After the nationwide lockdown and the forced closure of many a restaurant, Luke Dale Roberts and his team have been hard at work adapting to the current times — and re-evaluating their offerings to cater for the change in the wants, needs and requirements of fine-dining patrons. First it was delivery boxes of gourmet goods, then it was The Pot Luck Club at home, and just last month, The Test Kitchen reopened with their new concept, The Test Kitchen Origins. Now, the team has a new reason to celebrate, having opened The Shortmarket Grill in November last year — a transformation of the famed The Shortmarket Club.
The space opened its doors as the reincarnated The Shortmarket Grill, with an upmarket, brasserie-styled menu that’ll lend itself seamlessly to the venue, décor, and location of what was and will likely continue to be one of the cities trendiest and most acclaimed eateries.
“I think there is an opportunity for a no frills, honest grill. The Shortmarket Grill will fit in well with our cluster of restaurants and offer diners a comforting experience in a lavish environment”, says Dale Roberts.
Drawing inspiration from iconic eateries the world over, the aim is to create a comfortable, accessible, and somewhat nostalgic environment that is simultaneously understated and decadent. While the culinary concept may be different, guests will be glad to know that the décor — a stunningly contemporary take on gentleman’s clubs and British brasseries — remains the same. The same leather-lined booths, stained glass, wooden accents, and the distinctive wall of butterfly art created from Dale Roberts’s very first menus, will continue to create a familiar, comfortable and sophisticated mood that The Shortmarket diner is used to.
“The Shortmarket is a beautiful restaurant and I feel it moulds effortlessly to the simplicity of excellently sourced meats and fish, simply prepared, and provides an everyday reprieve from complex food,” explains Dale Roberts.
The menu will be simple in theory but accomplished in practice, according to the chef — with top quality, locally sourced ingredients skilfully cooked to perfection. For starters, guests can expect the Shortmarket terrine of the day, crispy calamari and home smoked salmon. While the grill offering will include local Wagyu rump, Iberico pork chops, four-bone French-trim lamb rack, and market fish grilled on the bone among others. Dishes can be ordered with the option of traditional sides such as Joel Robuchon’s mashed potatoes, duck fat roasties and buttered green beans as well as a selection of Dale Robert’s iconic sauces including the famous black pepper and truffle café au lait. End the meal with classic desserts such as chocolate fondants, apple tarte tatin, or a cheese trolley boasting a selection of SA’s best small producers.