When the celebrated restaurant at Gabriëlskloof Estate, situated outside Bot River, launched its winter Sharing Sundays last year, it unleashed a sensation. This year, in addition to exciting changes, the darling menu format of gastronomes-in-the-know returns, now in a truly French tradition.
Sharing Sundays is about shareable cuisine in the nostalgic tone of a traditional family feast.
Embracing his inner Francophile this season, Chef Frans Groenewald has “gone French”, and specifically: French Farmstyle. Think cooking that is “wholesome and bounteous; rich and saucy; flavourful and colourful; opulent and infinitely gratifying – this is comfort food done magnifique. It is food to be enjoyed together.”
“This is about companionship awakened by delicious food; its more about sharing a meal rather than merely sharing food,” says Groenewald. “The kitchen delivers simple, slow cooked family dishes served on large platters where everyone helps themselves.”
There will be moules marinière and rillettes; duck à l’orange and coq au vin; cassoulet, crème brûlée, tarte tartin, crêpes suzette and much, much more. Who knows? You may even catch a glimpse of Chef Frans belting out ‘La Marseillaise’ as he galvanises the orchestra of his kitchen in this banquet of brilliance.
The liveliness has also spread beyond the weekend menu, too. The regular week-day offering is to get a tasty winter coat, featuring an epic twist to the conventional pie-of-the-day. Turning the art of pie-making on its head and vigorously vying for the title of Pie-oneer of the Overberg, Chef Frans’s crusty marvels will break the mould with a flavour fusion of classic fillings from tomato bredie and curry to stroganoff and potjiekos. Though Gabriëlskloof is but 45minutes up the N2 from Cape Town, these are pies worth travelling for.
The winter offering, including ‘Frans goes French on Sundays’ and his wickedly decadent pies, will run from May to the end of August.
The week-day winter menu is priced at R210 per person for two courses and R250 per person for three or guests can order a bite from their popular Deli Menu.
The Sharing Sundays banquet menu is available at only R300 per person. Early bookings are essential as space fills up rapidly.
* Gabriëlskloof Restaurant is open daily for breakfast and lunch, except on Tuesdays. To reserve your table, call 028 284 9865; or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gabriëlskloof Estate is just outside Bot River, on the Swartrivier Road, off the N2.