LUKE DALE-ROBERTS is a name synonymous with the finest, most creative and innovative food in Africa. With a string of awards and consistent international recognition since opening The Test Kitchen in 2010 and The Pot Luck Club in 2011, his position as a force to reckon with on the global food scene is becoming increasingly apparent. Not only was The Test Kitchen placed number 22 in this year’s World's Top 50 Restaurant Awards and won Best Restaurant in Africa, but 2016 has seen him add new establishments to his portfolio.
After a highly successful pop-up early this year, Luke Dale-Roberts at the Saxon opened in Johannesburg this year, and Dale-Roberts has also collaborated in The Shortmarket Club which has just opened in Cape Town's city centre. To say the least, 2016 has been a momentous year for this chef.
In the twenty-five odd years since he first put on his chef’s whites, Luke has travelled the world, working in some of the best restaurants in London and Europe, followed by five years in Asia, eventually making his way to South Africa. Cape Town foodies will remember the impression he made at La Colombe, winning the Constantia landmark a string of awards. So it’s understandable then that his move to open his own eateries was met with great celebration.
Since opening The Test Kitchen, Luke has won the Chef of the Year award at the 2011 Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards while The Test Kitchen moved up from No.2 in 2011 to win the coveted title of Restaurant of the Year for four years in a row: 2012 and 2013 Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards, and 2014 and 2015 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards, South Africa’s very own ‘Foodie Oscars’.
This year, The Test Kitchen was placed 22nd in The World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards, after a staggering climb to 28th in 2015. For the past two years it was voted Best Restaurant in Africa too. Previously placed at 48th in 2014, 61st in 2013, and 74th in 2012 after its opening in late 2010.
The Test Kitchen provides a showcase experience where Dale-Roberts applies his expert technique, passion for true flavour and international inspiration in the creation of challenging and rewarding dishes.
The Test Kitchen will close from mid-August this year for a full décor refurbishment where the entire space will be reconsidered as a whole. Dale-Roberts explains, ‘It will be smaller, more intimate, and we will only do dinners there. It's time to redefine this creative space, which has always been my focus in terms of creating the most flavourful, exciting and challenging food.’
After its reopening on 4th October, guests can expect a whole new The Test Kitchen experience. ‘We are constantly innovating and refining the food according to our Test Kitchen philosophy,’ Dale-Roberts explains, ‘and with the reimagined space the entire experience of dining here will be redefined.’
Sister restaurant The Pot Luck Club, which is situated on the top floor of the Silo building, also at The Old Biscuit Mill, is a trendy spot, which continues to impress diners with its tapas concept. Taking inspiration from around the globe, dishes are packed with flavour and texture, while the 360-degree views of the city and Manhattan loft feel and open kitchen add to the palpable energy at the venue.
- 45th at the Elite Traveler Top 100 Restaurants 2016
- 22nd at the 2016 The World's Best Restaurant Awards
- Best Restaurant in Africa at The World's Best Restaurant Awards
- One to Watch, The World's 50 Best Restaurants list, 2013
Shop 105a, The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Road,
Woodstock, Cape Town