One of our aims at Southern Escape, is to find those hidden gems and the “off the beaten track” places that wow you when you discover them. We were lucky to stumble upon one of these jewels, on our recent travels along the south coast of South Africa to a little town named Stanford. Stanford is a small town in the Klein River valley and forms part of the Overberg region. Nestled in this town is Springfontein, a unique wine estate boasting a bouquet of organic wines cultivated from the limestone rich soils unique to this area.
Standing on this farm, beside the 200-year-old thatched stable building, one finds a lovely little cottage that previously housed a restaurant. After being neglected for 2 years due to covid, this cottage is now the new home to a pop-up restaurant, headed up by father and son duo, Dutch restauranteurs Edwin Vinke and his son Tom.
Michelin star chef
Edwin, executive chef and owner of the 2 Michelin Star restaurant, De Kromme Watergang, in the Netherlands decided to embark on this adventure after the covid regulations in the Netherlands, forced him to close his restaurant for an undefined period. Together with Tom and a hard-working team, they transformed the cottage into an exclusive fine dining gem. After 10 days of hard work, Edwin and Tom opened Wortelgat, with the first service taking place on 15 January 2022.
Their menu uses sustainable and local ingredients to create dishes that are inspired and dictated by the surrounding terroir. “Down to earth” preparations dazzle your taste buds and leave you excited and curious about your next course. The menu consists of 11 or 8 courses with an optional Springfontein wine pairing. As served, each dish, and wine, is explained by the knowledgeable staff members and often, presented by Chef Edwin himself.
Although every course was delicious, a few of our favourites were the Spicy Cassava Crisps, Cape Salmon Sashimi and of course the unique Cooky Truck, offering an array of sweet delights to round off your experience. For those who enjoy something a little stronger after desert, WortelGat also has a fully stocked cozy drinks lounge where one can end of your evening with a good old night cap.
Apart from the food and wine being the stars of the evening, we must mention the outstanding service and friendliness we experienced during our visit. Often one could be hesitant visiting a fine dining restaurant, but certainly not here! We were made to feel part of a big family gathering centered around fantastic food and wine from the local land.
Book your table now!
WortelGat Restaurant will be open until 27 March 2022 so we suggest you hurry along and make a reservation soon! Although we will be saying goodbye to this gem in March, we are keeping our fingers crossed in the hope that Edwin and Tom will surprise us again in the future with another dining extravaganza!
For reservations, please call +27 (0) 28 341 0651 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We would like to extend our thanks to the entire team for the wonderful evening, interviews and photos and we wish them every success for the future!