The maturity and diversity of the food here has given the city a well-earned reputation
Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler
We've heard the setting is pretty cool. What's it like?
Like its sister restaurant the Test Kitchen, the Pot Luck’s location in the Old Biscuit Mill, a retail complex in a restored biscuit factory, has aided Woodstock’s gentrification and rise to prominence as a urban hub for design, art, food, furniture and fashion.
A glass elevator takes you up six levels to the restaurant perched on top of an old flour silo. Up here, 180-degree views of the city, harbor and Table mountain are breathtaking by day or night. It has a New York loft feel about it, with a small bar, lots of little tables packed into a small floor space, and an open kitchen illuminated by studio lighting that resembles a movie set. Owner Luke Dale-Roberts appointed a new head chef in 2019, Jason Kosmas. While he continues to draw menu inspiration from South America to Southeast Asia, Jason has also introduced classic Mediterranean flavors reflecting his Greek and Italian heritage. Everything about the stylish spot is bespoke, from the staff uniforms (tunic shirts designed by Sandalene Dale-Roberts, along with the interiors), to the crockery.
And who will you find dining here?
From hipster professionals to an older, more mature crowd, everybody is reveling in the unique venue, delicious rounds of food and matching drinks. Families are often taking up the bigger tables—middle-age parents educating and impressing their older offspring with their insider restaurant pick.
Do you have a drink recommendation?
Definitely a grapefruit martini, served in a delicate, gold-rimmed glass. Actually, any of the potent kitchen cocktails that are mixed to perfection and served in antique glasses. Top wines, many of them served by the glass, have also been chosen to complement the bold flavors.
What about for food? What's being served?
Sharing-plates are divided into flavor profiles, namely salty, sour, bitter, sweet and umami, which means you can latch on to one theme for the meal or mix it up. Eternal favorites include the fish tacos with ceviche, black bean puree, avocado, sour cream and fresh chilli; the street-food fish sliders (battered fish served in a steamed bun); and beef tataki with hoisin dressing, coriander pesto and ponzu mayo. Lighter plates for summer include the likes of linefish escabeche with citrus and saffron, basil oil and fresh grapefruit. End with ice-cream sandwiches or a sweeter cocktail.
Would you give the front-of-house folks a thumbs up?
The wait staff works extremely hard, keeping the pace of the meal ticking along steadily to ensure that the first sitting (6 p.m.) is out in time for the second sitting a couple of hours later. They all really know their menu, can advise on dishes that contrast or complement each other, and can also recommend optimum drinks pairings, from cocktails to wine and craft beers.
So, sum it up: Why should we come here?
Owner Luke Dale-Roberts is doing some of the very best food in South Africa and the Pot Luck Club, opened in 2011, is still dubbed ‘the coolest place to be’ (or to see and be seen) in Cape Town. Choose the Pot Luck when you want a great lunch or dinner out in an edgy, talked-about setting, but expect the food to be world class.