Wolfgat in Paternoster named Restaurant of the Year.
Wolfgat in Paternoster named Restaurant of the Year.
Image: Gary Cotterell

A beach restaurant in the Western Cape was put on the map at the inaugural World Restaurant Awards in Paris where it was named Restaurant of the Year in the 12 'Big Plates' categories on Monday.

The 20-seater Wolfgat also won first place in the Big Plate Off-Map Destination category for remote restaurants “where the journey to get there is a story”.

Head chef Kobus van der Merwe started Wolfgat last year in a 130-year-old cottage and a cave on a beach in Paternoster.

The World Restaurant Awards website describes the restaurant as “a small, remote haven of purity and good taste in every sense”.

Diners at Wolfgat can expect to be treated to a signature strandveld food menu that offers a series of tasting dishes presented in seven courses. Some of the dishes on the menu take weeks of preparation and others are made on the day with freshly harvested ingredients, according to the number of people expected.

The restaurant’s website promises diners “sustainable seafood, local lamb and venison, and seasonal veldkos … enhanced by wild herbs, seaweeds from the local rock pools and pickings from the garden”.

Kobus van der Merwe foraging on the West Coast.
Kobus van der Merwe foraging on the West Coast.
Image: Naashon Zalk

The award comes after Wolfgat was awarded the number four spot at the 2018 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurants Awards last year in November.


Arrival of the Year: Inua restaurant, Tokyo

Ethical Thinking: Refettorio, various locations throughout Italy

Original Thinking: Le Clerence, Paris

Atmosphere of the Year: Vespertine, Los Angeles

Collaboration of the Year: Paradiso X Gortnanain, Ireland

Enduring Classic: La Mère Brazier, France

Event of the Year: Refugee Food Festival, Paris and worldwide

House Special: Lido 84 (Cacio e Pepe), Italy

Forward Drinking: Mugaritz, Spain

No Reservations Required: Mocotó, Brazil

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