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The Test Kitchens a marriage of Light & Dark

Possibly one of the most anticipated revamps/openings of 2016 has to be the newly renovated space at thee famed Test Kitchen, By Luke Dale Roberts.

What was Luke’s team selling his famous rösti to the hungry foodies at the Old Biscuit Mill markets until a small store became available in the rejuvenated complex  back in the day has now evolved into a multifaceted brand and restaurant group.

The Test Kitchen has been a foodie front runner since it’s inception racking in awards locally and abroad. Think World’s Top 50 at 22nd position currently and Eat Out Restaurant of the year since 2012.slider955-21With so much to live up to and an ambition to make the top ranks of the World’s 50 best Luke, his designer wife Sandalene (creative behind Short Market club) and of course his trusted team of now tweezer chefs took to creating a rejuvented space and a back to “our original journey & concept” approach


I’m cooking more than I’ve ever cooked before and I feel like I’m indulging my first love again.”

-Luke Dale Roberts on his 40 seater new space


From an eatery that originally opened as a project to see how far Chef Luke Dale Roberts could take his food  naturally grew to become the busy restaurant serving 60-65 guests lunch and dinner 5 days a week and almost impossible to visit without a reservation four months prior.


Without darkness one cannot know light: The design concept of Light & Dark

The Dark Room is a to be considered a luxuriously dark space. This is where guests are invited to huddle together, engage with one another and share plates of beautiful finger food. It is here where diners may  indulge in cocktails and the first 7 courses of the 21 course tasting menu.

With a design focus to create a mysteriously atmospheric space so guests can feel a distinct change of pace from the outside world, where food and being present in ones conversation is the focus and in turn creating a sense of ease when one transitions into the light(room).



Pine needle granite, gin and tonic jelly, compressed cucumber


Pan seared duck breast, orange emulsion, turnip and cashew pure, bbq turnip


To create this designed darkness elements such as a burnt wood gravure which dominates the wooden wall in the dark room and jurassic metal pull down platforms by  Egon Tania and Peter Forbes that throw sinister shadows on the refurbished raw-wood clad walls. Floor dressings and Upholstery is in crushed blood reds and burnt bold oranges creating a sense of Phanton drama.

Juxtaposed from the initial journey of courses, The Light Room is airier and poised and more “fine dining” formal. Here you’ll see white washed break, starched white linen, and a voile of blues that remind me or a rustic chic Parisan cafe. Naturally the synonymous chandeliers hang over head from the origional Test Kitchen, some thing old, something new, something borrowed and well a touch of something blue.


A marriage made in heaven.

Tasting Menu R1600 (includes cocktails, a glass of MCC, coffee and after dinner brandy)

Tasting Menu with Wine Paring R2250 (includes cocktails, a glass of MCC, coffee and after dinner brandy)

Tasting Menu with Iconic Wine Paring R2650 (includes cocktails, a glass of MCC, coffee and after dinner brandy)


The Dark Room

The Test Kitchen Billionaires Shortbread


Salted Stone Pine nuts

Morgenster Olives

Local liquorice cured Wagyu biltong


Mason farm baby vegetables with samjang dip, marmite on toast


Pork Scratching, Pint of Guinness, celeriac salt and vinegar


Smoked pickled fish, pickled carrot, dashi crisp


Peking quail sandwich

Smoked lamb, barley and toasted ginger wafer, Xo dressing


Pine needle granite, gin and tonic jelly, compressed cucumber


Light Room Menu

Vanilla Peach and rose scented foie gras

“Raised by Wolves” Muscat de Frontignon 2015

Herb fired tuna loin, miso cured cream cheese, textures of kale, burnt onion

Paul Cluver Dry Encounter Riesling 2015

12 hour smoked seabass, celeriac extraction, frozen horseradish, lime compressed apple

Neil Ellis Amica 2014

Cauliflower and truffle cheese black garlic salsa

Fable Mountain “Jackal Bird” 2012


Pan seared duck breast, orange emulsion, turnip and cashew pure, bbq turnip

Bosman Nero d’Avola 2015

Sweet bread, pine smoked pancetta, pine nut milk, ox heart stuffing

Crystallum Cuvée Cinema 2015

Chamomile ice cream, cardamom and brown butter sponge, toasted sunflower seeds


Summer berries, elderflower ice cream, rose meringue, strawberry and lime snow

Silverthorn Green Man 2013


Test Kitchen Millionaires Shortbread


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