I heard about this restaurant through a very good friend of mine in September last year (2013). I called the restaurant at the end of October 2013 and made a booking thinking that I would get one a week later… try 5 months later! I was shocked. But I made the booking anyway because if I had to wait 5 months – there must be something special about this restaurant, right?
Anyway, fast forwarding 5 months later, the day finally arrived. The menu is pre set and you can choose between the “Dinner Discovery menu” (R590 for 5 courses) or the “Gourmand menu “(R800 for a 10 course menu). Sounds expensive but if you divide 590 by 5 you get R118 per meal, so not too bad….. Anyway, If you willing to splurge for a dinner experience rather than just a dinner then this is exactly what you need.
The restaurant is located in observatory at the Old Biscuit Mill. The restaurant was opened by renowned ( Okay, I only found about him when I googled him) chef named Luke Dale-Roberts. He describes the restaurant and more specifically the food as : “Its serious, fun. Our food is free to roam in whichever direction. If there is no immediate smile as we create a new dish then we are on the wrong track. I want guests to be surprised and delighted, to wonder what ingredients we have used and how we made it. It should be an adventure!”
So let my taste adventure begin…
I dressed smart-casual ( stretchy clothes – i,e smart-casual fat pants) and we sat at the bar overlooking the open – plan kitchen. The restaurant is primarily industrial looking with brick walls, oak beams, ducts and pipes exposing the rawness of the building. The decor and furniture appears rustic with its rough and rusted appearance. The actual restaurant appears small and intimate and only seats 65 guests.
I thoroughly enjoyed sitting at the wrap around bar as I could watch the chefs create their dishes. The restaurant does vegetarian options as their red meat is not halal. The vegetarian menu is not on on-line but let me just say that the description does not even give the dishes justice. Everything they described on the menu is a simplistic view of what actually arrives infront of you.
The flavors and presentation of the dishes was what I can only describe as master pieces. No dish was better than the other and every single one had its own uniqueness. Every bite was better than the last. The dishes appear tiny, but they are so rich that before you know it, you are extremely full before the dessert comes. Even though the menu says 5 dishes , I think we were given about ten dishes as they bring “pallet cleansers” and freebies between the meals. So if you divide R590 by 10 then its R59 a meal…. now that’s not so bad.
The only dish that i did not enjoy because i do not believe in mixing vegetables with ice-cream and that was the Rhubarb dessert. It was awful. I had food envy when I saw the chocolate dessert. So if you are going to try this place out, I highly recommend the chocolate dessert because as they say… a balanced diet is chocolate in both hands. So why not indulge.
They say food is fuel. After my experience at the TEST kitchen…. food was therapy 🙂
– XOXOX Jee
Dinner: 19:00- 21:00
The Test Kitchen
The Old Biscuit Mill
375 Albert Road
+27 (0) 21 447 2337
Bookings are taken between 08:00 and 17:00 Monday to Saturday.
Images self taken