I wanted to really impress the lady, so on our “first year dating anniversary” we went to Luke Dale Robert’s Test Kitchen. It was one of the great meals of my life, and the menu hangs on our study wall with our notes scrawled in the margins. A few years went by and LDR opened another restaurant close by, really close by. Literally across the yard. It was named the Pot Luck Club, and although it has quite a few elemental characteristics of the Test Kitchen, it’s very different, which is why it works so damn well!
For starters, the PLC is more tapas style, with smaller portions, and you’re encouraged order mulitple plates to share. There are five categories to choose from in the menu, namely, Salty, Sweet, Umami, Sour, and Bitter, and it’s recommended people order between four and five plates (besides dessert obviously). You then have the choice to write down your own docket of what you’d like, or your waiter person will happily create a menu for you.
They have a decent wine list that was much cheaper than I was expecting . I think it’s classy when you know they can really boost the liquor prices but don’t – Stay cool PLC, stay cool.
We started with some masa ciabatta, chimichurri, baba ghanoush, with roast garlic and some anchovy butter. They get their masa from San Julian, a really authentic Mexican restaurant. It’s all delicious.
The lovely lady kept raving about these chickpea fries, so when they arrived I felt a little let down. They don’t look like much. I was so wrong! Inside each crunchy chip is soft deliciousness, and add some truffle aioli and a really smokey tomato sauce on the side, and you have what should be a staple comfort food the world over. We ordered 2 orders. We should’ve ordered 3.
The beef tartare was one of the big highlights for me, and I couldn’t stop grinning.
Being vegetarian, the loveliness had the ash baked celeriac. This dish is immensely tasty.
Next up was the beef fillet with truffle cafe au lait. I didn’t know what to expect, but the loveliness had been to the PLC before and gave me a heads up. It’s seriously one of those simple dishes that once you’ve had it, you look around to see who else has ordered it, and when it arrives you sit quietly waiting to see the look of astonishment and joy that comes over people’s faces when they first taste this, and then you are all part of this club that has shared some wonderful experience. For me it was one of the best dishes of the day.
When you order a cocktail and it get’s made table-side, or have anything prepared at table, it comes very close to taking on a ritualistic aura, where everyone involved quiets down almost reverently.
We ended our meal with a chocolate souffle and churros. It had been a fantastic lunch, and another bucket list item ticked off.