Chef Luke Dale-Roberts and head chef Candice Philip are taking their collaborative energy to new gourmet heights in the newly introduced “Four Hands” menu at the über-stylish Luke Dale Roberts X Saxon restaurant located at the boutique Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa in Johannesburg.
Luke Dale Roberts X Saxon in Johannesburg has already firmly established itself as a serious gourmet destination in a short period of time. Re-opening after renovations on 3 May 2016 after its enormous pop-up success, the restaurant has already scooped up both local and international accolades, from being named the “World’s Leading Fine Dining Hotel Restaurant” by the World Travel Awards to winning the “Best Hotel Restaurant” award by Condé Nast GOURMET South Africa at the end of 2016.
With the new “Four Hands” menu, Dale-Roberts wants to treat diners with dishes created by him and by Philip, showcasing the talents and creative energy the two chefs share.
“By creating a smaller version of the nine-course tasting menu, we can give our guests a variety of taste experiences each highlighting our different styles and flavours,” explains Dale-Roberts.
This five-course menu will also change more regularly than the gourmet menu, as it lends itself to showing off the fruits of Dale-Roberts’s and Philip’s experimentation and play in the kitchen. The creation of a menu where diners can experience a variety of styles of food, makes this an especially exciting new gourmet experience.
Chef Philips is excited to share this new menu, and says: “I enjoy being able to offer our guests a tapestry of flavour combinations in two different styles.”
Some of the highlights from Dale-Roberts on the menu clearly reflect his unerring love for Asian influences, as well as his experimentation in smoking and cooking ingredients in unusual ways. The beef tataki fires on all cylinders with the addition of tangy goat’s cheese and semi-dried tomato, while the finishing flourish of aubergine purée and smoked paprika adds delicious depth to the dish. With a nod to the far east, the scallop and crab ravioli with Asian cabbage, cucumber and kimchi plays with the palate, while the springbok served with ash-baked beetroot, ricotta and peanuts is earthy and redolent with deep, mature flavours. No menu would be complete without a dish created with “Luke’s XO dressing”: this time, it’s lamb scottati. The addition of rich smoked bone marrow and fresh and zesty radish salad is a symphony of balance.
Head chef Philip’s dishes are no less exciting, and her light touch and playful use of delicate flavours to create rewarding dishes is equally memorable. The seabass tartare with pickled shimeji mushrooms, lovage pesto and garlic Catalan is light yet wonderfully moreish. Philip and her team’s desserts continue to delight, working together to produce the likes of Dill & Litchi: yoghurt crème, dill jelly, compressed apple and litchi sorbet – a dish bursting with flavour, texture and freshness. While the heady Rum & Raspberry delights those with a sweet tooth, showcasing their take on a raspberry financier, served with burnt plum and rum ice cream.
The curried carrot dish is a light delight, and was adapted by Philip from a dish originally conceptualised by Dale-Roberts. Compressed apple, honeycomb and lime add fresh zing to expertly curried carrots.
It is this constant experimentation in the kitchen at Luke Dale Roberts X Saxon that gives this restaurant its exciting culinary edge. The collaboration between Philips and Dale-Roberts results not only in extraordinary dishes to complement the world-class restaurant setting, but ensures diners remain delighted and surprised by the innovative and superbly crafted cuisine at this big-hitting restaurant.
Luke Dale Roberts X Saxon is open for dinner from Tuesdays to Saturdays. Bookings are essential. The five-course Tasting menu, Vegetarian menu and Pescatarian menu are currently priced at R790; R960 with tea pairing; R1,150 paired with local wines; and R1,280 paired with international wines. For reservations, call (011) 292 6000 or email to email@example.com