Is Chef Luke Dale Roberts scaling down his Restaurant Group? Salsify at the Roundhouse no longer part of the Group!



A surprise unplanned and delightful lunch at Salsify at The Roundhouse on Friday generated some surprise information from staff of the restaurant, based on questions I posed, hearing rumours about further plans for the restaurant.

Salsify at The Roundhouse is no longer part of the LDR Group, the name for Chef Luke’s collection of restaurants, exiting the Group since the end of last year the Salsify staff told us proactively. Chef Ryan Cole heads up the restaurant, retaining the same three backers who helped start the restaurant with Chef Luke almost three years ago.

Restaurant Review: Salsify at The Roundhouse brings Fine-Dining to Camps Bay, a crazy contrast of colonial and contemporary experiences!

A surprise is that Salsify is still listed on the LDR Group website. When I queried the staff about this, I was told that an announcement about the independence of Salsify would be made shortly.

Based on a reliable rumour, we asked about Chef Ryan’s involvement in a new restaurant forming part of a revitalized Shimmy Beach Club, to change its name, to continue offering a beach club, with the new restaurant (but not to be branded Salsify), a music recording studio, and more.  This project is said to open at the end of this year, we were told at Salsify.

As Chef Ryan was not at the restaurant on Friday afternoon, I asked him some questions via Direct Message on Instagram. They were:

Congrats on your new ownership 
Why has Luke let go of the restaurant? 
Is Luke still in Cape Town? I’ve heard that he is operating overseas ?
Please tell me more about what you are doing at Shimmy?’

Chef Ryan was extremely guarded in his reply, not as sharing as his staff was to us at Salsify on Friday, but he did not deny any of the developments:

Hi Chris.

Thank you so much, I’m really glad you enjoyed your time at Salsify on Friday.
Regarding your question about Luke and his plans: as you know, Luke is one of my closest friends as well as a mentor, but it’s definitely best to check in with his team regarding his current movements.
As for Salsify, we have no particular news at this point and we are just grateful it’s business as usual right now – it has been a crazy 12 months. As soon as there are changes worthy of discussion, you will be among the first to be updated!
Keep well

Chef Luke is rumoured to be operating in the Middle East at the moment. Interesting is two developments in his LDR Group:

  1.  The Shortmarket Club is ‘ Indefinitely closed’ according to its website yet is still listed on the LDR Group website.  The restaurant was the first to close down permanently just after Lockdown started at the end of March 2020, then reopened in December last year, and now has closed down permanently again!
  2.  In The Shortmarket Club space he has set up The Test Kitchen Fledgelings, serving Beef, Chicken, and Vegetarian Burgers on Fridays only!

Is Chef Luke leaving our country permanently? Is The Pot Luck Club the next to be closed? From owning the most restaurants at one stage, he is down to only two restaurants : The Test Kitchen and The Pot Luck Club, the website not providing an honest picture of his restaurant stable!  These are questions I would like to know the answers to.


Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein @MyCapeTownGuide



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