Rosebank could very well be on its way to becoming SA’s new, top foodie destination as one of the country’s best chefs opens the latest iteration of his world-famous restaurant in the suburb.
Chef Luke Dale Roberts is set to open the doors of The Test Kitchen Carbon within the trendy Oxford Park precinct and as was the case with each version of its Cape Town predecessor, the new venture will see The Test Kitchen evolve once again.
“I am more excited than I’ve been in a while... I feel inspired again,” says Dale Roberts of this new project.
The Test Kitchen Carbon, opening on March 14, will be a reincarnation rather than a recreation of its namesake, and while harnessing the same skill, technique and diligence of the original, it’ll offer up a completely unique culinary experience of its own.
“This is not a relaunch or a redo. This is not the same as The Test Kitchen,” adds the chef “it is a new chapter in our creative journey.”
The addition of the word “carbon” not only mirrors the space’s dark and chic interior, but is also somewhat sentimental. To the chef it’s a representation of the restaurant industry’s journey over the last three years — as the embers die down and turn to ash, carbon is the residue, and though what came before it may be forever changed, it allows for a fresh start, new growth, innovation, and inspiration.
Chef Tyron Gentry, who has spent the last seven years working closely under Dale Roberts, has been appointed head chef of Carbon and brings with him not only the ability, talent and expertise associated with The Test Kitchen brand but also, and perhaps most importantly, its philosophy of excellence.
The experience begins with a selection of cocktails created by the kitchen and includes libations such as Plum and Jasmine Fizz, Shitake Flip, and Fat Washed Whisky – there’s a strong focus on flavour here with all five tastes (salty, sweet, bitter, sour and umami) used to great effect.
What follows is a multi-sensorial, multi-dish menu, ranging from 10 to 13 courses. Each dish is expertly paired with flagship wines (a variety of fragrant teas are available for pairing as a non-alcoholic option).
As is the Dale Roberts signature, the menu will incorporate modern European and Asian influences, delivering hefty, deep and flavourful cooking.
Expect bite sized pork-scratchings with a beer foam (a favourite from the chef’s dark room/light room era) and smoked quail leg, lacquer and ranch dressing to start.
The small plate courses which follow will include the likes of paella-style risotto with crayfish carpaccio and sizzling lemon and calamari oil, and a lamb rib with white anchovy Ssam smoked pecan Caesar dressing and lamb jus jelly.
The meal finishes with desserts such as upside-down lemon tart with purple shiso sorbet, and chocolate and mascarpone with smoked white chocolate ice cream.
In addition to the food, wine and cocktails, The Test Kitchen Carbon’s resident DJ, Sir LSG, will — for the first time in SA — create a one-of-a-kind curated food and music pairing.
The space, situated across the way from the chef’s first permanent Joburg eatery, The Shortmarket Club, has been designed by HAUS architects in collaboration with Sandalene Dale Roberts, and has been brought to life by myriad artists, designers and artisans.
The Test Kitchen Carbon promises to be a truly spectacular, creative, vibrant and even somewhat daring environment where Dale Roberts will once again, undoubtedly, reconceive the notion of fine dining in SA.
Bookings now open at thetestkitchencarbon.co.za.
Open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner
Shop 14 ground floor, 6 Parks Boulevard, Oxford Parks, Dunkeld, 2196, Johannesburg