The Green Goose Eatery is a fabulous addition to central Stellenbosch
This chic restaurant celebrates sustainable local ingredients and global flavours, writes Kit Heathcock
Just as geese always return home after their migration, chef Gustaaf Boshoff is back in his home town, opening his first restaurant in the heart of Stellenbosch after an extended “surf” trip around the world.
This happened to include working in Michelin-starred restaurants, private cheffing in New York, stints on yachts, and two months in Tahiti, among other adventures.
The Green Goose Eatery – green for the sustainable approach using small local suppliers – manages to be both everyday eatery and chic foodie and cocktail spot, taking inspiration from the tastes encountered on those travels, as well as embracing unintimidating comfort food that feels like home.
The small plate section expresses Gustaaf’s global influences. We shared a chunky tuna ceviche with Vietnamese dressing, warm ginger, salted lime and edamame beans, and a tender pork belly with apple, mustard and celeriac, and wasabi on puffed crackling adding a pop of fusion heat. Then gorgeous black squid inkarancini with chargrilled octopus and black garlic aioli.
“My strength, growing up near the coast and loving the ocean, is seafood. It’s my favourite thing to cook with,” says Gustaaf.
That day’s delivery from the Abalobi small-scale fishers’ programme inspired him to add a sparkling fresh fillet of red stumpnose to the prawn laksa coconut curry for us – later roasting a whole fish in the woodfired pizza oven for another table.
The pizza oven was inherited with the premises. No longer used for pizza but still constantly fired up, Gustaaf uses it to bake flatbreads and homely mains such as delicious wagyu beef lasagne, and moussaka made with fall-apart lamb that had slow-braised overnight as the embers cooled.
Gustaaf’s enthusiasm for small-scale producers extends to his wine list, some gems of boutique wines available by the glass.
We loved the fresh and fruity Swan and Unicorn Sauvignon Blanc, and Usana’s deep and velvety cabernet sauvignon – just what was needed to put heart into a winter day.
We finished off with a classic Valrhona chocolate fondant, oozing hot liquid chocolate onto a granadilla curd, with olive oil ice cream and a subtle twist of salty pretzel crumbs.
The Green Goose is a fabulous addition to central Stellenbosch whether you want a quick sustaining lunch, a foodie evening out, or cocktails and a few small plates after work, and it serves breakfasts too.
• Visit The Green Goose on Mill Street, Stellenbosch. Call 087-807-7092 or see thegreengoose.co.za
This article was originally published in the Sunday Times Neighbourhood: Property and Lifestyle guide. Visit Yourneighbourhood.co.za