Months of lockdown have given Chef Luke Dale Roberts and his team plenty of time to reflect on the future of the industry and what diners are looking for in a fine dining restaurant. As a result, they’ll be reopening The Test Kitchen as The Test Kitchen Origins on the 1st of October, but with an exciting pared-back rebrand that gives more South Africans the chance to enjoy the award-winning space.
“The Test Kitchen was ever-evolving… always about pushing the limits and experiences as far as we could possibly take them. But now came time for calmness and retrospection. The break has given me that time to spend with my family and reflect on the way forward,” says Luke.
In a change from its previous iteration which was only open in the evening, Test Kitchen Origins will be open from Monday to Friday, for both lunch and dinner, and will offer a stripped back fine dining experience. “The Test Kitchen was ready for a change, with people wanting to spend less time in the dining room, while still feeling comforted, pampered and well fed! The Test Kitchen Origins is about creating a Test Kitchen experience that is more accessible to the community,” says Luke.
The new menu moves away from degustation and offers three course (R650) and five course (R895) options. The menu includes dishes such as Leeks Confit with lobster Arnold Bennet, bisque reduction, tomato fondant and lemon thyme mousseline; and Mushrooms Pan fried with Thyme and Garlic with celery root extraction, toasted garlic brioche and foie gras egg.
For mains, diners can expect Parsnips, Honey and Thyme Roasted with quick-seared springbok, Brussel sprouts, pickled walnuts, sourdough crust and potjie reduction; and Apple, Smoked and Roasted with slow-cooked pork belly, confit red cabbage, bacon and gewurtztraminer jus. Desserts include Pear Poached in Muscadel with chocolate fondant and vanilla bean mascarpone; and Medjool Dates, a date and pecan sticky toffee pudding, pecan and maple ice cream and Kahlua anglaise.