The Pot Luck Club in Cape Town

Luke Dale-Roberts’s modern global fusion restaurant rebrands and relocates

Lauded local champion of gastronomic innovation Luke Dale-Roberts has taken his distinct culinary offering up a level – quite literally – with the February 2013 relocation of his popular Pot Luck Club restaurant to the top floor of the historic Silo at The Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock.

First opened at the end of 2011 in an intimate space that hugged its award-winning fine dining sister spot The Test Kitchen, the cutting-edge eatery now looks to treat visitors to the same creative cuisine it’s become renowned for in a new and improved (and significantly larger) venue.

Parading unparalleled, 360-degree views of the city (a motivating factor in the move), the lofty glass and steel space is as artfully designed as its myriad of unusual dishes are prepared and presented. While it no longer claims a formal art gallery space, the new restaurant, including its layout and décor, boasts a number of eye-catching elements conceptualised by a handful of prominent Mzansi creatives – think artist Peter Eastman, bronze crafter Otto du Plessis, sculptor Egon Tania and more.

Though, perhaps one of the most alluring aspects of the revamped industrial-chic eatery – it claims a striking combination of wood and stone flooring, edgy partitions and both bar seating and booth-style sofas – is the open-plan kitchen, a signature feature of Luke’s restaurants. With the cooking area lit up and exposed for all to see, diners can watch as the talented team, headed up by Head Chef Wesley Randles, conjure up an ever-evolving array of interesting eats.

Though the space itself has transformed, the relaxed social eating, plate-sharing concept of the original Pot Luck Club – so named because it was inspired by the now-popular notion of communal potluck dinners – remains. Thus, guests can indulge in a smorgasbord of smaller portions of global modern cuisine, ordered off a menu that’s divided into distinct taste profiles (salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami). The fact that the seasonal offering is always unconventional and changes constantly not only allows the chefs an opportunity to experiment – a cornerstone of Luke’s cooking philosophy – but also promises visitors a particularly adventurous dining experience.

“We simply want people to come and enjoy fun, interesting food in a very cool space,” says gastronomic guru Wesley, who has worked alongside Luke for several years now. “The menu we offer is very different to anything currently on the culinary map in South Africa.”

That is, with the focus uniquely on refined yet relaxed Asian fusion tapas-style dishes, the eatery sets itself apart from both Cape Town’s handful of predictable fine dining establishments and its myriad of Chinese cafés and sushi hotspots.

Specifically, on any given day, visitors can expect tasty Orient-inspired, as well as classically influenced, options, like Yellowtail Sashimi Lettuce Ssam with Pomegranate and Lime Dressing; Crispy Duck Spring Rolls; Pork Belly with XO Dressing, Red Cabbage and Apple Slaw; and Nectarine and Almond Tart with Malted Pop Corn Ice Cream. All such colourful dishes and flavours are inspired by the worldly Luke’s travels around the globe.

For those wishing to marry their flavourful fare with an inventive drink or two, the new venue is also home to the hip Pot Luck Bar, which serves a range of sake-based cocktails alongside a selection of top-notch boutique wines.

All in all, while the restaurant itself may not be entirely new to the city, its fresh sky-high venue and all the accompanying additions and advances certainly offer a new way to experience one of Cape Town’s most cutting-edge culinary offerings.

Tip: The rebranded, relocated Pot Luck Club has now added a laidback, family-friendly Sunday brunch option to its repertoire; this relaxed weekend feast was inspired by a similar popular concept that Luke encountered while in Singapore.

The Bill: Individual portions range in price from around R30 to R150; remember, as the focus is on sharing, mixing and matching, guests can opt to order (and hence pay) as little or as much as they want.

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 12:30pm –2:30pm (lunch); 6pm – 10:30pm (dinner); Sunday: 11:30am – 3pm

Top Floor | The Silo Building | The Old Biscuit Mill | 375 Albert Road | Woodstock | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 447 0804

Photo courtesy of TASTE magazine / Michael le Grange

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Eager to pay a visit to this acclaimed chef’s other famed fine dining restaurant? Read more about Luke Dale-Roberts’s The Test Kitchen.

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