pork (loin, belly pastille and crackling) with brussel sprout and quince purée. The artisan suppliers of ingredients are acknowledged on the menu as key contributors of the quality of the finished dish.

    Wine
    Waterkloof’s own biodynamic wines – no pesticides, no mechanical harvest, no additives – are paired by the glass to every dish with a skilled sommelier explaining the basis of each food and wine match. And they serve their own farm spring water.

    Service
    The waiters are versed on the composition of ingredients on every well-dressed plate from the main ingredient to the garnish.

    Ambience
    Set in a glass and steel eyrie cantilevered out over the vineyards, this contemporary space has eagle-eye views of False Bay – a match for the sophisticated chic of the tasting room and gravity-fed cellar.

    And...
    Enjoy a wine and cheese tasting of resident Healey’s cheddars. (Graham Howe, September 2013)

User reviews

  • We absolutely loved our lunch at Waterkloof. We went for the tasting course and ordered a bottle of the Circle of Life Red (amazing). As you drive to the restaurant you do not expect to find the gem that is Waterkloof, but as you wind up the hill the glass building in the sky comes to view and you are greeted as if entering the heavens. We went on particularly overcast and cloudy day where we felt with the floor to ceiling glass walls we were in a cloud. Later the sun came out to reveal the Strand and Atlantic coastline. We had the tasting menu which was reasonable priced compared to other restaurants in the cape at R450pp but we had more than just the courses we planned as the kitchen kept bringing out unexpected treats and palette cleansers. We had 3 different desserts and after our first bottle, we wanted to try more of the Waterkloof wines and moved to the wine tasting area next to the restaurant only divided by some towering walls. we could watch the chef create and enjoyed the 6 wine tasting next to the fire pit. A worthwhile experience close to the city.
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  • I am a vegetarian and was a bit worried when I saw nothing for me on the mains menu. Luckily the chef came to the rescue, and I had a lovely selection of veggies. Even though you only order 3 items of the menu - the kitchen sends out little tasters between each meal - which were lovely. And if you get a chance - go and say hello to the big draught horses and sheep outside. Also - there is a helipad for those arriving by air.
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  • Had a lovely meal here, ambience bit intimidating in a way. But the food is fantastic the compressed quince is a winner
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  • With regular menu changes, Waterkloof is one of our favourite destinations. Greg always delights our palates with new dishes and inspired ingredient choices. I love that I can try something new or eat a favourite dish, maybe with a different twist. The staff are attentive and friendly and the view spectacular. We enjoy our first glass of wine next to the fireplace and will often end our meal in the same spot, with a glass of port. We have met people from across the world who rate this as one of their top restaurants in South Africa and I can totally agree.
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  • We discovered this wonderful restaurant a couple of years ago when staying in Somerset West. And what a discovery! Stunning views, magnificent architecture, sublime food and wine. The service was amongst the best we have experienced at any restaurant, which can be expected from staff who are so obviously well treated and respected by management, judging by the quality of the food prepared for them. We will have to find an excuse to go back soon
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Dress code
  • Fireplace
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Parking
  • StreetSmart affliated
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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