The secret is out, and it’s all true: Luke Dale-Roberts is bringing his award-winning restaurant The Pot Luck Club to Gauteng, as a pop-up restaurant in downtown Johannesburg.
While Gauteng gourmands are already familiar with Dale-Roberts’ cuisine thanks to his innovative fine-dining experience Luke Dale Roberts X the Saxon at The Saxon Hotel, The Pop Luck Club will introduce Jozi-based foodies to a new world of innovative small-plate dining.
The venue for this hotly anticipated pop-up is the brand-new Marabi Club at Hallmark House in Johannesburg’s on-trend Maboneng Precinct. Hallmark House has been designed by acclaimed Ghanaian-British architect Sir David Adjaye, and is set to become an icon of Johannesburg’s inner-city rejuvenation. And who better to bring in hungry locals than South Africa’s most famous chef?
“There are a handful of venues in Johannesburg offering live music and food, but none doing it at a level that we’ve been seeing internationally, to a point where the food, music, service and décor can all stand alone,” explains Dale de Ruig, co-owner of The Marabi Club. “For The Marabi Club we want to make sure both the music and the food have their own spotlight, and I believe bringing Luke and his team on board closes the circle.”
Marabi is a style of jazz that evolved in the early-1900s, fusing global influences and presenting them in a vibrant African aesthetic. In that, The Marabi Club is a perfect location for The Pop Luck Club, which will present its trend-setting menu of global flavours given a local spin.
Fans of the Cape Town original will be happy to hear that the menu will include a selection of classics from The Pot Luck Club: the likes of panko-crusted octopus with doenjang mayonnaise, pickled cucumber and octopus teriyaki; alongside the delectable smoked beef fillet in truffle café au lait sauce. The beef tataki with hoisin dressing, coriander pesto and ponzu mayo is also a must.
“But we’ve also created a few dishes that will be unique to The Marabi Club,” says Dale-Roberts. While soaking up the music, diners can tuck into bespoke dishes such as duck spring rolls in hoisin dressing, and Dale-Roberts’ matchless take on a classic Cuban sandwich.
Both Luke Dale-Roberts and Frederico Dias, Head Chef at The Pot Luck Club in Cape Town, will be on hand from day one to ensure the restaurant gets off to a smooth start. And unlike the Cape Town original, The Marabi Club will not feature an open kitchen, ensuring all eyes are on the plates and the stage.
“Because it’s a pop-up we want to fit within the venue and adapt to the space that we’re in,” explains Dale-Roberts. “And as with any pop-up we start with a certain menu, then the chefs involved will work together and develop it going forward to give it a unique identity,” adds Dale-Roberts.
Along with serving dinner three nights a week (Thursday through to Saturday), The Pop Luck Club will also open for Sunday Lunch.
With tones of wood, leather and brass, and black-and-white portraits of jazz greats on the walls, The Marabi Club has been imagined as a glamorous version of a speakeasy of the 1920s, the very time when the memorable Marabi style was evolving
Filled with heritage pieces – from vintage bookstands to pressed ceiling panels from gold rush mansions – there is “very much a South African identity to the space,” says De Ruig.
And true to the speakeasy feel, live music will entertain diners throughout the evening. “If the doors are open there will be music!” enthuses De Ruig. A cover charge will apply after a certain hour, allowing diners the freedom to simply drop in for an early meal, or stay late into the night to enjoy the headline acts.
When: 6 July until end of September.
Times: 18h00 to 22h30 from a Thursday to a Saturday, as well as 12h00 - 15h30 on Sundays.
Where: The Marabi Club, Gauteng