I see the word Gåte and I’m immediately transported to my vault of great food memories in Cape Town. I was lucky enough to enjoy dinner at the fine-dining establishment weeks before lockdown, so everything is still fresh. The phenomenal design of the space at Quoin Rock in Franschhoek, both inside and outside, is something you won’t forget in a hurry.
Uninterrupted views of textured mountains, rows of lush vineyards and larger than life sculptures are just the beginning. Pair the svelte aesthetic with incredible food and wine, and you have a holistic experience second to none in the Mother City’s famed winelands.
As a food writer, the lockdown has been painfully boring. I miss the allure of exciting palate teasers, heady wine rushes and extravagant unknown flavours. Fine-dining, fun-dining, food trucks, takeout, it doesn’t really matter, I miss it all.
There is a glimmer of hope for a fine-dining fix in the meanwhile. Gåte’s head chef Nicole Loubser has heeded the desperate call for great food and is preparing five-star meals to be enjoyed in the confines of your home.
Taking every precaution, the chef and her team at Gåte meticulously put together a deconstructed three-course meal which is delivered following strict health guidelines.
All you have to do is carefully read the instructions, heat relevant components, which arrive pre-packed and cleverly labelled, and plate your fine-dining meal.
The sense of accomplishment after the first bite is completely misplaced. While it is Loubser who put all these incredible flavours together, you can’t help but take some credit for the completed fine-dining dish.
The first course is a signature favourite, a traditional warm Italian tomato soup with a Gåte cigar and a thyme cream reduction. It by no means resembled anything the chef would plate herself, but the saving grace was the flavour stayed intact. And a rich, fragrant flavour it was. Light enough to get your tastebuds warmed up for the main course, without filling you up too much. The cigars are a firm favourite and getting to enjoy them at home felt a little more special.
The main course is a signature dish too, Japanese pork belly with pickled cucumber, shimeji mushroom and a mushroom reduction. I tried my best to recreate the look from pictures, but failed dismally. It is so much more difficult than it looks. The flavours, however, were spot on. The pork was tender and juicy, and all the components meshed together beautifully to create a perfectly composed mouthful. The portion size was accurate too. They are far more generous than fine-dining portions, rightfully so.
Dessert is a pina colada panna cotta with a pineapple salsa and mint. This was completely put together in a takeaway container and needed no plating. It was a calming end to the most well composed meal I have had in a while. The sweetness levels were well-balanced together with the fruity salsa.
And just like that, the question of whether you can enjoy fine-dining at home is answered. Just don’t expect it to look like anything a professional chef would plate.
Gåte has included a decadent Mac ‘n cheese for the little people in your home too and you can believe it is made with the good cheese.
At a cost of R400 per person for a three course meal, the price is really affordable. I would highly recommend you enjoy it as romantic evening in, anniversary celebration, a birthday celebration, or even just a life celebration because recently we’ve learned to appreciate more of those.
Let chef take care of the decadence, and all you have to do is plate and take the credit!
How to order:
Send a WhatsApp to 082 499 5101. Orders close at 5pm on Wednesdays and deliveries will be done on Fridays. There is a minimum order for two people. Free delivery to Franschhoek, Paarl, Stellenbosch and Cape Town City Bowl.