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The Test Kitchen embraces top SA brandies for its all-in experience

It has been six years since The Test Kitchen first opened its doors in the Mother City. The Best Restaurant in Africa and 22nd Best Restaurant in the world has undergone a complete design metamorphosis with a new sensory concept "dark room" and it's elegant 40-seater "light room" that is now only open for dinner service. With this metamorphosis, Luke Dale-Roberts has embraced South Africa's finest brandies and added them to The Test Kitchen's offering.
The Test Kitchen embraces top SA brandies for its all-in experience

The Test Kitchen is where Dale-Roberts has showcased his skill and expert technique in the kitchen to pay homage to flavour and inspiration in the creation of unique dining that goes beyond what is presented on each plate. The restaurant’s new offering will be an intimate dining experience that Dale-Roberts hopes will be a complete offering. “The new concept of The Test Kitchen is an all-in experience,” he says. “It’s like being invited to someone’s home.” Part of that all-in experience is a chance for guests to enjoy the unique flavour of South African brandies.

The perfect way to end a meal

“With Test Kitchen performing consistently globally in the Top 50 restaurants, and Luke’s whole focus on local excellence, it is a natural fit for our top South African brandies. Our brandies regularly perform exceptionally well on the global stage, and The Test Kitchen is a perfect space to introduce connoisseurs to our products,” says Christelle Reade-Jahn, director of the SA Brandy Foundation.

“Brandy is the perfect way to end a meal,” says Reade-Jahn. “It is a natural digestif and pairs incredibly well with dessert and chocolates. The aromas in our brandies will enhance the dessert offering and leave the guest with a glimpse into the world of brandy excellence.”

Served on a special trolley dedicated to these brandies, sommelier Tinashe Nyamudoka will present guests with both blue chip South African brandies as well as Karoo Craft brands to round off their meal. “South African brandies continue to achieve top accolades on the world stage. I believe this is true testament to its quality and authenticity. At The Test Kitchen we also strive for quality and perfection,” says Nyamudoka.

On the brandy trolley

The brandy offering is part of the new set menu on offer at The Test Kitchen and once guests have found the brandy they love, the bottle is theirs to enjoy as they round off their meal.

“I try to showcase smaller distilleries,” says Nyamudoka about the selection of brandies on The Test Kitchen’s menu. “On the brandy trolley, I am able to offer some of SA's finest Brandies varying in style and age. With it, I want to raise awareness about the quality brandy we produce in South Africa,” he adds.

“To keep things interesting, we keep introducing new products to the trolley,” says Reade-Jahn. “For the launch event, the selection includes this year’s winners of the Best Brandy trophies at both the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC) and International Spirits Challenge (ISC) in London, and then a selection of smaller producers”.

“There’s something special about a product that has been locally produced, where you can tell someone has taken special care and put a lot of love into it,” says Dale-Roberts about his decision to welcome local brandies into The Test Kitchen. A decision that perfectly mirrors the special care and love that Dale-Roberts has poured into his culinary pursuits.

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