a west coast dining adventure at wolfgat

Wolfgat restaurant, Paternoster, West Coast, South Africa

The highlight of my the week-end away in Paternoster was having lunch at Wolfgat on Saturday. I’ve been dying to go since Kobus van der Merwe’s opened it last year offering a unique Strandveld dining experience showcasing a selection of indigenous ingredients specific to their West Coast location. Kobus forages local plants and seaweed in a sustainable way and keeps his restaurant small (maximum of 24 seats) to maintain sustainability. The menu is the culinary manifestation of the area and is hugely inspiring. Its like eating the Wes Coast. Some elements on the tasting menu take weeks of preparation (I saw loads of wild plants and herbs drying in the kitchen), while others are handpicked on the day. It’s a two and a half hour eating journey that takes you through around eight tasting dishes with an amuse or two. And the bread service, always setting the tone for what is to come and this was delectable. Two types of homemade bread with a pan of hot bubbling farm butter with seaweed. Sublime flavours and we literally scraped every last drop. 

Wolfgat restaurant, Paternoster, West Coast, South Africa

Not only is this a wonderful eating adventure, the setting is jaw droppingly gorgeous too. The restaurant is housed in a 130 year old cottage on the historic Wolfgat cave overlooking the beach and sea. You can read a little more about the archeological and geological significance of it here.

This is a completely unique dining experience and I can’t recommend it highly enough for anyone interested in food of the region or food in general. A few of the dishes might challenge a more conservative eater, but for me it was so inspiring. The menu is light, almost ethereal and it wakes up your mind as well as your palate.

Lunch and dinner at Wolfgat is served by appointment only. Reservations can be made via email on [email protected]
Times: Lunch is served at 12:30 from Wednesday to Saturday, and 12:00 noon on Sundays.
Dinner is served on Friday and Saturday evenings at 19:00.

The amuse:

The Strandveld tasting menu we enjoyed:

Mesembryanthemum guerichianum

Watermelon, yellowtail & summer soutslaai

Wolfgat restaurant, Paternoster, West Coast, South Africa

Salicornia capensis
Oyster, tsamma melon, samphire

Salvia africana-lutea
Mussels and peaches in a mussel broth

Salvia-smoked mussel

Tetragonia decumbens
Shoreline salad

Porphyra capensis
Jacobsbaai perlemoen, klipkombers

Tulbaghia violaceae
Wild garlic masala yellowtail, bokkom sambal, plum chutney

Dasispermum suffriticosum
Dune celery ice cream

Wolfgat restaurant, Paternoster, West Coast, South Africa




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  1. Oh WOW, Sam….. this has been on my “to do” list for ages ….. you have reminded me that we need to visit Kobus soon!
    Your photographs are absolutely stunning!

  2. I’m glad that the tasting menu of EIGHT dishes is only “ethereal”. We ate at Kobus van der Merwe’s establishment when it was still at Oep Vi Koep (then a straightforward three course a la carte affair) and walked away with the distinct impression that the chef was downright stingy. Especially after eating at such generous, big hearted places such as Food Barn in Noordhoek.

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