What a shock announcement it was today: The Test Kitchen, South Africa’s best known restaurant internationally, having climbed up (and down) the World’s 50 Best Restaurants ladder over the past 11 years, and having worn the Best South African Restaurant crown for six years running, until 2017, is to close down at the end of September. This was announced in Cape Town today.
Top Ten restaurants which have also closed down since the beginning of Lockdown are Mosaic at The Orient and Waterkloof. Ironically both Mosaic and The Test Kitchen announced in 2019 that they would no longer accept nominations for The Eat Out Awards, the 2019 awards being the last to have taken place, due to the Covid pandemic and impact thereof on the restaurant industry since the Lockdown commenced on 27 March 2020.
In an interview with Chef Luke Dale Roberts, Eat Out made the announcement late this afternoon. He said that he needs his restaurant to be fully booked for Lunch and Dinner, a step backwards for him and his team, and placing pressure on them.
Dale Roberts has a number of plans up his sleeve, including offering dinners with his Pot Luck Club chef, some projects in Johannesburg, and investing in Fledgelings, in mentoring the staff.
Chef Luke concluded: ‘It’s been the most rewarding journey. The Test Kitchen afforded me the opportunity to redefine what I was doing with food. It has been the most wonderful experience being able to have free reign to create with flavours as I wish for these 11 years, and I have enjoyed every minute of it’.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.whaletalesblog.com www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein, My Cape Town Guide/Mein Kapstadt Guide Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein @MyCapeTownGuide