There is a new kid on the block and it’s called The Shortmarket Club but trust me, there is nothing rookie about this spot
Owned by Chef Wesley Randles, his mentor and legendary Chef Luke Dale Roberts (Test Kitchen and Pot Luck Club,) Simon Widdison (and a few others) The Short Market Club is the hottest new spot in Cape Town and it is not even open yet!
This exciting new restaurant will be open from the 27th of June and I was lucky enough to get a “behind the scenes” look (tasters included.)
Marked by a beautiful manhole with an owl, fox, hog and butterfly you know you have found what you are looking for when walking down Shortmarket Street.
The Décor is exquisite and the first thing that makes an impression as you walk up the stairs from a humble entrance into the Grand parlour. You get the feeling that this is going to be an exclusive club that not everyone can get an invite to. You are surrounded with woodwork panels created by artist Pete Eastman and stained glass doors that will leave you breathless. The main bar area sports black and white mosaic tiles with small tables - The perfect spot for a pre dinner drink.
As you enter the main dining area it is nothing short of glorious. With high ceilings and classy leather booths I couldn’t help but notice the attention to detail right down to the copper light fittings. I got the feeling of a grand 1920’s speakeasy and felt as if I was stuck in some by gone era during prohibition. Baz Luhrmann eat your heart out.
The main wall of the dining room is the next thing to impress you - It is a beautiful wall of what initially seems to be the main butterfly collection from the museum of natural history. However, on closer inspection you realize that it is an extensive artwork created by artist Mark Rautenbach made up of all the notes, photographs and memories of The Test Kitchen and Pot Luck club burnt into butterfly wings. Wes shared with me that Sandalene, Luke’s wife, had been creative voice behind the magnificent décor along with input from Wes and the Luke Dale Roberts team.
The menu is going to be one that will pay homage to Wes’s path so far as a chef. A “modern interpretation of the classics” if you will.
Having followed Luke as far back as La Colombe, Test Kitchen, Pot luck club and Naturalis - the menu is sure to blow your taste buds. With everything from Tomahawk steaks to lobster this menu is something I cannot wait to experience!
Whether it’s a girls night out filled with cocktails and indulgent food or the setting for an industrious breakfast meeting, The Shortmarket club is ready to serve its eager customers. They will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and from what I can gather (and have tasted) it is going to be an experience to savour.
A big thank you to Head Chef Wesley Randles for his time and for allowing me a sneak peek of what is sure to become not only one of the Mother Cities Gem’s, but undoubtedly an additional peacock feather in our proud countries culinary cap.