Luke Dale-Roberts Q&A

Interviewed by Kim Grové HL recently sat down with Luke Dale-Roberts at The Old Biscuit Mill to get his take on the upcoming Fantastic Eben, Adi and Luke show at the popular Test Kitchen. We got the scoop on what the brand new menu holds in store for restaurant-goers… Why the decision to team up with winemakers Adi Badenhorst and Eben Sadie? As I’ve got to know more winemakers I’ve learnt that they are incredibly creative people. We thought that being in the food and drinks businesses respectively we can come up with something new and exciting. Ultimately the one field complements the other, so the collaboration was the obvious next step. Adi and Eben like to push boundaries and they’ve brought really special wines into the line-up. What will the Fantastic Eben, Adi and Luke Show entail? Eben and I did lunch a while back and after chatting, we decided we wanted to do something collaborative and unformulaic. It’s challenging to try something different, but when you take a bigger risk you can also get a bigger success. Tell us more about the menu for this show? I designed it in a way that it would convey a circus feel – it consists of Acts which are the different courses and I even included strong man images as a design element. There are 13 brand new courses in total, each paired with a wine from Eben and Adi. How do you find the right combination of dishes? I get inspired by whatever I have in mind at that point in time. Sometimes I’ll have up to 10 different dishes going at once and I’ll mix them up and see what the results are. I find that different scenarios give way to a new stimulus, so I’m always experimenting with new combinations and flavours. Tastes dominating the menu? There are Asian flavours as always, but generally it’s just an authentic mix of tastes that will hopefully take people by surprise! Even though each course is paired with a wine, I wouldn’t say that the wine dictates the type of dish or vice versa. Finding the perfect match is really a good combination of the two. Which is your favourite dish and why? The sweetbread and truffle jagerbomb is one of my favourites because it’s so unique. But I enjoy anything that is new at the time. How does the Test Kitchen keep things interesting? Working in such a small space means that we can easily change things around and adapt the feel of the restaurant. I also have good people in the kitchen and on the floor with a will and passion for what they do, so we’re always feeding off one another’s energy so you can expect a lively vibe. Having the crowd watching us at work creates a more stimulating environment because of all the positive feedback we get. It’s great seeing the appreciation that people have. Cooking away from your customers is almost like painting a picture that no one looks at – you want people to understand how the dish came to be. What do you hope foodies will take away from this experience? Above all, I want them to walk away happy, having had a great evening! The Fantastic Eben, Adi and Luke Show starts on 15 June and runs for 6 weeks (dinner only). Guests are advised to arrive at 7pm as it is a 3-hour long menu. Visit The Test Kitchen online for more details or see the menu below* for a taste of what to expect...  

The Fantastic Eben, Adi and Luke show

Act one

Egg and bacon on toast

Mrs kirsten “The old vine chenin”

Chilled oyster and almond cream grated smoked tuna

AA Badenhost (Manthanilla) “Non Vintage” jura style oxidised-in-a-nice-way-white

Tomato and miso cream cheese mousse

Sequillo Cellars Red

Trout and apple with lime

AA Badenhorst “Rejected White” 2008 vintage

Seared tuna loin, soft yuzu dashi jelly, chick peas, soy milk yuba, caviar

2008 Sadie Family Palladius white

Act two

Foie gras and Jerusalem artichoke “mi-cuit”, rabbit ham, braised chestnuts and gently pickled quince

Sequillo White Port 2010 served on crushed ice

Act three

Quail cooked in straw, langoustine, wilted garlic leeks, straw wine, wheat grass and yuzu cream

AA Badenhorst Accepted white 2009


Pan seared veal tongue and scallops, peanut and elephant garlic purée, pancetta, bourbon and American oak velouté, ginger and spring onions

AA Badenhorst 2007 Red Blend


Mandarin and yuzu granita, sour kumquat relish, lemon balm and tonic jelly

Act four

Pan seared linefish, octopus, marjoram and tomato fondue, oyster and pastis hollandaise

Paardeberg Cellar Hands white blend 2010

Chenin Blanc, Grenache blanc and some other stuff

only 40 bottles produced

ex Sadie and Badenhorst Families

Act five

Sweetbread and truffle jagerbomb, celeriac pure, red cabbage

The Sadie Familly Wines Columella 2008

Act six

Xmas gammon, crsipy belly, cashew nut dust, apple kim chi, coco nib jus, tarragon cream

AA Badenhorst Secateurs White


Doenjang and dark beer glazed lamb chop, malted barley rissotto, rosemary and juniper veloute

Paardeberg Cellar Hands Red Blend 2010

Shiraz, Cinsault, Grenache

only 40 bottles produced

ex Sadie and Badenhorst Families

Act seven

Foie gras tiramisu

AA Badenhost “Single Bottling Cinsault”

The Final Act

Quince and rooibos tatin, pinenut parfait, tonka and yogurt foam

Sadie Family Wines Niepoort (Cape Fortified 2008)


Tomato and mozzarella

  *Please note: Menu Subject to Change – Seasonal - Availability The Test Kitchen | Shop 104 A, The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town.