Most of us have a fascination for small restaurants with a cozy, aesthetic decor and mouth-watering food. It is mostly the tiny ones that produces the most delicious food and this beach restaurant has emerged victorious and was named the best in the world on Monday.
- It is a tiny beach restaurant in an isolated South African fishing village.
- The name of the restaurant is Wolfgat.
- The restaurant is run by Chef Kobus van der Merwe, who did not begin to cook seriously until he was 30.
- He goes on search every day for ingredients on the wild Atlantic shore of the Western Cape near his restaurant.
- The restaurant opened just two years ago in a 130-year-old cottage and cave on the beach at Paternoster.
- The staff of the restaurant, who are mostly female, have no formal training.
- Its seven-course tasting menu costs the equivalent of 53 euros ($60).
- But the thing that contributed to it’s victory in the inaugural World Restaurant Awards in Paris are its humble setting, and Van der Merwe’s belief in sustainable, back-to-basics cooking.
- It has a sitting arrangement for 20 people at a time.
- 38-year-old Merwe said:
“I don’t feel worthy. It’s a big title. My staff who go out every day gathering herbs, succulents and dune spinach, should be here… It’s their baby.
“I can’t wait to celebrate with them with a big glass of South African sparkling wine.”
- With dishes such as twice-cooked laver (seaweed), angelfish with bokkom sambal and wild garlic masala, limpets, mussels and sea vegetables harvested within sight of its “stoep” (porch), Wolfgat also won the prize for best “Off-Map Destination”.
- Van der Merwe, who is a former journalist. said that apart from the influence of the subtle spices of local Cape Malay cooking, his philosophy was to “interfere as little as possible with the products, and to keep them pure, raw and untreated.
Deserved winner. Period.