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The Test Kitchen

Cape Town, South Africa


Innovative flavours coupled with impactful presentations blaze a trail

British-born Luke Dale-Roberts spent much of his career working across Europe and Asia before settling in his adopted home of South Africa. And his travels are certainly reflected in the food he serves at The Test Kitchen in Cape Town, where menus comprise an eclectic mix of international flavours, ingredients and cooking techniques.

Rooted in fusion cuisine, Dale-Roberts’ very personal style of cooking is as bold and inventive as it is intelligent and skilful, confidently marrying imaginative flavour combinations with artistic presentations, turning dishes into culinary works of art. Unusual plates and bowls are designed to accompany and enhance dishes, enticing all of the senses. A case in point is his TK Concrete Ball, which sees two steaming concrete flowerpots arrive at the table containing kingklip grilled on hot charcoal. The finished plate pairs the fish alongside a snoek medley, black forest ham and fish jus, roasted potato skin purée and smoked red onion foam.

Located at Cape Town’s Old Biscuit Mill in the city’s up-and-coming arts district of Woodstock, the restaurant reflects its artistic surroundings in both its cuisine and décor, with its massive open-plan kitchen allowing diners to be part of the creative process. Offering five- and nine-course tasting menus at dinner as well as a five-course and an à la carte menu at lunch, a meal at The Test Kitchen is an experience packed full of imagination and flair.

Images: Luke Dale-Roberts

On the pass

  • Luke Dale-Roberts (pictured) and head chef Ivor Jones

Pastry chef

Style of food

  • Eclectic international

Standout dish

  • ‘Blinissoise’ – chilled blini creme, barbecued langoustine ‘en gelée’ langoustine tataki, liquorice powder