Friday, December 3, 2010

The Test Kitchen

Last night was definitely not good for the waste line, but extremely good for the soul and the excitement of experiencing truly great cuisine.  Luke Dale Roberts' Test Kitchen completely lives up to expectations.  At the Biscuit Mill, in a very intimate space, you can see and almost touch the chefs as they literally perform for the diners.  The operation is slick, the service excellent, the sommelier delightful and very knowledgeable.  There were about 20 people dining last night.  Our table of 8 had the 7 course tasting menu.  We started off with a fabulous cocktail: Saki and Elderberry Mojito. Each couple brought a great bottle of wine and we were all quite excited at Michael Le Borgne's contributions of a Meerlust Pinot Noir 1998 and Meerlust Merlot 1989!  Both were excellent. We were all quite pleased with my choice of the Cape Point Semillon.  Well worth a try!  What made the evening for me special was the complete unpretentiousness of fine dining.  The focus was the food, not the personalities of the chefs.  The innovation in ingredient combinations sometimes worked and other times almost worked, but every dish was spoken about and discussed with interest and amazement by our table of foodies.  I can say no more than to go to the Test Kitchen for an unforgettable evening.

Beetroot Mousse, Slow Cooked Baby Beets, Lemon and Thyme puree, Horseradish and mixed nut crumble, fennel confit, Puff shards

Pan Seared scallops with Miso, Peas, Broad Beans and Peppermint

Trout Tartare, Green apple, lime, Creme fraiche, miso cured aubergine, flat parsely, creamy miso dressing

Quail in three ways, languoustine, liquorice jus, miso, corn and ginger emulsion, lime gremolata

Luke plating up

Such a great team of chefs

What a beautiful Piece of art.  I love the pea shoots!

Dessert of Lemon Tart with Nectarine and Elderflower.  so fresh but no shortage of a sweet end to the meal.

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