The Test Kitchen voted best in Africa at the 2014 World’s 50 Best Restaurants

ANNOUNCED this evening at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014 awards ceremony, South Africa’s finest chef, Luke Dale Roberts has triumphed with his Cape Town restaurant, The Test Kitchen in 48th place and Best in Africa.

Held at London’s historic Guildhall, the event is a who’s who of the global culinary community. Sponsored by San Pellegrino and Aqua Panna and organised by Restaurant magazine, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is an annual snapshot of the opinions and experiences of over 800 international restaurant industry experts.

In addition, London diners were treated to a taste of Dale Roberts’s culinary prowess at an exclusive dining event at The Square restaurant yesterday, on the eve of the announcement of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The Four Hands Banquet saw Dale Roberts joining The Square’s South African born chef Phil Howard to create a spectacular nine-course dinner at the Mayfair establishment which boasts two Michelin stars. The two chefs played with their combined philosophies, with different styles yet similar approaches, it was a gourmet feast to savour.

With The Test Kitchen winning the “Cacao Barry One To Watch Award” last year at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, all eyes have been on Luke to see where The Test Kitchen would place this year, as this award is regarded as an indication that a big jump to the best 50 is imminent. Previously placed at 61 in 2013, and 74 in 2012 after its opening late 2010, the move to number 48 as a ‘New Entry’ is a remarkable achievement. In his previous position at well known Cape restaurant La Colombe in the Constantia winelands, the restaurant reached a remarkable 12th position in 2010.

Dale Roberts ascribes this to the fact that The Test Kitchen, which is located in the gritty, urban area of Woodstock in Cape Town, truly is a unique restaurant: “I’m a non-conformist, something which has got me into a lot of trouble in the past. My vision for The Test Kitchen was to be original in every aspect of the experience. The central purpose of the restaurant is the exploration of flavour. I explore every facet of an ingredient and that philosophy has remained central to the decisions we make in all areas of the restaurant.” These words ring true, with the energy emanating from the open-plan kitchen, delivering multi-course and multi-sensory dining experiences. With a fascinating play on textures, techniques, combinations and flavours plated immaculately, each dish at The Test Kitchen looks and tastes, like a work of art.

The Test Kitchen is not new to accolades, with Dale Roberts having won the local Eat Out DStv Restaurant Awards Chef of the year in 2011, and the restaurant clinching the Eat Out DStv Restaurant Awards Restaurant of the year in 2012 and 2013. Additionally, super-sexy sibling restaurant The Pot Luck Club won the Eat Out DStv Restaurant Awards Boschendal Style Award in 2013.

Dale Roberts clearly has a distinct vision for the future of The Test Kitchen. “I would like to see it continue to grow, evolve and mature. Above all, I have realised that I would like to do this gently so that the process remains a pleasure for all those involved in it.” And a pleasure for guests, it most certainly is.

The Test Kitchen is located at Shop 105a, The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town. To book your table call (27) (21) 447 2337, email or book online via Opening hours: Lunch Tuesday to Saturday: 12.30pm to 2pm and Dinner from Tuesday to Saturday: 7pm to 9.30pm.