When last did you have an exceptional experience at a new restaurant? I did, just last night! After visiting Café Del Sol Botanico (the Bryanston restaurant) earlier this year, I was told that I simply must try Café Del Sol Classico (in Olivedale). Last night, I finally did just that – and it was wonderful!
Now, Café Del Sol is horrendously popular (both restaurants). It’s essential to make a booking at least two or three weeks in advance, which is exactly what I did for myself and my boyfriend, Nik. The minute we arrived at the restaurant, I was delighted. It’s a beautiful little spot hidden away in a non-descript shopping centre. It’s a lot smaller with more “classic” (if I may call it that) décor than the Bryanston restaurant. But it’s very romantic!
I’ll admit that once we were seated it took a while (around twenty minutes) for a waiter to come and take our drinks order, which was a bit annoying. But it was super-busy, in all fairness. We ordered a bottle of chardonnay which arrived promptly. One of the staff members then came over to introduce the specials to us. He did so with much enthusiasm, it made us want to try everything! We ended up going for the deep-fried halloumi served with pancetta (can’t remember the price) for starters to share, which came off their list of specials.
The starter dish was glorious – fresh and flavourful! We then ordered our mains – I opted for the stuffed calamari dish (Falklands calamari tubes filled with red pepper, green Sevillano olives, capers, ricotta cheese, Grana Padano parmesan and a touch of chilli served with cappellini pasta mixed with seasonal stir-fried vegetables and beurre blanc sauce for R125), and Nik ordered the chorizo pasta (smokey Spanish chorizo sausage sautéed with fresh garlic, onion and white wine in a traditional Napolitana sauce with a dash of cream and fresh parsley for R115) with four prawns (extra R60). Sounds divine, doesn’t it?
Our mains came rather quickly, and my goodness, they were to-die-for! Incredibly tasty, and the portions were pretty big, too. My calamari was perfect! I enjoyed every mouthful. Nik said his pasta was the best he’s ever had in Joburg. After scoffing down our mains, we ordered both the chocolate tart (made the same way as chocolate truffles with a nutty crust for R55) and the Pavlova (sticky meringue, vanilla ice-cream and fresh berries for R58) to share for dessert.
Both desserts were beautifully presented and tasted like heaven. I personally preferred the chocolate tart (probably because I’m a chocoholic!) – it’s the best I’ve ever tasted! Overall, Nik and I both really enjoyed our time at Café Del Sol Classico. It was a very pleasant evening despite the slow service in the beginning. I simply can’t wait to go back – the menu is very extensive and imaginative, and there are so many things on it that I want to try!
If you’re looking for a lovely spot to enjoy brilliant Italian food that absolutely lives up to its every promise, go here. An attractive interior and easy parking completes the picture. It’s certainly popular for very good reason!
By Candice May