THE POT LUCK CLUB
Elevating yourself to six stories above ground level to lunch at the Pot Luck Club is a treat. By reputation you know that this two-plated restaurant will exceed expectations. Chef Jason Kosmas has worthy credentials and skills gleaned during his Chef’s Warehouse days and is now embracing the opportunity of working alongside Luke Dale Roberts. It is a delight to see him rise to this challenge with aplomb. Chatting before lunch was almost as good as the grub! In addition to his experience he has good genes, given by a Greek dad and Italian mother, “Eating is all about being around a table together,” he says of his heritage. “It is amazing to walk in here and not have to fix anything, it works well. I have slotted in to run it as it should be.” Having applied for the senior sous chef position at The Test Kitchen, he then got a call offering him the change of leading the Pot Luck team. And true pot luck, with regular changes and surprises, is part of the plan.
The menu is divided into Pot Luck Family Favourites, Salty, Sour, Umami, Bitter and Sweet ending. His dishes are perfectly plated without being fussy, flavours are robust and harmoniously combined, with the result that one struggles to say no to another, and then another, tantalizing dish. He insisted that I, and my guest, should try all the new dishes. Who am I to complain, I love being told what to do…
The Doenang-glazed tuna with kimchi cabbage, ssamjang and tofu purée, fabulous. My food-muscle memory was woken with the fish sliders and peri-peri chicken, as good as in the past. He highly recommended the venison. The springbok loin with sauce vierge, fermented black bean jalapeno crispy vermicelli noodles and shaved walnuts is piquant and robust, creating its own umami. The truffle and asparagus tart fine with porcini hollandaise and poached quail eggs, delicate – a lovely contrast in the umami section. The sweet ending was superb for someone who boasts not to have a sweet tooth – try the raspberry curd with burnt Swiss meringue, citrus shortbread and pistachio – or better still, wait until the delectable olive oil cake makes its appearance on the menu – I will be there.
Marlene van der Westhuizen, the newest member of the Gourmet Guide team, caught up with Jan Hendrick van der Westhuizen this week to find out more about his forthcoming venture of opening Klein JAN in 2020. All will be revealed in our Winter Gourmet Guide online magazine, to be released on 1 June.
If you haven’t already read the Autumn issue, visit www.gourmetguide.co.za/gourmetguide, free for you to read, download and print.