1. FINE DINING AT ITS BEST
The Test Kitchen vs Chef’s Warehouse Beau Constantia
The Test Kitchen is a favourite of fine-dining foodies. It has been the top rated restaurant in the country for three years running. For most of that time, eight years in fact, Ivor Jones was head chef at Test Kitchen before moving to Beau Constantia to head his own kitchen. Beau Constantia has had a meteoric rise on the local rankings, debuting at number four on the Eat Out Top 10.
A meal at The Test Kitchen is the big game trophy of South African fine dining; a meal at Beau Constantia is (for now) a less coveted prize. It shouldn’t be. Everything about Beau Constantia is exceptional well considered, from the panoramic views stretching from the mountains to False Bay and the soft grey and creamy wooden interior, to the exceptional food. It matches, if not surpasses, what is on offer at The Test Kitchen, for roughly half the price.
The Test Kitchen:
The menu: 10 courses.
The wine pairing: Tea pairing, gourmand wine and iconic wine pairing
Price: R1,800 per person, excluding wine.
High point: Moving from the dark room to the light room over cocktails and snacks.
Low point: The format and techniques are well established and it feels formulaic, rather than spontaneous.