I’ve been trying to get a handle on the finer dining scene in the Cape. In tougher economic times, what entices people to eat out at the top end? Are they after dining exhilaration and thrill, or perhaps sophisticated meals that satisfy the senses? Gåte Restaurant at Quoin Rock winery outside Stellenbosch has intrigued me since a friend whose tastes I trust ate there on a December dinner date and loved it. Gåte — it is pronounced like latte and is the Norwegian word for riddle — opened in November and people on restaurant groups rave about it. On the Boring Cape Town Chick blog Gåte was declared "hands down the best fine dining experience". An eatout.co.za reviewer described one course as "unbelievable, like nothing I’ve ever experienced while dining before". I had to satisfy my professional curiosity. But a declaration: on my visit I was hosted as media, asking executive chef Rikku Ò’Donnchü to send only a few courses, instead opting to spend time in the kitchen observing him to un...

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