Steller Chef Luke Dale Roberts and Chef Ryan Cole opened a new fine dining eatery Salsify at The Roundhouse in Camps Bay. The restaurant’s main dining areas are situated in the inner and outer rings of The Roundhouse.
Salsify (Sal-suh-fee): A root vegetable with an oyster-like flavour, popular in old French and modern British cuisine.
“I love salsify, it’s the most unassuming of vegetables, with its ugly and rather unfortunate looking exterior, but it is absolutely amazing to work with, full of taste surprises and so versatile”, says Head Chef and operating partner Ryan Cole of Salsify at The Roundhouse, a new addition to the Dale Roberts empire.
“I think it’s important to honour the legacy of The Roundhouse and to do it justice with seriously good quality food and service”, says Ryan who adds that Salsify at The Roundhouse will be offering fine dining without the snobbery.”
Salsify at The Roundhouse opened its doors on 16 October 2018 with an à la carte menu and in time, says Ryan, this might develop into a tasting menu based on the successes of the à la carte offerings.
In reference to the restaurant’s name, a focus on ‘root to leaf’ dining is one of the elements of dishes that are being developed for the menu, there will also be a strong focus on fish.
The exciting news comes barely two months after The Test Kitchen was crowned Best in Africa and also named 50th at the World’s Best Restaurants awards in Barcelona.
Ryan has worked alongside Luke at The Test Kitchen as Head Chef for the past three years and when the opportunity for a new eatery at the historic The Roundhouse arose, there was no question as to who would be heading things up.
“Ryan is a quick-minded natural talent, he’s one of the best technical chefs I’ve ever worked with and I trust him implicitly”, says Dale Roberts, who will play an integral role in the new endeavour but who is equally determined to give 29-year-old Cole autonomy in flexing his culinary muscles. Dale Roberts adds that while he will of course be involved in key decisions, he is determined not to impose his opinion too much
Ryan has indeed earned his chef’s stripes. He started his career at the age of 16, after a successful week job shadowing in a hotel kitchen led to him working on weekends and during school holidays. After various apprenticeships Ryan made his way to London in his early twenties on a one-way ticket where he worked for a number of years under some of the UK’s rising stars. Back in the Cape in 2015, a chance meeting with Luke and an invitation to come and see how things worked at The Test Kitchen led to Ryan’s entry into the Dale Roberts way of work and thinking, and so his course was set.
Like its namesake vegetable, the new fine dining eatery at the historic The Roundhouse in Camps Bay is a space that promises to be full of surprises. On entering Salsify at The Roundhouse, guests will immediately be drawn in by avant garde graffiti produced by international street artist and ‘instigator’ Louis de Villiers. A focal 1.3m bronze sculpture by local sculptor Otto du Plessis, named Salsify, will no doubt be cause for conversation over pre-dinner drinks.
This historic building which dates back to 1786 when it was first built as a round guard house, then later used as a hunting lodge for Sir Lord Charles Somerset, Governor of the Cape from 1814 until 1826. Over time The Roundhouse was used as a home, a hotel complete with two ballrooms, tea room and restaurant and its incarnation as a smart, dining talking point is one that Capetonian foodies and fans of the other eateries in the Dale Roberts empire, The Pot Luck Club and The Shortmarket Club, will no doubt celebrate.