I love the way that food can bring people together: when everyone is gathering around in the kitchen as you chop, stir, taste and season; when the rooms fill up with the comforting smells of bubbling stew and freshly baked desserts; and when everyone comes together at the table, clicking glasses and piling comfort food onto plates; when everyone is stuffed and lazy but still reaching into the pot for those last bits and pieces.
Food is meant to be shared, and that’s why I was thrilled when I first heard about the Gabriëlskloof Sharing Sundays last year.
FYI, I am wildly prejudiced when it comes to Gabriëlskloof. We got married there three years ago after they had wooed us with excellent food and wine, and a beautiful rustic-meets-modern setting. I would recommend their restaurant any day, but this offering is extra special because it creates the same sentiment as a Sunday lunch you’d have at home with your family.
This year Chef Frans Groenewald is embracing French Farmstyle cuisine: it’s all about wholesome food, generous servings and big flavours. The dishes are slow cooked and served on large platters at the table, to be shared between the diners.
We kicked off our meal with a serving of decadent French Onion Soup, which was just the type of indulgent, rich, savoury goodness you want on a chilly winter’s afternoon.
This was followed by a beautiful dish of plump mussels served in a white wine sauce. Trust me, you’re going to want some bread to soak up all that goodness – but save enough space for the mains.
They arrived in all their glory.
Perfectly cooked juicy steak with a bone marrow reduction. Succulent duck l’Orange. Creamy potato dauphinoise. Crispy green beans with toasted almonds. Decadent ratatouille.
Everything was perfectly cooked and packed with flavour, served up in a rustic, homely, comforting way.
And finally, our dessert was just as it should be – sticky, sweet, and oh so indulgent.
We had tarte tartin with stewed fruit, topped with creamy vanilla ice cream. And on the second plate they served up a decadent, fluffy chocolate mousse with a strawberry cream.
Are you drooling yet? I am just thinking back on it.
What I love most about the food at Gabriëlskloof is that you know it’s been made with love. It’s got that same heart as a home-cooked meal, while sporting the techniques that only a chef can master. I love that the food triggers a sense of nostalgia so that the first bite takes you back to a happy memory. You want to swipe the plate clean with your finger, and savour every last linger of flavour.
The Sharing Sundays will run from May until the end of August and are priced at R300pp. Make sure you book early, they fill up fast. To reserve your table, contact them at 028 284 9865 or firstname.lastname@example.org