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Balducci's Restaurant (Cape Town, South Africa)

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1 Review

Address: Shop 6162, Victoria Wharf, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

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      05.01.2012 11:02
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      Eclectic African influenced Italian food

      For the last night of our holiday we returned to Cape Town and headed down to the V & A Waterfront to find a place to eat. In all honesty we had seen Balducci's when we dined here before, but plumped for Karibu next door that night instead. We hadn't booked but it wasn't a problem seating 10 of us on a Monday night. The restaurant décor is ultra contemporary and not at all typical of most Italian restaurants I have eaten in. It was quite dark with a chillout soundtrack playing discreetly over the speaker system. The walls near our table were decorated with black and white photos of models in sexy poses. They looked like jeans or fragrance ad pictures, and I would be surprised if any of the women pictured had eaten carbs recently. The lavatories were also quite dark, with a kind of granite finish with communal washbasins between the gender sections. The sinks were very stylish and it was all very ultra-modern.

      The service here was first class, attentive without being intrusive and always friendly and polite. Quite honestly I don't think anything would have been to much trouble for them, they demonstrated that in the number of times they opened and closed and adjusted the patio doors depending how warm we were. One of our party had a traditional pasta dish and found it too spicy, they promptly re-made it to a more manageable heat for her without any fuss or bother.

      We didn't have a starter here, there selections included soups, salads, shellfish and carpaccio of tuna and started at R55 (£4.78/$7.30). I went for a pizza - Fresh tomato, basil and garlic at R63 (£4.80/$8.40). The base was thin and crispy and the toppings were tasty and fresh. It had a pesto sauce, but it was quite subtle and not over-powering. Another friend had the Capri which came with Gorgonzola, salami and sun-dried tomatoes which he loved. Fish lovers were well served with a number of specials, as well as a number of a la carte options. The mussels in garlic sauce (R100/£8.70/$13.30) were well received also.

      Meat lovers are also well served with some unusual meats accompanying the typical choices of steaks and ribs. The 'Game Duo of the Day' was Zebra and Kudu served with a side dish of your choice for R170 (£15/$24) . He enjoyed both meats but reckoned the zebra edged a win. Others in our party went for Ostrich Lasagne (R89/£7.75/$11.90), they enjoyed it but didn't find it significantly different from traditional beef lasagne. They also do a range of burgers and a 'Raw Foods' menu, which is mainly Sushi based but is very extensive.

      I hadn't been planning a dessert but was persuaded (admittedly without much effort) to share a chocolate fondant (R60/£5.20/$8) which was made with Lindt chocolate and served with vanilla ice cream and chopped strawberry garnish. It was very tasty and a good size to share. The chocolate brownie and duo of ice creams were also a popular dessert choice. To drink I had a local Savannah cider, although others chose from the interesting wine list.

      I found my meal to be excellent value, but then I did select something relatively cheap, but it is good that the menu is so varied, giving a South African twist to Italian classics. I definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone dining in Cape Town.

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