Disclaimer : I was an invited to experience the “Trip around the World” lunch offering at Gåte at Quoin Rock
I recently experienced Gåte at Quoin Rock‘s “Trip Around the World” new day time menu. Situated on the slopes of the Simonsberge, the estate reopened in 2018 after a multi-year renovation project by the Gaiduk family.
The restaurant at Quoin Rock, called Gåte, is under the helm of 25-year-old chef Nicole Loubser who hails from Namibia. Nicole has worked at establishments including JAN in Nice, The Test Kitchen and La Colombe in Cape Town as well as Wellness-Residenz Schalber in Austria. The calm and collected Nicole heads a team of 15 chefs for the 45 seater restaurant where the focus is on molecular gastronomy.
The “Trip around the World” daytime menu consists of 6 courses that can also be paired with Quoin Rock wines.
We start in Italy, with a coffee and cigar. But the cigar turns out to be a potato bread looking exactly like a cigar! It is to dipped in the “ashtray” of smoked paprika espuma topped with edible ash, seasoned with tomato powder and activated charcoal. And that macchiato is actually a tomato and thyme soup accompanied by a thyme biscotti. The course deftly plays with your expectations of what is real and what is not.
The second course takes us back home to Cape Town with fresh west coast oysters topped with elderflower foam, pickled and compressed apple, caviar emulsion, bacon dashi, drizzled with a light chilli oil. A light and refreshing dish packed with flavour, dramatically served on “smoking” seaweed.
We head back to Italy for a Caprese salad. Baby tomatoes filled with tomato gel, balsamic and olive oil pearls, fresh buffalo mozzarella, topped with a whey dome and meringue shards. A basil oil is heated next to the table and poured over the dome. A quick smack with your spoon reveals it all underneath the dome.
The next stop is a visit to Austria for a croquette made with Karoo lamb instead of the veal as is traditional in Austria. The lamb is mixed with smoked Stanford cheese, coated in panko crumbs and topped with a cheese foam and the crispiest and most delicious Stanford cheese tuille.
After Austria, we headed to chef’s native Namibia with Oryx served with potato mash, tender stem broccoli, carrot puree with Cape Malay flavours, confit onion, pickled shimeji mushrooms and a red wine jus. Comforting flavours plated exquisitely.
The final destination of the afternoon is Puerto Rico with a creamy coconut panna cotta, Malibu sorbet, coconut glass and burnt pineapple jelly.
Warm and attentive service rounds out the afternoon. While chatting to Julia Gaiduk (owner and architect), she says something that sticks with me long after we left. “Luxury is not gold plated fixtures. Luxury is comfort and escaping the real world for a while”.
We can all do with some luxury once in a while and Gåte at Quoin Rock offers that experience.
In other news, I am delighted to introduce the Heinstirred Greeting Cards Range. Inspired by fusing food and nature, distinctive images were photographed and set in original heart-shaped designs. Click here for all the details of the range now available.