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
December 2018
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

Blackcoffee_new4Black Coffee live: Full Summer Concert ...

Plus: Watch 3 videos to get you in the mood for Black Coffee's summer residency at Shimmy ...

LaParada20Two Hours of 2-For-1 Drink Specials ...

Two Hours of 2-For-1 Drink Specials with Happy Hour At La Parada

Santa's Village V&A WaterfrontV&A Waterfront Opens Santa’s Village ...

Flying in from the North Pole, Santa will be in Cape Town to see if kids have been ...

Panasonic_Siya_360% Off On Electronics at NEW Panasonic ...

Do your Christmas shopping at the all-new Panasonic pop-up store at Panasonic House in ...

Glowing Rooms 3Get a Great Saving on 3D Mini-Golf with ...

Pay a special rate for entrance into SA’s first 3D space-themed glow-in-the-dark ...

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

Embrace your inner yogi outdoors

Botane Skin Actives New Images 2Get 20% Off BOTANē Skin Actives ...

Simplified skin health for less in store this holiday season

Gipsy Kings at Grand Africa Cafe & Beach 2Dinner With The Gipsy Kings At Grand ...

The iconic flamenco band hits Cape Town shores for one hell of a show

pinelands_marketGet Festive At Pinelands Craft & Gift ...

Free entry to this market brimming with delicious food and good quality, well-priced ...

Free Salsa Fridays at PicadasFree Salsa Lessons At This Hidden ...

Every Friday night is salsa night at this festive Shortmarket street Latino bar

Summer Glice Rink Mini Neon Pop-up Summer Ice Skating ...

You read that right, kids can go ice skating in summer

Galilieo_RupertSaturday Nights at The Galileo Open Air ...

Kick back, sip wine and relax with a country movie screening experience

Langarm The Fugard Theatre 5Award-winning David Kramer Brings ...

Some of South Africa’s most established stage performers take to the stage in this ...

Strolla Restaurant and Bar in Sea PointGet Irie On The Sunset Deck At Strolla ...

Live reggae music every Saturday at Strolla: sprawl out on the Corona Sunset Deck as the ...

OX Seals 04Smile: You Get 10% Off Seal Snorkelling ...

Up close with wild Cape fur seals in small, intimate excursions that are super special, ...

Cape Town Helicopters Generic NEW 3Fly Fridays: Helicopter Rides For Less

Want that extra-special experience to round off the week? These are the city’s most ...

legends_live_in_concertCelebrate The Music Legends All On One ...

A talented 10-piece cast impersonates music legends to perfection

Roast and Co Daily: Two Hours of 2-For-1 Specials at ...

Plus: Half-price on all “To Share” plates – see what’s on the menu here

hq friday feels HQ Friday Feels: Dinner and Dancing on ...

Chill jazzy beats while you enjoy dinner, then the dance floor opens at 9pm till late

Boschendal_FridayMarket2Fresh: Friday Night Market in the ...

Rain or shine: Now more farm-fresh food stalls and seating, plus: local music and great ...

KewpieAn Inspiring Message of Diversity and ...

The vibrant diversity of District Six comes alive with an exhibition about a famously ...

Park Inn_Rooftop1Friday Night Live DJ on the Rooftop at ...

Forget the traffic: watch the sun set to cool SA house vibes with after-work sundowners ...

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Children's Events Cape TownSave on your kids’ birthday party ...

Make your kids’ birthday party extra special with outdoor laser tag with Battlefield ...

Cape Culinary Tours Valentine's Day InclusionTake a Bite into History with Cape Town ...

Learn about Cape Town’s past while savouring local cuisine with these informative ...

surfing muizenbergLearn To Surf Or Perfect Your Skills In ...

New to the surfing game? You’re in good hands at African Soul Surfer

African Soul Surfer Backpackers in Cape TownBook a Surf and Yoga Retreat at the ...

This week-long surf and yoga camp includes breakfast, accommodation and all your ...

Jack BlackBeers and Bands at Jack Black Brewery ...

Every Friday night the Jack Black stage is lit up with local talent

Just Like Papa 1Just Like Papa: The Ultimate Place to ...

Finally, there’s a place in Cape Town where you can get exceptional home, camping, ...

Le Bonheur 10Snap up a Pizza and Reptile Adventure ...

Enjoy a delicious wood-fired pizza while taking a tour of the crocodile pond or the snake ...

Fire and Ice Weekend PartyParty in the Fire & Ice Hotel Lobby ...

Live DJ, killer cocktails, 38 gourmet milkshakes and the chance to meet exciting new ...

Ubuntu Climbs 365 3How Many Hikes Up Table Mountain Does ...

A hike a day gets the funds raised. This guy is hiking Table Mountain every single day of ...

Kiff Kombi - Durbanville - 1Experience Cape Town's Most Spirited ...

All aboard, gin lovers! Here’s what to expect on a tour of Cape Town’s quaintest, ...

Cartel House 10Grab Yourself Free Flapjacks Every ...

Members only: Luxury co-working office space Cartel House serves up hot and fresh ...

Kirstenbosch Christmas CarolsSing Along At Cape Town’s Historic ...

Tis the season for carols...

Aces 'n' SpadesFriday Night Live at Aces ‘n’ Spades

They will rock you

Cherry Picking Ceres Klondyke Farm 3Cherry On Top: Klondyke Kicks Off ...

Pick your cherries and eat them too at this family-friendly cherry farm in Ceres

Canal Walk Ice Slide World 6Cool For The Summer At Canal Walk’s ...

A world of frozen fun this festive season

Vergenoegd_duckrun1Cheer On The Ducks At Vergenoegd Löw

Bring the kids along to experience the Duck Parade

Cloud 9 Hotel 3Spa and Sparkling Wine Special at ...

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

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