The Pot Luck Club

Luke Dale-Roberts’ new-born in Cape Town is a tapas bar with a delicious Asian offer

Some of the Asian tapas served in Luke Dale-Robert

Some of the Asian tapas served in Luke Dale-Roberts’s new-born restaurant. The chef is already known thanks to his Test Kitchen in Cape Town. With a concept inspired by American dinners in the Fifties, the menu of the Pot Luck Club is divided into 6 parts: salty, sour, sweet, bitter, umami and dessert, tel. + 27.(0)21.4470804 (photo

Luke Dale-Roberts’s latest born is a refined tapas bar on the last floor of the Biscuit Mill, the industrial building where his other restaurant, The Test Kitchen, is also located. The Pot Luck dinners were the popular in the 1950s in the United States when each guest contributed with some dish, but it was most of all an occasion to show off some new dish or recipe. The Pot Luck Club, in which each chef cooks in view and shares the show with the guests, has a beautiful view overlooking Cape Town. To get there, you take a glass lift and arrive to a spacious place, decorated with different pieces of furniture which create a nice retro-effect, very 1950s, in fact.

The menu is clearly inspired by Asian cuisine and is divided into six different sections: Salty, Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Umami and Sweet Endings. For each section there is a number of preparations linked to the main effect of this element on the palate. Therefore in the Salty section we can find grilled prawns with butter with Tom Ka Gai (with Thai flavours of coconut, lemongrass and galangal) and roasted peanuts, Korean fried chicken in pineapple sauce with miso and garlic-salt. The Sour section offers fish tacos, (superb) mussels in Thai stock, fried squid with turmeric and ginger and grilled fish with a black pepper Thai sauce. The Sweet section offers two choices: crispy duck rolls and glazed beef chops. The Bitter flavour only includes a Campari, orange, apple and gin sorbet, as a pause between one experience and the other. The most experimental category is the Umami: Millet, elfin salad with tahini sauce, Mushroom bruschetta with lemon, Parmesan and powdered porcini (one of the most delicious dishes in the menu), beef fillet with black pepper and truffles. And in the evening there’s also Luke’s mythical foie gras.

The cakes are a little more traditional. Last time the choice was between an almond and quince apple cake, an orange and miso cheesecake or some fruits of the forest with meringue and fig and olive oil ice-cream. The menu, which changes continually, is clearly dedicated to those who want to take a long gastronomic journey across Asia and it perfectly succeeds in its aim. The mix of spices, textures, colours and flavours is so varied that it’s elating at the very least. Besides, the tapas-formula is excellent as it allows you to taste many different things. Even those who are not too adventurous can find some “easier” dishes, such as the pig bacon with red cabbage, the selection of farm bread, olive and pesto or the potatoes served with smoked salt.

Pot Luck Club offers draught beer served at a beautiful bar counter at the entrance of the restaurant but there’s also a good wine list (though a little pricey). Prices for each dish vary from 3-4 euros to 9-12 for the more selective choices (such as the fillet or the foie gras). Considering the complexity of the dishes and the quality of the ingredients, this restaurant certainly offers an excellent quality-price ratio. The only flaw of this restaurant is the long waiting list. Pot Luck is open both at lunchtime and in the evening and there are two rounds too, but you need to book long in advance. Closed on Sunday nights.

The Pot Luck Club
Silo Top Floor
The Old Biscuit Mill, 373 – 375 Albert road
Woodstock, Cape Town
+ 27.(0)21.4470804

Strong light out of the window

Strong light out of the window

Luke Dale-Roberts

Luke Dale-Roberts


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