The glass promontory overlooking the biodynamic Waterkloof Wine Estate in Somerset West allows diners to drink in sweeping views of the vineyards and sea whilst they work up an appetite for an extraordinary degustation menu. The double-volume restaurant is modern and majestic, a fitting canvas for an artistic chef like Greg Czarnecki.
He has lived all over the world, yet the finesse of his French heritage, and attention to detail, is evident on each plate. So too is his love of local ingredients, beautifully married with the best in the world. Greg’s perfect plating showcases his love of design and architecture. Menus move with the seasons, but his commitment to sustainability and quality reign supreme. His ingredients of choice – Jerusalem artichokes and quinces – make regular appearances.
Dishes like ‘tomato’ – a simple ingredient served in an inventive, sophisticated way, the flavour extracted from each delicate cherry tomato and replaced with a medley of herbs – are remarkable and memorable. Snails are the hero ingredient in a dish that delicately marries spinach, mint and blue cheese discreetly. “This is minimalistic cooking – you cannot hide behind a distinctive flavour. A chef needs to recreate himself, to be consistent but to be consistent in creativity. That’s how I keep it exciting – exciting too, for me. It’s an emotion I feel inside, yet I need to keep it refined and elegant.”
It’s exhilarating from the amuse bouche – think tandoori and langoustine, oyster and saffron cauliflower, vichyssoise and caviar served in a mould of his hands – to the array of desserts that cover the white table cloths at the end of 13 courses. Dishes are paired with organic Waterkloof wines, another good reason for putting it on the top of your gourmet ‘must-do’ bucket list.
“Get a good quality product and showcase it.” Chef Greg Czarnecki
Address: Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Somerset West, 7130
Telephone: 021 858 1292