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Many restaurants in the world are recognising the value of adding wild, indigenous ingredients to their dishes. It offers diners unusual and delicious flavours they can’t find elsewhere, and it allows restaurants to operate more sustainably. Foraging and cooking with wild plants and Robertsons Spice is better for your dishes and the world we live in.

Here are 2 South African restaurants making their name from wild, seasonal and indigenous ingredients.

Wolfgat

This exceptional restaurant was voted the world’s best restaurant in 2019. Located in a charming revamped fisherman’s cottage on the Paternoster coastline, Wolfgat is a small, twenty-seater restaurant which focuses on foraging for and cooking with wild, seasonal ingredients.

“The menus at Wolfgat usually come about very intuitively,” said Chef and devoted forager Kobus van der Merwe to Eat Out Magazine. “We are inspired by the West Coast landscape, with its dramatic seasonal transformation, and unique Strandveld Fynbos plant kingdom. Dishes are adapted according to the weather and the season, led by what we find on our daily exploration of the coastline.” It doesn’t get better than that!

In his seven-course tasting menu, diners can expect sustainable seafood, local lamb and venison complemented by seasonal veldkos, wild herbs, seaweeds and other plants.

Salvia africana-caerulea: a bittersweet bite of summer! Nectarine ice-cream with wild sage meringue and wild sage flowers.

Watermelon, dune celery, soutslaai, tomato, bokkom.

Clinging to the last of winter’s abundance, snacks include a kind of surf ‘n’ turf: limpet in its shell, with waterblommetjie, sea lettuce, suring and lemon veloute.

Foliage

Rated as one of the top restaurants in South Africa, Foliage owes its success to Chef and owner Chris Erasmus. He lets his wild, foraging spirit loose on the menu, which features everything and anything from wild geese to wild mushrooms. He tweaks his menu almost daily to suit what he can find in the wild, and the results are outstanding.

“The backbone of the menu is what can be foraged from the surrounding hills, and it’s a rare morning that (Chris is) not out on his scooter, collecting basket strapped to the back, in search of the day’s ingredients.” – Eat Out Magazine

Bramble Berry vinegar and quince jelly glazed lamb sweet breads, cep puree, fiddle head fern and pine needle toasted almond ragout and a myrtle and wild sage foam with pea shoots and bitter sorrel.

Selection of garden vegetables, flower pollen and dehydrated yoghurt, lemon grass and ginger mayo with puffed lentil chips.

Open ravioli of forest mushroom and bbq Glen Oak chicken, sweet corn bavaroise and sorrel veloute.