Welcomed to the restaurant by Mother Luciana & Daughter Chiara whilst sipping on a Gin based cocktail, I know call "Tastes Like More", prepared by well know mixologist - Julian Short with The Botanist Gin. I read on our menu - "Seasonally fresh ingredients, with swirls of love and just a pinch of true Italian laughter' and think to myself we are in for a treat. Then my eye scanned over the menu. (It was actually rather lengthy and I then knew that I would not be leaving the table in a hurry and most definitely not hungry.)
Stuffed Calamari - Peppers, Olives, Capers & Ricotta stuffed calamari tubes served with Capellini Pasta & Stir Fry Veg. I have never really tried having stir fry veg with a pasta. I was pleasantly surprised at how well these light and crisp veggies actually go with a pasta. The calamari tubes are soft and tender with a golden brown crisp to give it an extra bit of a crunch.
Italian Primavera Rolls - Deep fried Rice Pastry filled with Parma Ham, Rocket & Mozzarella served with a white wine sauce. These need to be eaten as soon as they come out of the kitchen. Soft melted Mozzarella with Parma Ham with the crisp fried pastry provide a contrast of textures.
Beetroot Carpaccio - Sliced Beetroot with Gorgonzola, Strawberries & Segments of Orange drizzled with a Balsamic Reduction. The strong flavours of the gorgonzola really compliments the flavours of the reduction and beetroot. Whilst the strawberry & orange cleanse out your palate with a fresh fruit aftertaste.
Vodka based Strawberry & Basil cocktail -
Homemade Gnocchi - Gorgonzola & Walnut. I have never really been a fan of Gnocchi. However, I will always be open to try one if they have new and interesting flavours. Gorgonzola, being one of my favourites is just a flavour that can be savoured on it's own with the walnuts giving the dish some additional texture. They work well together in complimenting the Gnocchi without overpowering the taste of the whole dish.
Ravioli - Porcini Mushroom. Now this dish is probably one of my favourites from the day. Freshly made ravioli. The porcini mushrooms give the dish an interesting change in texture and flavour.
Seafood Risotto - Prawns, Calamari, Salmon, Mussels with Peppers, Mushroom & Potato, Garlic & Onion served with Fresh Cream & Parsley. The description just says it all. Perfectly cooked seafood, that doesn't have that overpowering seafood taste with a crisp risotto made for a delicious dish.
Black Sesame Salmon - Sesame crusted salmon on a bed of lemon infused avocado served with a sweet chilli sauce and fresh grapefruit. Lots of flavours and textures in this meal, may come across as being a bit complex at first when you look at it. But everything just works so well with each other. The lemon infused avo was just a burst of flavour in my mouth.
Porcini Chicken - Roasted chicken breasts served with a porcini, green pea & truffle Risotto & Mushroom Sauce. (By this time, I already knew that I love Procini Mushrooms in a dish.) The one flavour that always may seem somewhat overpowering at first bite is the truffle, as it is strong quite sharp, but it is soon complimented with the Porcini Mushroom and the two work well together.
Mamma's Pavlova - a Sticy meringue with Vanilla Cream & Fresh Berries, drizzled with chocolate sauce. Just that. Soft & Sticky! With fresh fruit. If you love meringue, then this is a winner for you.
Chocolate Tart - If you LOVE chocolate. Then this may just be your match. Very chocolaty. Soft and consistently smooth with a delicious crumb base.
Panna Cotta - Soft & Creamy. With Fresh Strawberries & Berry Compote. (This was my Favourite.)
These pictures really do speak for themselves. What a wonderful lunch!
Get down to Cafe del Sol - Classico and try they out for yourself. You will not be disappointed.
Location: Shop 17 & 18, Olivedale Corner, Cnr Olive & President Fouche Roads, Olivedale, Johannesburg.