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.
'out-of-this world, around-the-globe gastronomy' Diners venture from all corners of the globe for their much-awaited booking at The Test Kitchen. The Old Biscuit Mill forms the perfect backdrop for cutting-edge cuisine. It is from here that iconic chef Luke Dale Roberts has cemented himself in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Don’t expect fancy, formal fine dining – know that you can immerse yourself in a fun, interactive experience that may change the way you feel about food. Take your seat in the dark room, it is here that you can sip on a zesty cocktail and devour canapés that have been inspired by Luke’s travels. The ever-present billionaire’s shortbread from Scotland is your starting point, and via Korea, England, Ethiopia and Mauritius, you’ll eventually land in India. As you are welcomed into the light room for the second sequence of your epicurean venture, look left at the open kitchen to witness perfection at play; the kitchen is a hive of ever-increasing activity. A tea, gourmand or iconic wine pairing will partner your array of sumptuous dishes, uniquely plated. Carefully orchestrated, the dishes start with subtle notes like the smoked scallop with pea and a lemon-balm dressing; a morel escabeche and a mushroom burger that will have you calling for more. Move onto a lobster salad with coconut and Thai aromatics in which your every sense will be heightened due to vivid variation in taste, temperature and texture. All elements are harmonized with perfection. Each nuance and note is not to be missed. Expect ‘pap en vleis’ or a dish of 18 components like the rabbit and ham in two servings. Tableside service and an intimate touch of theatre elevates the experience into stellar. Service is informative, well-synchronized and flawless, and at times fun. The tendency of alternating interactive and simpler courses, works perfectly. Chef Luke and his head chef Cuan Butterworth are both of British origin yet play fancifully with African flavours. “We like to reflect both our backgrounds, and also what is local,” says Cuan. Pop-ups like ‘Ye Olde Test Kitchen’ pub lunches are real crowd-pleasers, showing their heritage and constant desire to innovate. A light dessert, and then a dark, both heavenly and not too sweet, before a millionaire makes its final, indelible mark on an unforgettable culinary journey. "We are constantly experimenting, always trying something new." Chef Luke Dale Roberts