The Test Kitchen, which opened in November 2010, has the celebrated chef (Luke Dale-Roberts) cooking at his most creative in a distinctive contemporary space.
AN EXPERIMENTAL, EXCEPTIONAL ROUND-THE-WORLD CULINARY ADVENTURE Lauded as one of the worlds top 50 restaurants, in the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, global icon and British-born chef Luke Dale Roberts hones and shares his craft, constantly innovating. This modern, industrial-feel precinct is the perfect platform for creativity. Dont expect traditional, formal fine dining – guests who have flown half way around the world to this destination feed off the palpable energy and excitement. The unforgettable epicurean journey starts in the dark room over a tangy cocktail, where a map indicates the places that inspired the small plates. The delectable coconut langoustine is reminiscent of the successful pop-up executed in Mauritius in 2018. A wave of seven canapes include indelible elements like Lukes legendary billionaires shortbread, a savoury delight that has cemented itself as a signature dish, “Its a quirky starter and I am not bored with it,” says Luke. Decor lifts from dark, edgy and interesting to the light room, where tables view the action of the open kitchen. Counter seats offer the joy of watching Luke and the team at play, exercising precision. The light room menu, more formal, is perfectly paired with either gourmand or iconic wines, or fragrant teas. Expect out-of-this-world surprises in taste, texture and temperatures. Courses finished with flair at your table will be interspersed with others quite simply plated. Nothing is contrived or overdone, “The food is real, well-grounded and solid,” claims Luke. He believes that chefs should adapt to their surroundings as much as possible to be local, but when needing a variation in protein and for deliciousness, he uses premium ingredients like Alaskan king crab. This showcases the mantra of this establishment, which is to boldly experiment with ‘boundary-less cooking, rather than being pigeon-holed. Look out for his inventive takes on traditional dishes like beef with horseradish and Yorkshire pud, and savoury tiramisu. Seamless service is world-class too. “We want people to feel comfortable, not to be overwhelmed by an onslaught. The theatre aspect of food can be overdone, like a clown trying too hard to make you laugh. Its not about you, its about them!” Chef Luke Dale Roberts