Do you remember a time when cocktails on a bar or restaurant menu were restricted to a handful of options? There were clear favourites, one type of vodka, gin or whiskey concoctions and your choice was pretty-much made for you. In 2020, that is never going to happen. There is nothing simple about mixing drinks anymore. It is now an art form and a trend that consumers can’t get enough of.
Gåte at Quoin Rock is at the forefront of innovation. The restaurant is designed to precisely give patrons the best views of the winelands, a front row seat to the most splendid Cape sunsets and an all-consuming gastronomic food tasting. Add to this an extraordinary cocktail pairing with the most jarring ingredients and what you have is a dining experience in Stellenbosch unlike any other.
It is a place where you quite literally leave all your woes at the door because in this serene space where food, wine and cocktails are celebrated, there is no space for negativity. Take a moment to drink in your surroundings. There are no half measures when it comes to the design and style. There are sculptures dotted on the lawns outside and never-ending vineyards to gaze upon.
Gåte at Quoin Rock is still an infant, they are but a year old and have made giant strides in innovation, discovery and food offerings.
Get comfortable, you’re about to take your palate on a trip around the world. The dinner menu pairs perfectly with a world theme. Head Chef Nicole Loubser has created an unforgettable menu tasting that lifts off right here in Stellenbosch and makes a round trip through Italy, France, Canada, Austria, Japan, Greece, and Namibia, with ingredients as diverse as the countries mentioned – Aperol, Martell Congac, White Port, Sake, and Namysto Strawberry Wine.
The first cocktail is a welcome drink handed to you as you enter the magnificent, state-of-the-art, building. A gold-dusted flute with Campari and sour apple, topped with a festive MCC feels right at home here, where the warm colours are meant to resemble the arches at the entrance of the restaurant – and the gold dust is reminiscent of Gåte’s complete elegance and utter opulence.
The ingredients from each dish are complimented by imaginative cocktails custom-created by Molecular Bars. Many hours of thought and preparation have gone into designing drinks that bring out the best from each dish.
As the courses are delivered to the table, the drinks get more outrageously good. It is hard to choose a favourite, and you shouldn’t, they are here to be enjoyed at leisure with the utmost pleasure.
A bubbling teapot and a glass pipe are just some of the apparatus the cocktails are masterfully served in. They range in taste, from mild hints of fresh herbs to fruit infusions. They are so completely different from the last, and keep getting better as the food and conversation flow.
Dino Batista, Director of Molecular Bars says, “Our big goal when it came to creating the seven signature cocktails along with an arrival drink was to ensure that patrons have a memorable experience, specifically when they get to the last couple of courses.” Creating smaller portions with beautiful flavour profiles was our aim”
And for the teetotalers, there is something for you to slurp up too. Gåte has also mastered the art of pairing tea with food, as it is just as important as knowing how to pick the wine for a delicious meal, or which seasonings work well with which dishes.
You are sure to leave with a longing to come back. The most fulfilling feeling is when you walk away from an outstanding night of food, drinks and surroundings with a plan to return soon. It is Gåte’s sacred trinity food, wine, art.