It was always a matter of when, not if. And now Johannesburg’s restaurant-going fraternity finally has the answer: On 2 May 2023, Luke Dale Roberts and his crew of talented chefs will finally unveil a permanent home for The Pot Luck Club Johannesburg.
Since opening atop Cape Town’s Old Biscuit Mill Precinct in 2012, The Pot Luck Club has become one of the Mother City’s most successful eateries, as famous for its award-winning menu of global tapas as its spirited service and creative cocktails.
While Johannesburg enjoyed a brief taste of The Pot Luck Club’s globally inspired plates in 2017, with a hugely successful pop-up at Maboneng’s Marabi Club, this time The Pot Luck Club is here to stay.
The Pot Luck Club Johannesburg will open in the space previously home to The Test Kitchen Carbon, in Rosebank’s prestigious Oxford Parks development.
“The Test Kitchen Carbon proved incredibly popular, but what we have learnt from the success of The Shortmarket Club – also in Oxford Parks – is that in Johannesburg, diners really value the opportunity of choice,” says Dale Roberts. “They want to be able to create their own dining experience, not sit through an extended tasting menu. They want to set the pace, the price and the choice of dishes. With Pot Luck, we’re only too happy to offer them that.”
Unlike the highly curated fine-dining experience of TTK Carbon, The Pot Luck Club offers a more lively urban energy that’s a perfect fit for Johannesburg’s vibrant dining scene. The Pot Luck Club experience is built around a menu of tapas-style dishes, with more than 20 individual plates drawing on global flavours reinvented with Pot Luck’s signature style and flavour.
“It’s fun. It’s busy. It’s energetic,” says Dale Roberts. “From the beginning, Pot Luck has been all about sharing plates and discovering new flavours. It’s about letting guests experiment and create their own dining experience. I’m really excited to give Pot Luck a permanent home in Johannesburg. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.”
The Pot Luck Club will retain the sense of edgy urban elegance that defined Carbon, with a soft refurbishment giving it a stamp of Pot Luck’s inimitable DNA.
There’s an all-star team running the new venue, with group executive chef Jason Kosmas taking care of the menu and Gray Tawanda, the longest serving manager of the Cape Town restaurant, returning to the group as manager of The Pot Luck Club Johannesburg.
The menu format will be familiar to Pot Luck fans, kicking off with a bread course and Family Favourites – a ‘Greatest Hits’ of Pot Luck classics. If you’ve ever tasted the chickpea fries with aioli and smoked ketchup, or the succulent beef fillet with silky café au lait sauce, you’ll know precisely why these plates could never be taken off the menu.
Other favourites have been given a unique twist for Johannesburg: here, the beef tataki – served as a tartare in Cape Town – is plated with fresh spring onion dressing and roast garlic aioli, while in Johannesburg the line fish swims in saffron cream, with tamarind dressing and basil mint salad.
“We have taken a handful of these long-standing favourite plates from Cape Town and moved them up to Johannesburg, but we also had a great time creating entirely new dishes for this new outpost of The Pot Luck Club,” says Kosmas.
Along with a fragrant pad Thai lobster salad, a highlight of the new menu is the Mexican-inspired pork belly.
“This dish is just a knock-out,” enthuses Kosmas. “We serve it with a soft-shell taco, ancho chilli dressing and beautiful pineapple salsa. It wouldn’t surprise me if we see fans of Cape Town Pot Luck coming up to Joburg just for this!”
Pot Luck Club Johannesburg also boasts a dedicated Cold Bar, serving everything from oysters with Vietnamese-style nuac cham dressing, to line fish ceviche dressed with the kick of a classic ‘tiger’s milk’.
Both are a perfect match for the carefully curated list of wines from boutique South African cellars, and signature Pot Luck daquiris, martinis and sake-based cocktails.
The Pot Luck Club Johannesburg will be open for lunch and dinner, Monday to Saturday. Bookings are now open. Find it at 199 Oxford Road, Dunkeld, Randburg, Johannesburg.