KapstadtMagazin.de

The Test Kitchen by Luke Dale-Roberts

Jeden Tag tolle Tipps aus der
schönsten Stadt der Welt.
 
www.kapstadtmagazin.de
info@kapstadtmagazin.de
Kapstadtmag
KapstadtMagazin.de
kapstadtmag

The Test Kitchen by Luke Dale-Roberts

Fine dining  for the younger generation comes to Cape Town's Woodstock

Much lauded chef, Luke-Dale Roberts, is no stranger to directing a brigade of chefs, sharpening knives and of course, dreaming up relentlessly creative menus. His new role, as not only the head chef of The Test Kitchen, but also as the owner, has given him a whole new set of skills.

‘I never used to have to worry about leaks, nails, doors...’ he says trailing off. ‘All of it [running a business] takes so much time.’ His phone beeps and he’s off again leaving us to have lunch.

The Biscuit Mill complex is buzzing—newly opened Saucisse Deli is doing a roaring lunchtime trade, the Espresso Lab is churning out litres of black gold and The Test Kitchen is positively humming. The team in the open plan kitchen move fast in their chefs’ whites.  All prep and cooking is open for everyone to see, dining alone here wouldn’t be hard at all—there’s plenty of entertainment.

‘I want the flavours to jump out of the plate,’ says Luke

Today though, I’m lunching with CapeTownMagazine.com‘s German editor, Antonia Heil. First thing’s first, the wine list. Printed on a sheet of recycled brown paper, the selection is clearly carefully chosen—bold whites and reds of pedigree. The pinot noir section itself is impressive, Adam Mason, Paul Cluver and Vriesenhof all make an appearance. The options by-the-glass are top-drawer too, a treat when, if you’re like me, you like to drink different wines throughout a meal.

Soon a glass of Newton Johnson Chardonnay and Adam Mason Pinot Noir have made their way to our table.  A bit of confusion seems to take place. Antonia’s drinking from my glass, I’m drinking from hers, a whole lot of swapping and giggling is going down. We decide to take the same approach with the food.  For starters we tuck into Asian-style beef tataki, with zinging citrus, and a vegetarian (we must have misread the menu...) tempura roll. Veggie or not, it’s still delicious, light, with defined flavours.

The space itself is industrial with urban/Asian-inspired décor—textured paper globes hang from the ceiling, piles of bespoke crockery are neatly packed onto crimson shelves and beaten metal tables make up the intimate restaurant. At its heart is the open kitchen; wrapped around the perimeter is the ‘kitchen bar’, here guests can dine off the â la carte menu while watching the carousel of chefs create culinary magic.

Our main courses are a wood-fired pork belly served with a black bean dressing and a hake fillet dressed with an olive and raisin salsa. The pork is prepared in the ‘pizza oven’ in the courtyard, and is served with Asian greens—a lighter, more delicate take on this traditionally rich dish.  The fish is banging fresh, a thick cut fillet with beautifully-white flakes. As if to emphasise this freshness, in walks a fish monger, white gumboots and all. Luke goes over to meet him and they haggle over cuts of silver fish. There’s no backdoor policy here, all the comings and goings of this restaurant happen in the public eye.

Fine dining for the younger generation

‘I just wanted to put the kitchen into the dining room,’ explains Luke pulling up a chair. ‘This is approachable, accessible fine dining.’

When asked if clientele from the La Colombe days come to eat, Luke laughs, ‘absolutely, it’s quite amusing to see a Maserati pull into the Biscuit Mill, followed by a guy on a skateboard. ‘So, yes, we’re still getting a lot of the same guests, but also a whole new set of people are coming through the doors. There’s a much more happy-go-lucky attitude.’

The approach to service has also been pared down. ‘I want my servers to be able to read what a guest wants. Some people want the whole menu explained; others prefer to be left alone. On our next batch of menus there’ll be a glossary, where certain techniques and ingredients will be explained.’

While we’re chatting a ceramic egg is placed on the table. Inside are pastel balls of sorbet, a fitting end to a light summer’s lunch.

‘I see this restaurant as a humanitarian food project,’ quips Luke as we’re leaving. ‘Fine dining for the people, by the people.’

