world's best restaurants test kitchen

A South African restaurant has just made it onto the “top 50 best restaurants of the world” list.


The latest edition of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants was announced on Tuesday night in Spain – with the top four restaurants being in Italy, Spain, France and the US but the best placement (for us) was the inclusion of the only South African (and African) restaurant on the list – The Test Kitchen.

The Test Kitchen, which opened in November 2010, has the celebrated chef cooking at his most creative in a distinctive contemporary space.

British-born Luke Dale Roberts trained in Switzerland and England before heading to Asia for a five year stint, launching several restaurants in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and the Philippines. “My time in Europe taught me to cook; my time in Asia broadened my horizons”, says Luke.

Since coming to Cape Town in 2006, Luke has consistently proven his world-class standing with a string of awards and accolades. A four year tenure as the executive chef of La Colombe restaurant at the Constantia Uitsig wine estate culminated in winning the title of Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in Africa and Middle East 2010 and an amazing 12th place in the overall San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2010.

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Luke has continued to garner awards at The Test Kitchen, winning the title Chef of the Year at the 2011 Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards. The Test Kitchen moved up from No.2 in 2011 to win the Restaurant of the Year in 2012 Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards.

“When Luke is working closely with his team it seems more like he’s dancing with them – it’s a performance! … his thrilling flavours have pushed the boundaries and eating his food is simply heart-stopping.” – Abigail Donnelly, Editor and Awards judge, Eat Out

Though Luke is no stranger to the The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, having placed La Colombe in the Top 50 in both 2009 and 2010, the award is an enormous accolade for a young, independent restaurant.

As Luke says: ‘What we do at The Test Kitchen is always a bit different. That is our constant. ” Luke adds: “I need to move forward. Everything in my life has to be about progress. And quality.’

Luke opened his own restaurant because he craved complete freedom for his creativity and talent. He has succeeded in achieving fantastic recognition of that in under three years at The Test Kitchen.

The Test Kitchen, as its name implies, affords Luke the opportunity for maximum innovation as a chef and the dishes are a pure reflection of his creativity with flavours and ingredients.

“The most important thing is flavour, and layers of flavour” explains Luke.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018:

  1. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
  2. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
  3. Mirazur, Menton, France
  4. Eleven Madison Park, New York, USA
  5. Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand
  6. Central, Lima, Peru
  7. Maido, Lima, Peru
  8. Arpège, Paris, France
  9. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain
  10. Asador Etxebarri, Axpe, Spain
  11. Quintonil, Mexico City, Mexico
  12. Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, USA
  13. Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico
  14. Steirereck, Vienna, Austria
  15. White Rabbit, Moscow, Russia
  16. Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy
  17. Den, Tokyo, Japan
  18. Disfrutar, Barcelona, Spain
  19. Geranium, Copenhagen, Denmark
  20. Attica, Melbourne, Australia
  21. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, Paris, France
  22. Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
  23. Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy
  24. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai, China
  25. Cosme, New York, USA
  26. Le Bernardin, New York, USA
  27. Boragó, Santiago, Chile
  28. Odette, Singapore, Singapore
  29. Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen, Paris, France
  30. D.O.M., São Paulo, Brazil
  31. Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain
  32. Tickets, Barcelona, Spain
  33. The Clove Club, London, England
  34. Alinea, Chicago, USA
  35. Maaemo, Oslo, Norway
  36. Reale, Castel Di Sangro, Italy
  37. Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin, Germany
  38. Lyle’s, London, UK
  39. Astrid y Gastón, Lima, Peru
  40. Septime, Paris, France
  41. Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo, Japan
  42. The Ledbury, London, UK
  43. Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain
  44. Mikla, Istanbul, Turkey
  45. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, UK
  46. Saison, San Francisco, USA
  47. Schloss Schauenstein, Fürstenau, Switzerland
  48. Hiša Franko, Kobarid, Slovenia
  49. Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand
  50. The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa

Sources: World’s Top 50
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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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