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The Pot Luck Club

The Pot Luck Club
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Cost
R150 avg main meal; Brunch R450 (set menu per person)
Ambience
Coffee, Groups, Quick meals, Special occasions, Views
Food
Modern, Tapas
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R80 (one bottle per table)

Critic's review

Seth Shezi

Very few places in the world can get away with mixing high-end food prices with a boisterous dining room. Achieving this balance is an art of detail and no dining room does it better than The Pot Luck Club. Pared down tables offset with edgy urban details and sumptuous food hits the sweet spot. The towering vantage point of Woodstock and the surrounds doesn’t hurt, either.

Food
After ranking in the Top 10 at the 2017 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards, securing a table at The Pot Luck Club went from difficult to near impossible. A brainchild of Luke Dale-Roberts and headed by rising young gun chef Frederico Dias, The Pot Luck Club celebrates all the flavors of the palate. The menu is broken up by flavour profiles: salty, sour, sweet and the all-encompassing umami.

The tapas-style dishes are made to share, with servers suggesting diners order six to eight plates between two people. All you have to do is pencil down your choices and quantity desired, and kick back and relax, leaving it all to the kitchen to decide the order in which they’d love you to experience the flavors. Often it starts with the lighter fish dishes, such as the now-classic Pot Luck Club Fish Taco from the sour section; ceviche with black bean purée, avocado and sour cream; or, my absolute favourite, the fish sliders. A fluffy hake medallion doused in amasi and maize meal comes inside a chewy steamed bun. It may sound basic but it’s sensational. Because this is no ordinary dining experience, dishes such as the beautifully unctuous prawn and king crab stuffed chicken wings with lime green crème fraîche and Sriracha can be found under the sweet section. One taste and you’ll know why.

Be sure to leave some space for a sweet serenade to end off the sumptuous eating extravaganza. After the removal of the popular s’mores from the menu, I was sure nothing would ever live up to it, but the hazelnut-and-apple tart with salted caramel and smoked cinnamon ice-cream is nostalgic nirvana.

Drinks
Considering its incredible popularity, The Pot Luck Club’s extensive wine list is quite reasonably priced. While the menu caters to all tastes – from ciders to beers – the tipple not to pass up is the Thai Green Curry cocktail.

Service
The waiters are attentive and good at making you feel at home. They know the intricacies of the dishes and their preparation processes, and often are able to easily identify which dishes are suitable and which aren’t in accordance with your dietary requirements.

Ambience
In a nutshell, The Pot Luck Club is a bustling high-rise city loft-style restaurant with twinkling city and harbour views. Located atop a silo complex in the ever-cool Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, The Pot Luck Club is hip with an aesthetic of trendy New York meets Tokyo exclusive tapas haunt.

And…
It bears mentioning that The Pot Luck Club’s famous Sunday brunch is still a thing. The sensational brunch includes a set menu and Bloody Marys – and if you’re ready to hit the weekend farewell on a good note, opt for the bottomless bubbly option.

(August 2018)

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Amy Ebedes

    Food
    Luke Dale-Roberts and Frederico Dias serve transformative tapas in this buzzing eatery, which came in at number 10 at the 2017 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards.

    Dishes are organised according to flavour: salty, sweet, umami, sour and bitter. The tapas-style dishes are prepared for sharing (two items, such as the fish tacos, are served per portion). Order between six and eight plates between two people – excluding dessert, of course. Write down your selection of dishes on the notepad and the chef will decide on the order of your meal, starting with the lightest and ending with the fullest flavours.

    One cannot visit The Pot Luck Club without trying the iconic fish tacos. It’s advisable to eat them by hand. The tacos themselves have superb structural integrity: crispy on the outside with just enough softness. The black-bean purée and avocado add a subtle sweetness to balance the tang of the ceviche and sour cream. Two are served in a portion, and you’ll wish that both were for you.

    The other must-try dish is the beef fillet with truffle café au lait. The smoky sauce is undoubtedly the highlight of the dish, and the steak a pleasant, succulent addition. Happily, the chef opts to serve the chickpea, goat’s cheese and parmesan fries alongside the steak dish. On the outside, the fries are crispy and oh-so salty, with a creamy interior. The accompanying tomato sauce is possibly a touch too smoky, but the truffle aioli is perfection. Be sure to keep a few fries aside to properly scoop out what remains of the café au lait sauce. No one’s judging you.

    The fish sliders pay tribute to local cuisine: hake medallions are battered and crumbed in amasi and maize meal, and served on a soft, steamed bun. It’s crispy and flaky with just the right hint of sour undertones.

    Other options on the extensive menu include the earthy, shredded confit duck leg with a fabulous addition of fresh plums; calamari with yuzu-compressed watermelon and fermented peanut-chilli dressing (the crispy, salty batter is perfection); or the springbok rump with earthy, ash-baked beets and tomato XO dressing.

