Did you know?
The Test Kitchen was voted 74th best restaurant in the world in the S. Pellegrino Awards for 2011.
Celebrity chef Luke Dale-Roberts, voted Eat Out Chef of the Year 2011 in the Eat Out Restaurant awards, is a culinary leading light in Cape Town. First he wowed diners at his cutting edge, upmarket restaurant, The Test Kitchen. He recently opened his more accessible second creation – The Pot Luck Club & Gallery.
The Test Kitchen is an intimate establishment, located most fittingly in the Old Biscuit Mill, a previously industrial complex revamped to designer status. The attraction at The Test Kitchen is the view of the open kitchen. You can watch the busy brigade prepare the mouth-watering dishes that lure fine diners and foodies to this 30-seater in Woodstock. The Pot Luck Club next door is funkier, with black walls, steel appointments and cocktails. It serves smaller portions of more recognisable - yet transformed - items like pork belly.
Dale-Roberts left his native England, where he initially trained, to explore and assimilate new influences and techniques. He landed in South Africa in 2006 after working in the Philippines, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore and Switzerland. These experiences transformed him into a thoroughly modern culinary master who will go so far as to combine liver and liquorice in a dish that has diners wiping their plates despite being in a fine dining establishment.
Chef Dale-Roberts’s mantra is above all: ‘flavour, flavour and flavour’. Not just flavour in general, but layer upon layer of flavours in one dish; a culinary wallop that keeps on giving, just like a superb wine. As a result a single dessert at The Test Kitchen can combine a pine nut parfait with tonka bean and yoghurt foam, caramelised custard apple, cinnamon-dusted filo pastry and pine nut butter.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
How to get here
Both Chef Luke’s restaurants, The Test Kitchen and The Pot Luck Club & Gallery, are located in the Old Biscuit Mill complex in Albert Street in Woodstock. To get there, take Table Bay Boulevard (N1) to Woodstock, then take the Church Street off-ramp and turn left into Albert Road.
Best time to visit
The Test Kitchen is open Tuesday to Saturday from 12.30pm to 2.30pm for lunch, and from 7pm to 10pm for dinner. The Pot Luck Club & Gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 5pm to 6pm for drinks, and from 6pm to 10pm for dinner.
You can arrange a transfer by taxi from your hotel to the restaurants or take your own car, as it’s an easy drive.
Where to stay
Accommodation in Woodstock includes Bella Italia Guest House in Rhodes Avenue, Upper Eastside Hotel (business boutique hotel) in Brickfield Road, and Cape Town Deco Lodge Backpackers in Roodebloem Road. All these establishments are rated four-star and close to The Old Biscuit Mill.