Potted Lango
Potted Lango | Photo by Andy Lund

Innovation and evolution are two staples of the successful restaurateur. Luke Dale Roberts has embodied these attributes over the years, creating restaurants that continue to not push boundaries, but create them for every aspiring chef that steps out of his shadow. On occasion however, inspiration comes not from leaping forward, but looking back.

Luke grew up in Punnetts Town, East Sussex. A small village that in his own words, “had about 15 pubs in a mile’s radius” from his home. Having been immersed in the British pub culture for much of his youth, he had been mulling the idea of creating a modern-day pub-food experience for some time. Recently, seeing a demand grow for more accessible, hearty meals, Luke, never one to idle, decided to create a unique, yet age-old, dining experience stirred by his own nostalgia and the simple question, “Is it tasty?”

“This is not The Test Kitchen in terms of multi-course, multi-sensory experience, but we are offering the same degree of skill and attention to detail to good, old-fashioned, honest food” – Luke Dale Roberts

Fish & Chips, Kedgeree Soup and Venison with Winter Roast Ve
(Left to Right) Fish & Chips, Kedgeree Soup and Venison with Winter Roast Veg | Photo by Andy Lund

With “Ye Olde Test Kitchen”, Luke seeks to create excellence out of simplicity and innovation out of the ordinary. It is a vehicle catered to the guests’ wants and needs as well as a personal project of challenging and pushing his chefs to create something different from his youth. The result is a dining experience where the bells and whistles ring loudly and clearly in your head, even when you cannot see them.

The menu will consist of a set number of rotating a la carte dishes, served as starters, mains and desserts, with a range of sides. Starters will consist of dishes such as Pressed Terrine of the day, Salt Beef Ploughman and Potted Lango, mains of Mini Beef Wellington, Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks and, of course, Fish and Chips, with desserts including a cheeseboard, Sticky Toffee pudding and a crumble of the day.

There will be no set wine pairings, but Tinashe, The Test Kitchen’s renowned sommelier, will be preparing a bespoke wine list comprising some special vintages and bin ends. Although space does not allow anything on tap there will be selection of craft beers available by the bottle.

Launching on the 21st of August, the “Ye Olde Test Kitchen” pop-up will open its doors for every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, lunch only for two months. Located in the Old Biscuit Mill at The Test Kitchen bookings for seats in the Light Room will be available online, while walk in guests will be welcomed in the Dark Room.

Please note that Ye Olde Test Kitchen will be able to cater to limited dietary requirements and that Ye Olde Test Kitchen closes at 15h30.

Malva Pudding
Malva Pudding | Photo by Andy Lund

BOOKINGS

Reservations for Ye Olde Test Kitchen are made via their website: http://www.yeoldetestkitchen.co.za Bookings will open on 16 July from 08h00 South African time). They will not take reservations via email, however, they will still be able to assist telephonically + 27 (021) 447 2337

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