Very few places in the world can get away with mixing high end food prices and a lively, boisterous dining room. Typically the higher the prices the more civil and subdued the establishment while lower prices tend to attract rowdiness. Achieving this balance is an art of detail. No dining room feels more right 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.
After a ranking in the Top 10 at the 2017 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards, securing a table at PLC went from difficult to near impossible. A brainchild of Luke Dale-Roberts and headed by rising young gun, Chef Frederico Dias, PLC is 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 and leave it all to the kitchen to decide the order in which they’d love you to experience the flavors. Often starting with the lighter fish dishes, such as the now classic Pot Luck Club Fish Taco from the sour section - fresh ceviche, with black bean purée, avocado and sour cream or my absolute favorite, the fish sliders. A fluffy hake medallion doused in amasi and maize meal comes inside a chewy steamed bun - sounds 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 fraiche and sriracha can be found under the sweet section and 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 the simple splendour, but the hazelnut and apple tart with salted caramel and smoked cinnamon ice-cream is nostalgic nirvana.
Considering it’s incredible popularity, The Pot Luck Club’s extensive wine list is quite reasonably priced. While the menu caters to all tastes and brews, from ciders to beers, the tipple not to pass up is the Thai Green Curry cocktail.
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 able to easily identify which dishes are suitable and which aren’t in accordance with dietary requirements.
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, PLC is hip with an aesthetic of trendy New York meets Tokyo exclusive tapas haunt.
A spirited night out with friends or a convivial celebration with incredible food. 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 -
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Amazingly creative dishes with ultra fresh ingredients - including unusual cocktails like the lemongrass ginger and grenadilla I had. Friendly, attentive staff and fun to sit at the kitchen counter and watch all the prep - if you like that kind of thing. Think carefully about what you order - we ended up with too many dishes with high acid content. Pudding - the raspberry dish was particularly good and the ice cream sandwiches quite fun.
After a slightly underwhelming experience at this establishment in December, I surprised myself by returning for another special occasion. This time for the much talked about Sunday Brunch.
Bookings for this slot are in high demand, and I set a reminder in my calendar for the day that bookings opened for July. I secured a table for 8 and paid a booking deposit, which Im happy to do. (Helps with budgeting for the big event too!)
We arrived approximately 20mins early for our booking, after I made an incorrect assumption that the Biscuit Mill is open on Sundays. The staff wouldnt let us sit inside by the bar, so we mosied back to the sidewalk - not so pleasant on a moody July morning in Cape Town.
We returned promptly at 11am.
We were seated at a table right by the live music - which concerned me initially, but ended up not being a bother at all. The place was packed after a few minutes and a cosy, buzzing atmosphere was created. It was perfect for a wintry Cape Town Sunday.
The service was attentive and swift. I really couldnt fault it.
Our food was, as it should be, the highlight of the day. The brunch is a set menu, with dish after dish served on platters for the table. Every dish I tasted was sensational, perfectly balanced and inspired. This definitely surpassed my previous experience here. The best dishes were the beef tataki, the omelette and the brioche mushroom toast.
There is a bottomless bubbly/bloody Mary option for an additional R300, which isnt really worth it in hindsight. The food is so generous and rich that you cant really consume as much bubbly as you think you can :) But it's a great selling point for the brunch which certainly excited me initially. Next time I'll rather opt for a bottle of bubbly to share. (Around R400)
If PLC is judged only on brunch, I believe you have a top 5 facility here. The brunch is excellent value for money and the experience end to end sensational. It was really a happy birthday for me.
10/10 service food and experience. Would go here again.
Oh but you must make a reservation this is Cape Town after all ?
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.
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.