Award winning chef Luke Dale-Roberts looks set to start 2012 on a high note with his new eatery The Pot Luck Club & Gallery, an additional source of culinary and visual inspiration for diners.
While many of us are preparing to enjoy much-awaited time off, chef Luke Dale-Roberts will be hard at work, doing what he loves best. Sourcing the finest produce available and transforming it into a mouthwatering edible experience.
Menu will consist of a multitude of 'small plates' of modern global dishes. There will also be a dedicated cocktail bar and an accompanying list of boutique wines to complement the varied edible creations on the menu. Diners can expect a mix of both fusion and classically influenced dishes on the menu, from the likes of Luke's signature Asian-influenced pork belly served with XO dressing, red cabbage and apple slaw to Cumberland sausage and red onion rolls and sophisticated servings of foie gras served tableside to guests.
Originating in the United States in the '50s, Pot Luck dinners were evenings that saw guests contributing a variety dishes to make up the food at the social event. Nowadays this is seen as a customary way to entertain but back then it was a novelty and a chance for friends to show off and share their culinary prowess. At The Pot Luck Club, Luke and his chefs will be able to share their talents with a grateful audience who can order as little or as much off the extensive and ever changing menu.
Also including the likes of duck spring rolls and spiced fish tacos, the selection of plates that can be passed around a table for tasting will be varied and based on what's available on the day. "We'll be cooking some of our dishes on the fly but without forgetting the quality and flavour balances that are everything to us", says Luke of the concept that is very much about providing the chefs in his brigade an opportunity to experiment and develop their repertoire while working alongside one of the best talents in the business.
The open plan kitchen and bar, milled steel tabletops,with an amazing view of Cape Town there's no doubt that The Pot Luck Club & Gallery will be the city's sexiest new spot, designed for laidback dining and featuring equally well dressed plates. The idea says Luke is for people to pop in after work, perhaps for an early bite or maybe a late dinner and to eat as little or as much as they like – those in the mood for impromptu dining or drinks will be glad to hear that there will be plenty of counter seating to cater for walk ins while the rest of the restaurant's tables will of course be available for bookings.
So why a new restaurant? "To be honest, any businessman will tell you that it would make sense to simply expand The Test Kitchen but I'm a chef and I like to cook and develop recipes and make new discoveries and The Pot Luck Club will offer both myself and the chefs working here exactly those opportunities", says Luke. The casual eatery will expand on the fresh and seasonal focus seen at The Test Kitchen but will allow those in the kitchen to experiment on a far greater scale. This is certainly a new concept for Cape Town diners – while there are those offering tapas menus, the small plates philosophy that offers an element of fine dining and sophisticated flavour marriages is absolutely new and devotees to the Luke Dale-Roberts brand of dining will no doubt be thrilled.