This South African restaurant has been named the best in the world in 2019

 ·19 Feb 2019

The inaugural restaurant of the year awards were held in Paris on Monday evening (18 February).

The finalists were selected by an expert panel of judges from over 37 different countries, with judges focusing on excellence and integrity and while trying to better promote the diversity of the world’s restaurant community.

Wolfgat, based in Paternoster in the Western Cape, took home two prizes on the evening – including the best ‘off map destination’ and the coveted ‘restaurant of the year’.

“Even without looking at the pictures of Wolfgat – the whitewashed cottage, the golden sand – our inspectors’ report makes you want to book a flight to Cape Town and drive on up the coast to Paternoster in a hurry,” the judging panel said.

“The place is super simple, rustic yet perfectly elegant. We sat by the fireplace. The restaurant is directly on the beach with an ocean view. We could watch the fishermen go out, come back and empty the catch from their brightly coloured boats.”

Wolfgat also scored points for its unique ‘Strandveld’ menu, its focus on providing jobs for locals, and its focus on sustainability.


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Wolfgat offers a seven-course tasting menu at R850 per person.

According to its website, the restaurant currently only books 20 diners per sitting – part of the restaurant’s goal of staying sustainable.

Drawing inspiration from the surrounding landscape and its dramatic seasonal transformation, Kobus van der Merwe’s signature Strandveld food menu comprises a series of tasting dishes presented in seven courses.

Sustainable seafood, local lamb and venison, and seasonal veldkos is featured, enhanced by wild herbs, seaweeds from the local rock pools, and pickings from the garden.

Some of the elements on the tasting menu take weeks of preparation, while other ingredients are handpicked on the day for the exact number of bookings received.

The judging panel which named Wolfgat the restaurant of the year comprises a mix of 14 professional chefs, restauranteurs and food media.

Read: The 15 top restaurants in South Africa – which are also among the best in the world

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