By Malu Lambert  photographs by Antonia Heil


The Test Kitchen
Shop 104 A | The Old Biscuit Mill | 375 Albert Road | Woodstock | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 447 2337

---

Luke Dale Roberts announced in September 2018 that Camps Bay's famous The Roundhouse restaurant is closed, and he's opening all-new Salsify in this space October 2018.

For more restaurants visit our Eating Out section. Subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Cape Town Events Calendar
August 2019
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Ash_EvansBecome A Video Star

Learn how to handle yourself on camera

blowfish_new_4Half-Price Sushi Every Wednesday and ...

And drink in the sunset and view (and a cocktail)

Jedi Tedi 3Drink Rosé & Find Inner Peace

Yoga, meditation and rosé on tap at this Women’s Day brunch in Milnerton

sounding_the_voidDiscover the Art of Listening At A ...

A free audio exhibition exploring fantasy islands, suits that give you a different ...

Kinky BootsSmash-Hit Kinky Boots Extended To 2020 ...

With music by Cyndi Lauper, several Tonys and a Laurence Olivier Award

chicha4Get To Know Your Wine: Wednesdays are ...

Sample some fine wines and meet the makers behind your favourite tipple

Cherry_Glamping3Team Building is For Bonding, So Ditch ...

Hiking, biking, canopy tours and luxury glamping just 50 minutes outside of Cape Town

zingara_bombay5 Happy Hours, Every Day of The Week

And Cafe Paradiso has a weekend seafood platter special for two

Nom Nom_New1Something New: Invent Your Own Gin at ...

All-new DIY gin bar, double your wine every Wednesday, PLUS: an all-new menu to share

vredenheim_2019_9Picnic Among The Golden Wildebeest on ...

A family game drive with a difference at Vredenheim

kaskaziBoost Your Week With A Hump Day Kayak ...

The chance to see ocean and bird life at sunrise and get to work on time

cocosafar_steak1From Rib Eye To Vegetarian – Here Are ...

Gourmet burgers and steak, as well as cocktails, are now on the menu at this all-day cafe ...

La Paris_Deli2Wednesday Delights at La Paris Deli in ...

A bakery and bistro experience at one of the most beautiful winelands wedding venues, now ...

cartelcafe6Lunch Sorted: A Midweek Buffet At The ...

Fill up your plate and tuck into a tasty lunch spread every Wednesday and Thursday: From ...

two_oceans_aquariumMake Memorable Moments at Cape Town’s ...

Throw a party unlike any other at the Mother City’s underwater wonderland

Comedyclub_new11End Hump Day With a Laugh At The ...

Share the experience at Cape Town Comedy Club in the Waterfront’s Pumphouse every ...

Om Revolution vinyasa poseHave an Outdoor Yoga Experience with ...

Embrace your inner yogi outdoors

glam_barBeauty Special: Gelish or Shellac Nails ...

Book via Whatsapp: Workday-perfect nail treatments with free rinse and discounts on all ...

OX boat rides 110% Off: See The Marine Big 5 on an ...

Whales, dolphins, penguins, cape fur seals and mola mola (sunfish), an awesome boat trip ...

theatre and film costume hire25% Off Hollywood-Calibre Costume ...

Wednesdays only: Gorgeous vintage cocktail dresses to realistic historical costumes for ...

house of hLook Who's Serving a R50 Lunch Special ...

Loved by locals, House of H now does delicious new lunch specials – from boerie rolls ...

Park Inn_RGB_ItalianDinnerSpecial5All-You-Can-Eat Italian Dinner Special ...

Made fresh right in front of you, with your choice of sauces and toppings – this is one ...

beluga_whisylounge2-for-1 Whisky Wednesdays at Beluga

Your midweek escape just got a whole lot better with the 2-for-1 Wednesday whisky special ...

Nasty Womxn - 4Nasty Womxn Flipping Greeks Myths on ...

A sketch art exhibition that retells the stories of Persephone and Medusa form a ...

grub_vine_3Free Wine Tasting Every Wednesday at ...

Grub & Vine’s #VineNight hosts a different wine farm

Vergenoegd_duckrun1Cheer On The Ducks At Vergenoegd Löw

Bring the kids along to experience the Duck Parade

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.