Chef Gregory Czarnecki's superlative contemporary cuisine won the restaurant the number-three spot in the 2017 Top 10. Each dish that comes out of the open kitchen is visually exquisite, technically highly accomplished, playful and inventive in conception, and does great honour to the constituent ingredients, which are of the standard you’d expect from a farm where such attention is paid to the soil and its health.
Take the plunge and go for the degustation menu – it’s worth every cent and every bite. There are a nominal six courses, but that turns into thirteen when the amuse-bouches, sorbets, extra dessert and petit-fours are factored in. Each dish is perfectly calibrated to ensure that you feel perfectly sated when the last delicious morsel is consumed.
Each dish deserves an Instagram account and an essay-length description of its own. I can still see and taste the Dijon mustard caviar that spiced up the puffed beef tendon and crispy chicken skin; the lightly smoked Saldanha Bay oyster harmonizing with a beurre blanc sorbet; and the Egg 63 – sous vide at 63 degrees Celcius, it’s served in the shell, toast-soldier style with an emmenthaler velouté. Then there are also the slices of salt-crust baked celeriac enlivened by curry brittle and passion fruit; the sea bass, perfectly cooked and paired with the tart freshness of gooseberries; and melt-in-the-mouth tender duck breast with saffron apple.
Who would have thought that a dessert containing apricot, pomegranate, fennel, tarragon and petite balls of burnt thyme could be such a satisfactory end to a stellar meal? Bravo, chef!
Make it simple: accept the recommended Waterkloof wine that accompanies each dish on either the à la carte or degustation menu. You won’t be disappointed.
Service is of a standard that befits the cuisine: accomplished, genial and non-intrusive.
The mountaintop setting is spectacular, and so are the views. The restaurant is elegant and unadorned other than the crisp linen and high-quality cutlery and stemware.
There is a particular pleasure to visiting when the Percheron draught horses are ploughing the vineyards.
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Master Chef Gregory Czarnecki reigns supreme at this up-market venue, consistently turning out food that looks great and tastes even better. The menu is available as two courses, three, or a degustation with or without wine pairings.
The amuse-bouche, a whipped goat's cheese mousse, sets the palate up for what’s to come. The sea-bass ceviche starter is deliciously fresh and tender, served with a salty snoek purée, crunchy celeriac discs and bottarga, a salted and cured fish roe. Warm bread rolls then arrive with five different butters, the best of which is black-garlic aioli.
One of the highlights, a Joostenberg Vlakte duck breast, is served with oven-roasted turnips infused with hibiscus, a pickled turnip disc, passion-fruit dressing and a turnip-and-hibiscus puree. Never has the humble turnip been so elevated! The rich duck jus served in a cute little jug is the perfect accompaniment for this excellent dish.
Desserts of a blood peach panna cotta or Tahitian vanilla vacherin make a great ending. Three intensely sweet caramel and chocolate offerings presented with the bill are a lovely touch, so save room for them.
The excellent wines of Waterkloof are available at elevated prices from the tasting room, which is just the other side of the room.
Of the highest standard: friendly, professional and warm. What more could you ask for?
This is a spectacular setting, high up on the mountains, with giant glass walls overlooking sensational views of False Bay and the Hottentots Holland mountain range.
Do a wine tasting before your meal to see which of the estate’s offerings suits you best.
Eat Out critics arrive unannounced and pay their way in full. Read our editorial policy here.
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.
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 approach is warm and attentive, from arrival to departure and ranging from wine to food service.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Exquisite setting, perfect service, outstanding value, perfectly-balanced and well-constructed meals, not too complicated but still contemporary. Wine prices excellent too; a lovely treat!
One of the best I've been to in a long time. Excellent fine dining with service to match. Complimentary water a nice touch.
Perfection...the symphony of tastes (and there were many), the ambience, the attentive staff and of course, the brilliance of Chef Gregory Czarnecki and his staff. My husband and daughter had the 5 course Beef Menu and I had the Degustation Menu paired with the estate wines. Highly recommended for anyone looking for something special. Having eaten in fine dining establishments all over the world this experience is comparable to and even exceeds some of those. What was quite remarkable was the fact that despite good size portions and decadent desserts, at the end of the meal none of us felt overly full. We spent a happy afternoon enjoying a superb meal and admiring an amazing view - a combination of idyllic farm and sea views, probably the most unique restaurant setting in Cape Town and well worth a visit!
After reading reviews, will have to try it again. First time I went, every dish had too much pepper and you needed a microscope to see the food. Second time, great service, better food, but still miniscule and I left hungry after three courses. Surprised it is on the short list for an award.
Housed in an ultra-modern and award-winning building, The Restaurant at Waterkloof offers superlative views from it's "glass box", and a magical combination of exquisite flavours, which only a French-trained chef could prepare. Dining at The Restaurant is a tapestry of experiences, from building to vista, from flavours to excellent wine pairings. Whether you choose from the a la carte menu or the tasting menu, you'll not be disappointed, though the tasting menu really is something special.
Given my rave review of food and scenery, you may then wonder why I've only given The Restaurant a four star rating. Simply put, the entire experience is horribly let down by indifferent and terribly slow service. Good food, I know, takes time to prepare, but the length of wait between courses, despite the presentation of two delightful amuse bouche dishes, is interminable. Moreover, the waitron service is best described as utterly lacklustre, most notably when it came to drinks. We were offered complimentary spring water when we sat down - and that was the last of it. My husband, who doesn't drink alcohol, was offered neither an alternative nor more water when his glass was empty. Given the slow service, I could have managed another glass of wine or water - again, neither were forthcoming. This extremely unfortunate notion of service truly spoiled what was otherwise an memorable dining experience.
Would I pay a return visit? For the food and the views absolutely, but I'd make a point of keeping the serving staff on their toes.
We had a perfect dinner.
A culinary experience indeed! Beautiful plate construction - colour, textures and flavours - a definite blend of art and food science. I haven't started on the venue's view and location - breathtakingly stunning! A wonderful evening to be remembered. A small point to note, very structured and inflexible menu, and strict kitchen rules - you cannot order anything outside of the wine pairing menu, and it does not cater for vegetarians. That was a bit of a pity, but understood in terms of the complexity of the various dishes. Food service from Moffett.
We recently had lunch at Waterkloof. We took our 10 month old daughter along and the staff were very accommodating. The food was very inventive with hot and cold combinations on two of our dishes. A very pleasant experience.
After my first bad experience eating at Waterkloof soon after they opened, I vowed never to go back, but this weekend saw me winding my way up the hill again to see if things have changed. And oh yes, they have. Beautifully presented food, slightly bigger portions so that you do not have to stop at MacDonalds on the way home if you had a starter, main course and desert, excellent service, seasonal menu that makes you salivate when you read it, attentive but not overbearing service, beautiful amuse bouche and a pre-dessert dessert. Subtle sauces, although the jus with the quail was a bit salty. Can't wait to go back for the "degust" menu some time. Excellent.