Eat’s amazing: SA restaurants in line for posh good grub list
Two local leading lights are in the running for the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards
Bilbao in Spain’s southern Basque region has no shortage of fine food and an unbelievable concentration of fine restaurants to prove it. Last night it hosted the food Oscars, also known by its formal name, the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards.Three South African restaurants have made notable showings on the list. Le Quarter Francais, which appeared at number 88 a few years ago, has now closed. La Colombe, headed by chef and owner Scot Kirton, holds the title of the highest ranked African restaurant, 12th on the 2010 list, at its original home on Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate. It was subsequently sold and relocated to Silvermist wine estate, also in Constantia. It reopened in 2015, was named the 76th best restaurant in the world in 2016 and the 73rd best in 2017.During the La Colombe hiatus the South African darling of the food scene, the Test Kitchen, dominated the list. Headed by Luke Dale Roberts, in 2014 it ranked 28th on the list, then climbed to 22nd in 2016. In the following year, the Test Kitchen’s long-serving head chef Ivor Jones departed, and the restaurant pivoted, changing its décor and service structure. The restaurant used to do over 100 covers a day, which was reduced to 40 and even then there were considerable problems with the booking system. Who knows which of these elements contributed the most, but it resulted in the Test Kitchen taking a nosedive down the charts to 76th place in 2017.Last week, ahead of the announcement of the top 50, San Pellegrino released the 51 to 100 rankings. Neither La Colombe nor The Test Kitchen were featured.
San Pellgrino released it's list of top 50 restaurants last night. The Test Kitchen came in at number 50, and La Colombe did not feature in this year's list.