It’s a smaller eatery than the previous one at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock in Cape Town. This one is modern and edgy, it’s dark and moody with interesting burnt timber artworks running along one wall. There’s even a larger than life one of chef Luke himself.
It's a simple design but so evocative with light wooden floors and to one side a bar with an old yellowwood counter blending old and new so well. Chef Luke’s wife Sandalene is responsible for the interior design. She’s played her trump card here. What strikes one is the open kitchen. A smaller replica of the one in Woodstock, it’s just the ticket for the theatre of food.
And what a spectacular 12-course tasting menu it was. Kicking off with decadent mouthfuls, the delights kept rolling — like the blue cheese rosemary and shallot puffs served with an olive martini; paper thin crisp slices of pork scratchings with a clever beer foam to dip them in; smoked quail leg pancake with plum hoisin and lamb rib and white anchovy Saam.
With each course came excellent wines, the waiters working like wizards making the experience seamless yet sensational. Highlights, there were so many: the Japanese gazpacho with crème fraîche sorbet brought gasps of deliciousness, the paella style risotto, crayfish carpaccio, sizzling lemon and calamari oil together with the Almenkerk chardonnay 2016 memorable, and it just kept coming. For those who prefer no alcohol, each course is matched with an interesting array of teas.
It was a really sweet ending to a gastronomic journey — one we foodies at one table haven't experienced before in Joburg, as we savoured the velvety melt-in-the-mouth upside down lemon tart with pretty purple shiso sorbet, the best rendition ever. This was no test, it was fine dining at its very best.