No, it’s not my birthday, or Greg’s birthday. I spent my birthday driving part of the way from Jo’burg to Cape Town the last time we were here. For my birthday, Greg had tried to book us into The Test Kitchen in Cape Town, but it is booked out months in advance. As soon as we knew we were coming back, Greg emailed to make a booking and got us in. Which was pretty lucky as at about the same time as he emailed, The Test Kitchen made it to number 28 in the Top 50 Restaurants in the world. It’s also regarded as the best restaurant in Africa. It is now booked out until March next year.
We had lunch there yesterday and it was superb. Beautiful setting, in part of an old biscuit mill in Woodstock. The restaurant has an open kitchen and we were able to watch the 15 or so chefs at work. We sat near the dessert chefs who were baking micron-thin sheets of pastry and doing various other components of the 2 desserts, then later in service all the action was right there as 4 of them got busy plating up.
We decided to have the 7-course tasting menu and even though it sounds like a lot of food, it was ‘just right’ and we were hungry again by dinner time. It was all delicious, beautifully presented and very artistic with lots of different parts to each dish – foams, barks, crumbs, sauces. Greg took a photo of the menu, but I don’t think the resolution is high enough to be able to read. I didn’t make notes because each dish was very complicated and I wanted to just enjoy it all. You can read more about the restaurant and the food here . The service was excellent, the waitstaff knew all about every dish they served. I had a glass of wine, Greg stuck with water. The whole thing cost about the same as a not-very-fancy restaurant meal at home.
And then we went and bought a small mountain of food and other ‘essentials’ to go with the 56kg of camping gear we brought with us and came back to the apartment to cook the lasagne we’d bought at Woolworths the day before. Woolworths here is like David Jones at home. And to complicate things just a little bit more, David Jones at home is owned by Woolworths here.