A restaurant that needs no introduction, and one that I can now safely say is worth all of the accolades and all of the hype.

My crazy husband treated me for my 27th birthday by taking me to this world renowned restaurant, The Test Kitchen, which is rated number 1 in Africa and is ranked 44th in the world. Needless to say it has been on my bucket list for years but it was one of those items I thought I’d only get to tick off one day when I’m “big”. But alas, Nick surprised me with this OTT Birthday spoil and boy was it a spoil. The service was excellent and totally unpretentious. From the moment we arrived we were made to feel like each person serving us was genuinely happy that we chose to eat there, which is not what you expect from a restaurant with so much fame.

On top of the brilliant service, the food was out of this world. Every mouthful was a sensational experience with flavours and textures that were nothing short of magic. I was blown away by each bite!! So here is our experience in photo form because it will do more justice than my words could.

Billionaires shortbread
Ssamjang Veg
Pork scratchings
Berbere curry & sheep amasi
Coconut langoustine & tandoori
The Dark Room

You start your Test Kitchen experience in the Dark Room. The room is dimly lit with small lamps on each table, creating a very moody and mysterious ambience. You are welcomed with a complimentary cocktail of your choice and then you begin your dining experience with a trip around the world, trying various dishes from different countries. My favourite dish here was the Korean Ssamjang Veg. I don’t even really like veggies but The Test Kitchen converted me with their tiny colourful vegetables and dip.

When you are done you are taken through a door into The Light Room. It is a crazy sensation going from a dark, quiet room into the bright, bustling dining room with the open plan kitchen. These sensory elements really added to the overall experience and solidified the uniqueness of the evening for me. It truly is an experience for all your senses and one that leaves you in total awe.

The Light Room is where the bulk of the dishes are served. You can either do a tea or wine pairing with the food or you have the option to order wine by the glass/bottle which is what we opted for.

The Light Room

I am always quite fearful of fine dining tasting menus because I always leave feeling overwhelmingly full and uncomfortable. However I found the Test Kitchen food to be light, fresh and healthy so although I ate 15 plates, I didn’t leave feeling completely stuffed.

I would however suggest not eating a big lunch on the day you plan to go and also bear in mind that the whole experience is about 5 hours long. We only left there at about 23:30 which actually helps because the food is spread out over the whole night so it gives you time to digest and take your time through each plate.

My favourite meal from The Light Room was the Butterfish Bibimbap which was quite possibly the most delicious mouthful I’ve tasted in my life. In close second was the bite sized Mushroom Burger which was both impossibly cute and oh-so delicious!

Smoked scallop with pea & lemon balm dressing
Morel escabeche mushroom burger
Lobster salad with coconut & Thai aromatics
Baby bread loaf
Butterfish bibimbap
Beef tartare with celery leaf, horseradish & Yorkshire tuiles
Poached kingklip with chestnut jam & snoek extraction
“Pap en vleis”
Rabbit & ham
Rhubard trifle with elderflower, sauvignon blanc, rose & mascarpone
Pear with jerusalum, Bourbon oak, pine, sheep’s milk & espresso
Millionaires shortbread

I would highly recommend adding this incredible spot to your bucket list. It is very expensive if you aren’t earning dollars but I can safely say that it is worth the money and all the hype. I feel truly blessed and grateful to have eaten here. It is an amazing experience and one that I will never forget. Thank you my love!!

Happy & full Birthday girl
Posted by:amberdenaetoday

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