Had a brilliant lunch experience today in Cape Town, at the Short Market Club. It’s a newish restaurant that’s an offspring of two of Cape Town’s most celebrated eateries, the Test Kitchen and the Pot Luck Club. So how did this, the latest venture from Luke Dale-Roberts, stack up? It’s a project he has handed off to his chef Wesley Randles and manager Simon Widdison, and they’ve done a great job.
First of all, the decor. This place just feel special. It has a lovely vintage feel to it. Luxuriously intimate. And the staff are amazing: often service is a tricky thing in South Africa, even in high-end restaurants, but this was a really good experience.
The food is superb. To start, we ordered cape malay crispy octopus and crispy pig cheek, and both were stunning: rich but balanced, and perfectly nuanced.
The main course: we went beef, and the two options we chose (rib on the bone, and sirloin) were lovely, and brilliantly complemented by the utterly more-ish duck fat roast potatoes and the duck fat roasted sprouts. This was pure deliciousness.
Wine? A good list of top local wines. We started with Graham Beck Rosé in coupes, then followed up with Spioenkoep Riesling 2016 by the glass, and a bottle of the fabulous Dark Side Syrah from Craig Hawkins, which was thrilling.
Finally, a negroni. An almost perfect lunch, and by London standards the bill was about half what I’d have expected to pay for this quality of food.