The Restaurant at Gabriëlskloof celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and marks the occasion with a special menu of greatest hits. Presenting some of the most popular dishes of this Botriver wine estate eatery, the menu will be on offer for the months of September, October and November.
“It’s hard to believe that 10 years have passed,” says chef patron Frans Groenewald, who launched the restaurant in 2009 with his wife, Mariaan, and fellow-chef Juan van der Westhuizen. “It was while working in London that we all first dreamt of owning a restaurant like this.”
While Juan subsequently pursued other opportunities a few years ago, Frans and Mariaan have continued to build the restaurant’s award-winning status. Central to its success have been the many customers-turned-friends who love the restaurant’s inimitable Overberg country style.
Ingrained in the Overberg culture is an authentic generosity dispensed informally, which has long been at the centre of the restaurant’s philosophy, along with a focus on seasonal produce.
To celebrate their 10-year culinary journey of honest food and hospitality, Frans and Mariaan have created a ‘greatest hits’ menu for both breakfast and lunch. “The anniversary menu is a big thank you to guests who’ve become regulars over the years,” says Frans.
For the morning line-up, Frans’s chart-topping banana bread French toast, served with crispy bacon and mascarpone, has been a favourite for many years. There’s also the Croque Braai-broodjie, an aromatic grilled cheese, tomato and onion sandwich bedecked with a cheese sauce and topped off with a perfectly poached egg. Eggs Gabriëlskloof is another classic, featuring a roosterkoek served with tasty bobotie mince, poached eggs and a sublime hollandaise sauce.
The lunch menu is no less mouth-watering with a delicious pork and duck rillette; butternut and barley risotto; home-crafted wontons; and Frans’s signature dish: a pork belly that will knock your socks off. Naturally, the restaurant’s ‘Ultimate Burger’ is there too, an ingenious composition that centres around a marrow-and-rump steak hamburger – a favourite of Gabriëlskloof cellarmaster Peter-Allan Finlayson.
The dessert headliners include Frans’s delectable white chocolate mousse and the all-time favourite, sago pudding. Comfort food at its best!
A decade on, Frans believes honesty is the defining characteristic of the dining experience at Gabriëlskloof. “The industry has seen a myriad of easy-come, easy-go trends in this time. Despite the tumult and evolution, it’s still honest food that has stands the test of time.”
The restaurant at Gabriëlskloof occupies a wing of the celebrated hilltop winery and has views of the surrounding valley and a large fireplace that’s fired up on cold days. When the weather’s fair, it’s the courtyard stoep that draws families and friends for long, languid mealtimes.
And when it’s time to leave, there’s ‘Carry Me Home’ – the heart of the restaurant deli that allows guests to take a piece of the Gabriëlskloof experience with them when they leave. In addition to a selection of fine cakes and artisanal breads, there are seasonal food items, regional hand-made décor trinkets and various earthy gifts.
No visit is complete however, without a stop at the tasting centre where you can explore the top-quality, award-winning wines that have made Gabriëlskloof Wine Estate a household name. If you’ve never been, now’s the time to go! And if you have, the team at Gabriëlskloof looks forward to welcoming you back.
Gabriëlskloof is situated on the Swartrivier Road off the N2, just outside Botrivier. To reserve a table, call 028 284 9865 or send an email to restaurant@gabriëlskloof.co.za.