Our first experience of Waterkloof about four years ago was quite daunting. We booked after reading a stellar review by a well known Cape Town foodie. Problem was, when we arrived for our mid-week lunch, we were the only people in the big double volume restaurant with its magnificent views over Gordon's Bay and fynbos clad mountains, which could easily seat some 200 people if push came to shove. Worse still, because we were early we tasted the various wines the estate produced and they were uniformly between bad and undrinkable.
Having driven all the way from Cape Town to past Somerset West - a good hour's drive and been awed by the nine immaculately dressed staff members we counted in the glass fronted kitchen, we decided to stay on and order. I am so glad we did. Quite simply it was the best meal we had ever eaten in Cape Town and the unobtrusive but attentive service complemented the food. Just a pity about the wine.
Since then we have returned again and again with various friends and the inventive head chef and his staff have never once let us down. We ate there again two weeks ago and the food was just as good, from the novel egg 63, a duck egg cooked slowly at 63 degrees, to the tender and succulent venison, juicy kob and ever dependable lamb - the best fish available from Cape waters in my humble opinion - to the delightful little touches you would expect from one of the the country's top ten restaurants - the amuse bouche to begin and the macaroons and ice lollies with the coffees.
And this time, we also drank some of the excellent sauvignon blanc - as a matter of choice - made by the Waterkloof winery, which has progressed a long, positive way since those early nightmare days.
In my humble opinion, this is the best restaurant currently in Cape Town and the costs are certainly on a par with that of most of its competitiors