Wolfgat – local and lekker cuisine at the world’s top restaurant

SA’s very own Wolfgat restaurant has earned the title of being 2019’s best restaurant in the world and we’re brimming with Saffa pride.

If there’s anything South African locals know, it’s the value of a good, hearty and love-filled meal. 

We’re also known for living it up along the shores of SA – soaking up the salty air, beaming sunlight and ocean waves. Combine the two and we have some of the best kept secret eateries around the country!

But one of our biggest secrets is out - and the world has cottoned on. So, it came as little shock that SA’s tiny Strandveld beach restaurant, Wolfgat, was titled as Restaurant of the Year for 2019. 

It was announced as Restaurant of the Year at the inaugural World Restaurant Awards held this year in the city of love, Paris, on 18 February 2019.  

The 20-seater eatery, situated atop a cave in Paternoster and housed in a converted 130-year-old fisherman’s beach cottage, is captained by chef Kobus van der Merwe. 

Van der Merwe, born in the Kalahari and raised in Stellies made his way over to the West Coast from Cape Town in 2010 to help his retired parents run their store, Die Winkel and eatery, Oep ve Koep,

Here he and his parents made and sold homemade breads, jams, cookies and 'old-fashioned treats'. It was during this time that he discovered his passion for authentically local food.

With this desire to bring people a unique taste, his restaurant boasts a versatile menu that draws on local influences.  In fact, he is known to incorporate indigenous ingredients that he often forages for himself from the sand and rocks of the seaside neighbouring his award-winning beach restaurant.  

The foraging-focused eatery not only won Restaurant of the Year, but also took home the award for best restaurant in the Off-Map Destination category. 

The small fishing town of Paternoster is a popular holiday spot, with white-washed houses and endless stretches of sandy beaches, it is praised for its natural environment.

Think crayfish, mussels, fynbos growing on white dunes and bunches of salty bokkoms drying in the wind. It's these elements that van der Merwe incorporates and builds his menu upon - ideals of freshness and locality. 

With flavourful food that is artfully presented in a a seven course tasting menu is accompanied by the soothing experience of the seaside breeze and views.

Van der Merwe's renowned Wolfgat is a restaurant South African's are incredibly proud to call their own.  

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(Photo: Marisa Crous / Traveller24)

(Photo: Marisa Crous / Traveller24)

(Photo: Wolfgat, Facebook)

(Photo: Wolfgat, Facebook)

(Photo: Halden Krog, AFP)

(Photo: Halden Krog, AFP)

(Photo: Wolfgat, Facebook)

(Photo: Wolfgat, Facebook)

(Photo: Wolfgat, Facebook)

(Photo: Wolfgat, Facebook)