The Covid-19 Crisis is crippling the hospitality industry worldwide. We have had to shut our doors indefinitely and we are not sure when or if we will be able to open them again. We have a wonderful, reliable and hard working team that we can no longer look after and that is heartbreaking. We are doing everything we can to ensure that they have some security during this wildly tumultuous time.
If you can help, please do. If you would've come to the restaurant, please, just donate a little bit. What you would've tipped your waiter would make an enormous different to their lives.Make a donation
After husband-and-wife team Eloise and Alex Windebank had to close their beloved eatery in Illovo due to the pandemic, they relocated to Cape Town and started hosting a series of pop-ups to rave reviews. The couple has now put down roots at Gabriëlskloof Wine Estate in Botrivier, and continues to embroider on the fundamentals of seasonal, locally sourced fare, cooked simply, but executed perfectly. The minimalism of the plates belies the technical skill at play here, so that what you get is so much more than what you see. The most famous case in point is the restaurant’s signature duck-liver parfait – a dish that was already a customer favourite in the restaurant’s Illovo days and is still on the menu now. On the plate is one perfect quenelle of velvety, deeply flavoured duck-liver parfait with crispy salt crystals sprinkled on top, a slice of buttery toasted brioche, and a sweet wine jelly that brings the whole into sharp focus. The menu is small, but well curated, providing diners a sufficient choice across meat, fish and vegetarian options, and a variety of flavours. To start, a bite-sized portion of deliciously creamy arancini with thin, crispy exteriors is complemented by an earthy, rich truffle mayonnaise. If you want to introduce some high, acidic notes to the mix, order some of the sweet and tangy celery house pickles, too. A pork-and-pistachio terrine has big, smoky flavours and a delicious texture from the nuts, and is paired particularly well with the spiced, fruity sweetness of a savoury fig chutney. On to the mains, a brilliantly cooked beef fillet with bourguignon sauce offers an elegant rendition of the French classic, the meat buttery and tender with a supporting cast of crispy, layered pot-roasted potatoes and slightly sweet butternut purée. Adding texture and complexity to a vegetarian favourite, a timbale of creamy roast-butternut risotto is encased in baby marrow under a bed of peppery watercress and crispy toasted pumpkin seeds. To end, a gently spiced quince-and-pear crumble – with a deliciously sweet, multigrain crumble contrasted against the soft, poached fruit – makes for a well-rounded dessert thanks to the complex, earthy notes of a scoop of rich, velvety bay-leaf ice cream. The chocolate cream with malt ice cream and crunchy cocoa crumb is another full-flavoured dessert with great texture. On the whole, the restaurant delivers on its brand promise of showcasing a seasonally led, constantly evolving menu that embraces simplicity and classic cookery. The portions are generous and offer diners exceedingly good value for money.
In addition to showcasing Gabriëlskloof’s wines, the wine list shows a clear intent to celebrate hyper-local wines as well as wines from the greater Overberg region. The wine pairings offered are spot on, and definitely add to the dining experience.
The staff are from the immediate vicinity and demonstrate a clear passion for the estate. The service is friendly, seamless and very accommodating.
The décor is bright, airy and pared down, straddling contemporary minimalism and warm rusticity – the perfect echo for the simplicity of the menu. There are cool gas-fired central fireplaces sunken into the floor, making the space lovely and cosy during winter, and large windows allowing you to drink in the bucolic beauty of the estate and Overberg beyond.