Culinary Quest: SALON, by Chef Luke Dale Roberts

This is simultaneously some of the most evocative and restrained cooking from a name still ranking high on any decent diner and travellers Bucket List.

SALON is a new Cape Town haunt in a historic district bustling with creative artisanal energy.

And at the helm of this elegant new restaurant & bar (designed with traditional European Salons in mind), is one of the most renowned chefs, with a restaurant portfolio rife with award-winning successes that have titillated everyday hungry hoards and Hollywood elites alike.

Image by Michael Le Grange

SALON is Chef Luke Dale Roberts’s autobiography made edible & tangible – with everything from the decor to the cuisine realized around themes synonymous with his life journey around the world. From foie gras to Sunday Roast, in every dish you cross continents with him.

Exectation-wise: The cuisine at SALON whispers its allure though, in contrast to the roar that’s become synonymous with the Sussex-born chef’s other establishments (such as The Test Kitchen) and their memorable taste adventures, the mesmerizing dance of occasional tableside presentations, and the finish of remarkable platings.

In taking the SALON voyage through Luke’s life via gastronomy, I lament only one thing though while sitting at their marble-topped bistro table; I wish South Africa had announced itself more boldly on the ‘Journey‘ menu and my tastebuds.

However, regardless of my personal dessert preferences, no one could complain that the assignment Luke set for himself, wasn’t met.

The ostensible stars of the menus tend to be those dishes with a sauce in their make-up, such as the Singapore Chilli or Korean Beef ‘Kalbi’, whose beverage pairings of a 2018 Longridge Ou Steen Chenin Blanc, and Sake Daiginjo YK 35 respectively, warms as much as they delight.

Everything else is nothing to sneer at either.

Anything served at SALON is past the stage of potential. Every course is well-realised, and the culmination of Chef Luke’s fond nostalgia, years of culinary excellence, and a yearning to bring the world to the Cape diner.

Yes, there are new flavours even if you are an old hand to Chef Luke’s food.

One of Chef Luke Dale Roberts’s superpowers is that he becomes a cultural moment in every endeavour, and the stylish standalone concept restaurant SALON is no different. It’s already nestling itself into the lexicon of local diners with a hankering for a new experience, and you should get in while the getting is good!

Take a liberal hit of personable fine dining made to the exacting standards of a masterful chef, in collaboration with Head Development Chef, Carla Schulze, and the discerning eye and talented hand of Head Chef Dillan Kannemeyer.

It’s pretty good food and the portions work for big and small stomachs.

The restaurant wins more points already, according to many, because:

  • You get to taste a legendary chef’s most impactful culinary memories & inspirations and enjoy dishes that embody each global locale they sprung from.
  • It’s a restaurant fit for dressing in your usual (simple) ‘going out’ threads.
  • It is situated in the industrial setting of Old Biscuit Mill’s silo building – a locale favoured for hosting the cool Neighbourgoods Market every Saturday, that’s open to all.
  • It’s pretty value-for-money as a treat AND as a milder foray into the lauded gastronomy experiences of Chef Luke Dale Roberts.

Another sure thing at this chic restaurant & bar is service that’s warm and outgoing, decor that’s comfortable enough for a few hours, and a bar pushing out refreshing signature cocktails with a seriousness that attests to the quality of liquors behind it.

Shout out to the Front-Of-House manager Tony Tavazia, and the Mixologists and waitrons like Tanaka and Trevor, who are part of the reason anyone feels welcome, well-informed, and prioritized.


If you’re coming for an early sitting, take a slow meander down the street to get a good feel of the local wares on sale – everything from furnishings to art and fashion, or head into the stores at the Old Biscuits Mill precinct, which are open till 4 pm weekdays.

The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, Western Cape, 7925, South Africa

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