If you follow me on Instagram, you know that Dan and I went to South Africa with our friends Pryor and Bryan in April 2022. We started on a safari and ended with a few lovely days in Cape Town. This was Dan and my second visit, and I really wanted to eat at one of Luke Dale Roberts’ restaurants, particularly South Africa’s (possibly) most famous restaurant, The Test Kitchen. We missed it our first trip to Cape Town, because we waited too late to make a reservation. Unfortunately, The Test Kitchen has permanently closed, but Roberts and his wife have opened up a new venture in Cape Town: TKK Fledglings. I made a reservation months in advance, LOL.
TKK Fledglings is a “learning kitchen,” where people without no specific knowledge of the hospitality industry train on site while working at the restaurant and earning a salary. Pretty cool idea. While I was a little concerned that TKK Fledglings, as a result, would not be at the level of service I desired, but my concerns were 100% unfounded. Our experience was amazing: the service was impeccable, the food fantastic, and the interior gorgeous. I think it was our favorite meal. The prices were reasonable, as well.
TKK Fledglings is located inside the Old Biscuit Mill complex in Salt River. It’s about a 15 minute car ride from City Bowl. We arrived a few minutes early for our dinner and easily found TKK Fledglings inside the Old Biscuit Mill. We were promptly greeted and taken to our seats in the stunning dining room. We felt very “cool.”
We opted for the Fully Fledged menu, which is TKK Fledgling’s tasting menu. It costs 750 Rand with 1 supplemental option at 50 Rand. The tasting menu, while changing seasonally, is a five course meal. What I like about this tasting menu, as opposed to some others, is that guests can select certain courses from a choice of two or three options. TTK Fledglings also happily accommodated our allergies and provided delicious options. There is also an a la carte menu, and the entire table did not need to order the tasting menu. Bryan actually put together his own “tasting menu” from the a la carte menu. TTK Fledglings was great about timing it with ours.
While the tasting menu usually starts with the “first course,” we visited during an anniversary and our table received two extra dishes. First, oysters with pickled daikon, carrot and nam jim dressing. I am not a big oyster fan, but everyone seemed to love them!
We were also served the MOST delicious bread with some sort of smoked fish “butter.” This was fantastic. Like oysters, I’m not a huge smoked fish person, but this was amazing. I would order it again without question!
The first course on the tasting was dubbed “Summer Sushi.” This consisted of two pieces per person of smoked salmon sushi topped with cream fraiche and dill mayo and served with a homemade ponzu and lemon wedge. I am not a salmon fan, but this sushi was 100%. I would totally order this exact dish again, and that is saying a lot for a salmon hater. The two pieces were the perfect amount, although I could have finished the plate.
The second course on the tasting menu was a choice of popcorn prawns or tuna nem. We all went with the tuna nem (except Bryan, who ordered the popcorn shrimp separately – no pic = ( ). The tuna nem was seared tuna wrapped with julienne vegetables served with a peanut satay and sweet chili sauce and a single lime wedge. Like the sushi, this dish was excellent and quite large. I could barely finish it. The tuna was particularly good in the peanut satay sauce.
The third course on the Full Fledged menu was a duck pancake. Dan is allergic to duck, so we replaced duck with mushrooms and had a mushroom “pancake.” The “pancake” turned out to be a large platter with the makings to make a few Asian-style pancakes, which, in my opinion, are similar to a taco or a wrap. Basically, you place the ingredients into the pancake and eat! We were provide with three types of mushrooms and plenty of finishing touches, including plum hoisin, pickled cucumber, chifonnade veggetables, and toasted sesame seasonings. While noted for two on the menu, we each got our own portion. This dish was great!
For the “main” course, Dan and I ordered the lamb for a 50 Rand supplement. We both love lamb, so it was worth it. The lamb was very well prepared, as you can see below, and was served with fennel fondant, fig & goat cheese polenta, fennel and bacon extract, and tarragon oil. Dan and I both really enjoyed the lamb, but we were getting a bit full at this point. Bryan and Pryor departed from us for mains, her ordering the line fish and he the homemade ravioli (off tasting menu). The both liked their meal, but I forgot to take pictures!
For dessert, Dan ordered the tiramisu (his favorite) and the rest of us ordered Chocolate Fondant, or a cloud of cotton candy! The cloud of cotton candy, or cotton floss in Cape Town, topped the actual chocolate fondant, a few bruleed bananas, salted caramel cream, vanilla ice cream, and chocolate crumble. The dessert was excellent, but the real joy was photographing it! Dan’s tiramisu was also very good, just not as fun to photograph. The tiramisu was served with Disaronno coffee soaked biscuits!
I cannot mention our entire dinner without mentioning drinks. We had a mix of Cap Classique (Cape Town’s sparkling wine), a delicious red from the neighboring Pot Luck Club, and closing cocktails. All were great and the staff was very helpful in our selections. Here is the drink menu if you are curious.
STEAL OUR DINNER
TKK Fledglings: The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7915, South Africa. Closed Sunday – Monday. Open 6 – 8 Tuesday – Wednesday, 12:00 – 1:30 & 6:00 – 8:00 Thursday – Saturday. Times as of Spring 2022. Check back as these are Covid-19 hours. Reservations necessary and can be made via DinePlan. Note that DinePlan charges a fee for the reservation, which is credited back to your bill when you pay. Attire: trendy and nice. No outdoor seating as of writing.