The Convo

Who is Luke Dale-Roberts, and why are his restaurants the best?


12 June 2017

With The Test Kitchen, The Shortmarket Club and The Pot Luck Club regularly appearing on the top lists of best restaurants in Cape Town, who is the man behind these culinary delights?

Luke Dale-Roberts was born in Britain and trained at the prestigious Baur Au Lac Hotel in Zurich, Switzerland. Dale-Roberts has cooked at hotels all over the world for the likes of Madonna, Kylie Minogue and Oasis

His first restaurant The Test Kitchen was opened in 2010 and since then has been named one of the best restaurants in Africa and mentioned in Worlds Top 50 List.  The 21-course tasting menu has been heralded as a taste sensation not to be missed. This is more than a restaurant, this is food entertainment.

The next venture for Dale-Roberts was The Pot Luck Club, opened in 2013 on the top floor of the silo at Woodstock’s famous Old Biscuit Mill. The tapas menu is divided into taste categories: bitter, sweet, sour, salty, umami and sweet. The food takes inspiration from all around the globe and adds an Asian touch. This restaurant is worth the visit just for the sweeping, almost 360-degree of the Mother City.

Last but certainly not least for this rising star is The Shortmarket Club. Opened in June 2016 with a central location just off Bree Street. With more conventional, bistro inspired food it’s a step away from the Asian-style tapas that we’ve seen before from Dale-Roberts. This is the only restaurant of the three to offer breakfast, and what a way to start the day! With breakfast dishes such as hot-smoked trout with miso butter and poached eggs, we are waking up early for this one.

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South Africanisms


weird and wonderful things about south africa and its people

"Sharp Sharp" a lovely expression that can mean so many things, but all upbeat and positive. Can be a greeting, a farewell, an agreement or just to express enthusiasm.

Submitted by Shaun O'Connel

"Kwaai" South-African street slang for cool. "I climbed table mountain today and it was Kwaai.

Submitted by nickyd

"Now, Now" - When South Africans say that they will do something "Now, now"... It actually means that they will do it later.

Submitted by Ken McKenzie

We South africans like a bit of a party, and “Epic” denotes a pretty fab party. If its even better than fabulous we may throw in “flipping” before “Epic” . so ... "That Afrika Burn jol was flipping Epic my Bru”

Submitted by Hlumela Masha

"Toyi Toyi" (pronounced TOY-TOY) this is a traditional South African form of protest. It is a knees up dance done by protestors and can be very intimidating.

Submitted by Jaques Du Plooy

“Poepol” is an affectionately used term to denote an idiot. so you might say “ag you poepol you’ve locked the keys in the blerry car! Now we’re really in the dwang!”

Submitted by Jeanne Watson

“Rooineks” Is the name the boers gave to the English settlers in the old days because their necks were always sunburnt from the harsh South African sun. The name stuck and you still see a fair amount of sunburnt necks about.

Submitted by Derrick Le Roux

“laaitie” is an affectionate word for a younger person particularly a son so you might say “My laaitie is taking his bokkie to a flik tonight. “Bokkie” in this context would mean his sweetheart and not his pet Springbok.

Submitted by Eric Van Staden

"What a chop!" A chop is a term used to describe an idiot or a moron. If someone has done something silly, or idiotic, you could call them a chop! for example: John left his car lights on and now his battery is dead... What a chop!

Submitted by Britt Ballantyne

"Shebeen" - a township tavern or drinking hole. Once illegal and frequently raided by the fuzz, shebeens are now pretty groovy hangouts in the townships. Note- AMEX not accepted here.

Submitted by Justice beeba

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