I had the absolute pleasure of dining at Luke Dale Roberts X at the Saxon on my recent trip to Johannesburg and it was a fine dining adventure of note. They serve an eight course tasting menu paired with or without wine and you can opt for a local or international pairing. They also have a tea pairing if you prefer something different. The kitchen is run under the experienced and seemingly peaceful leadership of Candice Philip who with a small team of chefs create and cook an impressive range of contemporary dishes. As with any degustation menu of this calibre – and paired with wine, the meal is an orchestrated eating journey that takes you through an array of flavour and textural stages. Its intense and its often mind-blowing.
The bread course always sets the tone of a meal in my opinion and at LDR X, along with the amuse, you are immediately awakened to what lays ahead (see pics above of this). In the same way the dessert finishes off the meal and should leave the diner with a lasting impression, and these two desserts literally blew my mind. The combination of the fennel, lime and coconut was intriguing and delightful, and the beetroot and blueberry mousse with vanilla frozen yoghurt and beetroot meringue was inspired. Every course in between was delicious and interesting and because there were two of us we ordered both alternatives (where applicable) so got a taste of the whole menu and could show you what it looked like. The presentation was world-class and the flavours contemporary.
I found the restaurant to be more formal that Lukes Cape Town establishments and the small space with highly attentive staff buzzing around makes it feel more like a production than a regular dining experience, but I really loved it. The staff are super friendly and knowledgable and I personally enjoy all the interaction.
This was the menu we enjoyed on the night:
Bulgar wheat, pickled cucumber, radish, laksa aioli
Lukes XO dressing, smoked bone marrow, radish salad
Duck ham, Jerusalem artichoke sponge,pear,coffee dressing or QUAIL TERIYAKI Aubergine, hazelnut Dukkah, labneh yoghurt
Black garlic,cured tofu cream,crispy lamb pancetta,grilled sweet corn, sweet corn veloute
Cashew turnip puree, charred turnip,orange dashi, ginger or OXTAIL CANNELLONI
Confit Oxtail, butternut puree, caper pinenut salsa, thyme veloute
PAN SEARED SPRINGBOK LOIN Liver and sage stuffing, beetroot emulsion
FENNEL, LIME, COCONUT
Fennel curd, lime sponge, coconut sorbet
beetroot blueberry mousse,vanilla frozen yoghurt, beetroot meringue
local sourced cheese selection and preserve
The images appear in the order as they do on the menu
The restaurant is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 18h30 in the evening. Booking is essential.
* I was invited to dine as a guest at the restaurant