According to the team at Pasta Café, more than 15 000 tons of pasta are imported into SA every year – and we doubt that’s purely due to all the athletes fuelling up for last weekend’s Two Oceans. So it’s about time our city had an eatery dedicated solely to this ultimate of comfort foods.
Enter Pasta Café at the Cape Royale. This little restaurant is comprised of only a small, fairy-lit courtyard and cosy interior, but it punches above its weight, Italian wise. As the name suggests, pasta – and only pasta – is the order of the day.
For someone who spends a lot of her time eating out and reporting back, I have a surprisingly low tolerance for long and complicated menus. If the world is my oyster, I’d prefer it to come with a maximum of three accompaniment options.
Pasta Café was right up my alley in this regard. The menu is neatly carved up into meat, seafood and vegetarian sauces, and seven choices of pasta (including a gluten-free option – clever them). That may sound like a lot if you don’t know your rigatoni from your gnocchi, but help is at hand to recommend which style would best suit your chosen sauce.
You can tailor-make your meal by choosing from the build-your-own menu with its long list of ingredients, but if you don’t know what you’re doing I’d suggest choosing a classic sauce and letting the chefs do what they do best.
Speaking of the kitchen, it’s entirely open, so you can watch your meal being made from scratch and prepared to perfection.
Our imaginations being bigger than our stomachs, we ordered three pastas to share between two (and went home with plenty for lunch the next day too).
I’m all about testing the basics before I trust a restaurant (if you can perfect a humble beef patty or margherita pizza, for example, then chances are you know what you’re doing in the kitchen), so we had to go with a classic spaghetti Bolognese, and it didn’t disappoint.
Our other two options were a traditional marinara with excellent calamari and mussels, and the primavera from the veggie menu, with a perfect balance of chilli and peppers. I’m itching to go back for the polpette and to happily have them outdo my home-made carbonara.
The cherry on top? Pasta Café is a hot takeaway spot, so you can get great pasta to take home for the family to devour.
Where Cape Royale Hotel, Main Road, Green Point
Trading hours 11 am – 10 pm daily
Cost Single portions range from R32.50 (Napoletana) to R89.50 (lamb and thyme), while family portions (two adults and two children) start at R90.50 and go up to R275.50
Contact +27 76 089 9174, www.pastacafe.co.za