    For a sweet ending, you can’t go wrong with the famed s’mores: roasted, frozen marshmallows with peanut-butter ice cream and cacao nib biscuits. They are a sweet sensation, and with one bite, you’re instantly transported to a happy campfire in your childhood. A close second is the mint-and-chocolate ice-cream sandwiches, which you’ll happily dip into a decadent white chocolate sauce, coffee and crushed hazelnuts. Other dessert options include the hibiscus-poached pear (served with macerated berries, black-olive honeycomb and pear granita) and the almond-and-apple tart with burnt peanut butter, popcorn ice cream, apple gummies and maple-glazed bacon.

    Drinks
    It’s worth kicking things off with a renowned cocktail. The wine list is extensive, with a good range of local wines. There is also a good range of craft beers and ciders, as well as the usual suspects.

    Service
    Staff are friendly and attentive, and service is casual and cool, although a touch too chatty at times. Waiters are incredibly knowledgeable about the menu, right down to the flavour profiles of every wine on the menu.

    Ambience
    This is as trendy as it gets. Take a ride up the glass elevator to the sixth floor of the Old Biscuit Mill and watch as the views expand around you. You’ll be forgiven for thinking that you’ve stepped into an uber-stylish loft-style eatery in New York City. The 360-degree views of Cape Town harbour and Table Mountain are breathtaking. The Pot Luck Club is always full, and the crowd is vibey and festive. In spite of the palpable excitement in the air, acoustics are not a problem.

    And…
    Their Sunday brunch is a thing of beauty. Expect a set menu, which includes the likes of the famed fish tacos, arancini and burnt vanilla churros with dulce de leche. Add bottomless bubbly to your tab for an extra R200 per person.

    It’s worth noting that bookings only open on the first of each month (8.30am South African time) for the following month.

    (October 2017)

    Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay their own way. Read our full editorial policy here.

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User reviews

  • We honestly loved the food and bottomless bubbly, pity for us we made a reservation late but still managed to find a table. The food was creatively tasty and the ambiance is set just right with a live band playing. We left full and very satisfied, next time we will make a reservation in time.
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  • Tried the new menu that was launched this week and had an incredible meal and overall experience. So fabulous to have new exciting dishes to choose from. The winter salad is a great new addition for people who want a bit of freshness in the offering. New favourites are the stuffed crispy chicken wings and the sweetbreads with orange &chourizo jam with jalapeños. New cocktails delicious too. And we love the friendly extremely knowledgeable and competent service. My favourite in Cape Town.
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  • We sat at the kitchen counter. Such fun watching the chefs do their thing. The service was very efficient and friendly, and when the waiter was busy our food was served by the chef which resulted in a very interesting conversation. The food looked stunning. Every bite was a flavour explosion, and the fish tacos were to die for. Very cool setting on the 6th floor of the old biscuit mill with beautiful views of the city.
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  • Wow, what an amazing experience. It's quite difficult to find a restaurant that caters for meat-lovers, a vegetarian and a 10-year-old aspiring foodie with developing taste buds - we were not disappointed. When the vegetarian menu was whipped out, the veggie's eyes popped! Well trained service staff is few and far between and our waitron surpassed our expectations. The food was superb - the fish Sliders were a firm favourite as was the Beef Tataki- fresh, flavour-filled, sensational flavour bursts. The vegetarian options were equally delicious, and as for the desserts, heaven on a plate. The view is spectacular, service outstanding and food to die for. Go hungry, you will want to eat too much!
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  • :( After weeks of waiting for our date at PLC, I was beyond excited to try it out for the first time after having listened to many rave reviews from friends and family. The restaurant wasn't full during our slot, but we were still seated right next to the waiter/kitchen/order taking station - were they embarrassed by us? (we did have a window seat but we competed for space with bustling waiters and servers). Luckily our very efficient and friendly waitress brought out our cocktails which lightened the mood. Thai Green Curry cocktail - best thing ever! I have spent my free time since trying to find the perfect recipe to emulate the pure joy this cocktail brought to my senses! A must have! Between the two of us, we ordered 11 dishes to really try cover a variety of tastes. Of the 11 dishes, the stand out was the Glazed Sweet Breads (pancreas of the calf/lamb) - never tried it before and it didn't disappoint. There is a reason why so many chefs use this ingredient in their dishes. Well worth venturing into the offal for this one! The crispy calamari was a colossal let down, dry and tasteless - I was saddened by this - of all the dishes I expected this one to deliver something special.. Nope.. Anyway, the other dishes were really good, well balanced, seasoning was perfect and presentation was spot on! Luckily all the reviews do prepare you - don't come expecting to fill up - you literally get a bite or two out of each dish. Then lastly, the reason for the two stars rating on the food. The dessert - what could've easily been the cherry on top of a wonderful food and dining experience, left us confused and giggling in awkwardness at how BAD it actually was. Maybe we missed something, maybe being seated in the naughty corner and being served a week old stale marshmallow wedged between a bland cacoa nib biscuit and a dense tiny cake parading as a 'tart' topped with brutally caramelised popcorn and bacon is actually part of a masterpiece, but for us paying customers, it was not. If you can't do desserts, then don't! if its not fresh, don't serve it. C'mon - just be better!
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Menu

Set menu - The Pot Luck Club Menu - Updated April 2018

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • WiFi

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