An invitation to lunch at The Shortmarket Club is hardly one that you regret. Luke and Sandalene Dale-Roberts partner with Simon Widdison, front house manager from the Pot Luck Club and Wesley Randles, Luke’s former head chef.
The staff are superb, they have of course all worked in the other restaurants in the group, some of them for years and they have all stepped into the new mode with consummate ease and you can expect the same superlative front of house service you have had before at The Test Kitchen and The Pot Luck Club.
Our waiter Justin was one of the best I have experienced in Cape Town. In the late 1960s at the Café Royal up near the top of town, there was a head waiter who had the same gravitas and seriousness of approach to his calling.
You enter off Shortmarket Street, popular with coffee shops and galleries, and up a steep flight of stairs.
At the top of the stairs is a vibrant painting, all in pinks of a protea. And then you enter what you imagine a smart New York Restaurant, or Paris Bistro would be. The interesting thing is that you have no sense of time or anything to fix on which says 2016.
Mark Rautenbach’s massive installation of butterflies on the centre wall is a triumph and worthy of the Tate Mordern or MOMA in New York. There must be hundreds of butterflies all individually made by hand. Enchanting.
The meal was sublime and the wine, off an eclectic list, we took by the glass to have a bit of variation. There was a very cheeky, lovely chap with an oyster and bubbly trolley who came round. He was so charming; you could not refuse. So we started off with a couple of creamy kelpy Saldanha Bay oysters and a glass of bubbles.
The rest of the meal went like this.
Pea & Porchetta
stuffed porchetta, fresh peas & sugar snaps
with pea & horseradish amasi, date & almond dressing
Satiated, we walked out blinking into the afternoon sun, knowing that we had just had one of the finest meals the city bowl has to offer and that we would be back. And very grateful for the invitation.
021 447 2874
Monday to Saturday
Breakfast 08:00 to 11:00
Lunch 12:30 – 14:30
Dinner : 19:00- 11:00
The Shortmarket Club
88 Shortmarket Street