5 Reviews
Seafood, South African
Opening Hours Lunch Dinner

Lunch: Wednesday to Saturday from 12.30pm; Sunday from 12noon

Dinner: Friday and Saturday 7pm to close

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R750 per person for seven-course lunch and dinner tasting menu
Seafood, South African
R750 per person for seven-course lunch and dinner tasting menu
Groups, Special occasions
Mastercard, Visa
Accepts credit cards, Booking required, Dinner, Lunch

Critic's review

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food

Linda Scarborough

That the World Restaurant of the Year can start its tasting menu with a basic iron skillet of bokkom butter and a hessian bag of sourdough sticks is testament to the assured ease of Kobus van der Merwe, who’s just doing his own thing here. And you can’t help loving him for it.

The warm butter is salty, the crusty bread warm; your heart content. Wolfgat is the kind of place where your spoon might be shell or wood, moerkoffie is poured from a tin pot, and servingware is an unadorned cream plate or plain slate. The menu simply lists a few Afrikaans words to describe key ingredients of each dish, with the Latin names of the plants underneath, a style that reflects the focus of this unassuming chef on simplicity, purity and locality.

After some snacks of creamed white mussel – served in its own shell with buttermilk rusk crumbs – or crispy fried squid on a kapokbos skewer, your first course is presented: oester, strandsalie, seebamboes and sampioen. The words themselves evoke their origin in salt and sea. A wooden bowl of creamed butter beans, or heerenbone, is justifiably famous – creamy and comforting – featuring veldkool, duinespinasie and toasted pumpkin seeds for pops of texture. The truly unique black mussel custard with coconut, wild garlic and apricot mebos will have the table speechless.

It’s difficult to believe that a dish with as few ingredients as rooibos, angelfish and butter can taste this intense, but such is the sorcery of the strandveld and this chef who has put it on the global map. Ribbons of klipkombers (literally, stone blanket) from the local rockpools crest the top of this transcendent dish.

For those who don’t love ultra-sweet desserts, the ending of amasi ice cream with guava, a ribbon of cucumber, lemoenboegoe and kiesieblaar will surprise and entice with citrusy, spicy and savoury notes.

A meal here is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. It’s pared down, pure and perfect.

Astounding alternative, unfiltered, natural-ferment wines are on offer, such as a salty rosé (yes, really) and special bottles from a lovingly compiled boutique selection. Kobus himself advises on wines and cocktails featuring home-made shrubs, and generously pours tasters before you decide. The wine glasses are universal, meaning they suit all wine and can be reused with to save water on washing.

The man himself makes his way to each table, introducing dishes with gentle warmth. He’s generous with his time, sharing fascinating titbits about the origin of the ingredients and answering questions about the area.

The words peaceful, calm and tranquil don’t quite capture the magic of this place at the very edge of the continent. You find yourself searching your lexicon for something more meaningful than a cliché. But time does really stand still here. A scattering of restaurant tables under wooden slats overlooks the beach, where fishing boats rest on the sand and gulls wheel overhead. The rugged coastline curves away, with blazing white buildings receding into the distance.

Best for…
The bucket list.

(August 2019)

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

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User reviews

5 Reviews
    Lunch experience of the year! Worth every cent AND the drive to Paternoster. Kobus is an incredibly talented chef and he has curated a dining experience at Wolfgat that is honest and authentic, sophisticated, yet unpretentious and totally unique. Every course was a work of art, interesting, beautiful to look at and utterly delicious. The 7-course menu is built around seafood (you see, smell, hear and taste the sea when you dine here), but ours also included a beautiful springbok course. It's an exciting culinary journey and one can't wait to see what the next, beautifully presented course will bring. Diners get to discover locally sourced ingredients that include strandsalie; his homemade strandveld vermouth; duinespinasie; kruipvygie; slangbessie; lemoenboegoe masala, kiesieblaar (all with botanical names listed too). The winelist is equally interesting, listing top quality, relatively unknown wines from the region - we loved the Cape Rock Asylum 2018, Carinus Chenin Blanc 2018, and Teubes Chenin Blanc 2017. This is a special restaurant and a highly recommended dining experience!
    True genius. No wonder why he was 2018 chef of the year. Delicate flavors using different ingredients and combinations tied perfectly together with passion for food and flavor.
    We absolutely LOVED our dining experience at Wolfgat. Unusual combinations that worked together beautifully. Loved the locally foraged fresh produce used in the dishes and the fact that Kobus explained the dishes himself. A sublime fine dining experience (without a “snobbish” atmosphere, which is a big positive in my book). Kobus is a brilliant chef and his “Strandveldy” food impeccable. Next level “veldkos” and wonderful wines from the West Coast to go with the dishes. One of my favourite places. We have been to Kobus a couple of times (since his days at Oep Ve Koep) and have never been disappointed. One for the bucket list if you haven’t been to Wolfgat yet.
    We had the privilege to eat at Wolfgat last month. Took a while to write this review, but the memory of this amazing experience has lingered in the back of my mind the whole time. Kobus van der Merwe is a culinary genius, absolutely everything served that day was beautifully presented, the flavours were impeccably balanced and the wine recommended complimented the dishes perfectly. We eat out often, but never before has a lunch impressed me this much. The view is breath taking, you sit on the stoep overlooking the fishermen pulling their boats out and sip on your wine while Kobus conjures up a dish in his kitchen…absolute bliss as close to heaven as you can get on earth. After our lunch we sat and drank coffee and watched how bokkoms are prepared and hung in the tree outside the restaurant. Honestly, can life be this simple and enjoyable? Do yourself a favour and go for a visit, and I mean a visit, because this experience took almost a whole afternoon of chatting and really experiencing the passion that goes into making all the locally foraged food

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