On Monday 18th February 2019, a little beachside South African restaurant scooped a mighty prize: Restaurant of the Year at the World Restaurant Awards in Paris. Here’s all you need to know about Wolfgat and why a trip up the coast should be part of your Cape Town itinerary.
Just two hours up the coast from Cape Town, Wolfgat is a fine-dining restaurant that fully embraces local flavours. Free of pretentiousness, it is deliberately small and low-key, with only 12 or so tables.
Perched above Paternoster Beach, Wolfgat serves a tasting menu of ingredients foraged by Chef Kobus van der Merwe and his team: think mussels with dune celery, angelfish with wild berries (slangbessies), West Coast oysters, Cape bream with wild sage, and tender local lamb.
Chef Kobus founded Wolfgat in 2016, after working at his parents’ store and restaurant, which is just up the road in Paternoster. Previously, he had worked as a food writer for Eat Out, having dropped out of college to avoid ending up in a busy hotel kitchen. ‘Hyper-local’ is his watchword and accurately defines Wolfgat’s menu.
The menu changes based on what foraged ingredients are found and the catch of the day.
The restaurant is around a two-hour drive from Cape Town. If you have time, the best way to experience Wolfgat – especially if you’d like to enjoy a few glasses of West Coast wine – is to spend the night in Paternoster; this sleepy fishing village with its white-washed houses is a popular weekend getaway destination for Capetonians.
And for Wolfgat, do book ahead – it was popular before, but now that it’s received such an internationally recognised award, there’s no doubt it will be even more in demand. Fortunately, Chef Kobus has no plans to expand and is quite happy with the 24 seats the little restaurant currently houses. Some things are best left unchanged.