Boozy Foodie – she said:
And there we go – off the the Mall of Africa again! I must admit, we stayed away for a few months after the official opening, haunted by the images of 1000’s of eager shoppers scrambling to get that R99 discount on a big screen TV on the opening day. I was stuck on the N1 that day while 100s of cars swerved across the highway from the fast lane alllll the way to the lefthand side to take the Allandale offramp – everyone in the end just coming to a completed standstill, and the rest of us who simply just wanted to get home being on average 2 hours late.
But now that the initial panic has subsided, it is actually one of our favourite malls. And really enjoy the huge variety of shops and wide corridors. Really a shopper’s haven!
Apart from bracing the usual queue at Starbucks, we haven’t had a meal there yet – so we decided to try Casa Bella for lunch.
As you probably figured out from the title – Casa Bella is an Italian restaurant, specialising in mainly FRESH pasta and woodfired pizza. If I say freshly made – I’ve got proof. The fresh pasta is literally made in front of your eyes – from scratch. No pre-mixes, I watched the pasta being prepared right there on the spot.
See? Told you!
But, I get distracted so easily – first things first.
The decor is beautiful – simplistic and clean lines, while still feeling cozy. We were there earlier that the ‘normal’ Sunday lunchtime, so it wasn’t buzzing and busy (which we kind of prefer anyway).
By the time we left the restaurant was much fuller. We sat inside (I wanted to see the pasta dude do his thing), but the majority of people was actually sitting outside, the area overlooking the piazza.
Next! The wine list isn’t huge – but it has good some good, solid favourites and even a few options by glass. I personally prefer it that way, then it is possible to pair the wine with your courses – if you’re doing a multiple course meal. It also includes some craft beers, whiskies, and grappa as options.
The menu has got a huge variety of dishes – from platters to share (delicious options, keen to try it next time – I am a sucker for a good cheese platter) to the most decadent desserts. I mean – Limoncillo Cheesecake. Need I say more?
But, I must admit, for me the choice was clear! I am here for the pasta! I order the Fettucine Con Pesce. Myself and Noble Savage firmly believe that the way seafood is prepared and served is a good measure of the quality of a restaurants food. If you are going to put crabsticks on the seafood pizza… we won’t be back in a hurry. But fear not, no crabsticks in sight at Casa Bella!
The pasta was delicious – fresh pasta really tastes so different from the pre-made stuff. Great flavours, and quality ingredients. Definitely going onto our ‘to visit again’ list! And yes, remember – I said I will be back to try the anti-pasta platters. Oh, and the Gnocchi Gorgonzola. For that I need to work a little bit – need be get out of my fat pants before that is happening.
Good quality food, family style meals – really a lovely experience. So next time you go to the Mall of Africa, spend some time at Casa Bella.
I dare you.