After discovering this hideaway Chef Wes Randles, general manager Simon Widdison, Luke and Sandalene Dale Roberts teamed up to transform the dark space, an old nightclub with no windows, tucked away in a side street off Bree Street. The décor is impressive and unique, and the New York clubby feel comforting, however, it’s not all about how it looks.
Wesley grew up in Durban, then the culinary focus of Cape Town beckoned. In his second year of his studying he worked at The Pot Luck Club – 10 years ago. His transition has included leaving behind freezers and foie gras, with his focus on the here and now. Don’t be surprised if as service starts there are still dedicated suppliers delivering their bounty – like beautiful porcini mushrooms. These, an hour later, shine as a hero in a dish that delights with simple plating and ample flavour. When figs are in season expect unpretentious yet remarkable dishes like fresh fig with aubergine purée or baked ricotta in a fig leaf with Gorgonzola sauce.
The menu continually evolves as Wesley lets go easily. His favourite part of the day is mise en place, when he sets his mind to it, sees the produce and checks procedures and then manages people to make sure every aspect of an experience at the club will be fantastic. Finishing dishes table-side from elegant trolleys adds to the ‘theatre’ of the occasion, elevating simple to spectacular, giving value for money in experience.
Here impressive, sophisticated simplicity reflects a confident chef.
Experience The Shortmarket Club’s lunchtime three-course Prix Fixe Winter Lunch Menu for R280 per person, or R380 per person with a carafe of wine. Available from Monday to Saturday and ends on 30 September 2018. Book via their website www.theshortmarketclub.co.za or call (021) 447 2874.