Have you ever walked into a restaurant and instantly fallen in love? Call me crazy, but it’s happened to me twice and, funnily enough, both of them were Italian Restaurants – one being Lupa Osteria.
There is just something about Italian food that has always satisfied both my stomach and soul. From the very first time my mum made us spaghetti bolognese – my very first meet-cute with Italian food – I have loved learning, tasting and experiencing a variety of dishes that have only made me appreciate and adore Italian cuisine that much more.
We are heading to @Lupa_Osteria at @VandAWaterfront for dinner & #wine tomorrow & it’s all I can think about while working. #Italian cusisine is my fave & I just wanna stuff my face with #pasta & drink wine! #sorrynotsorry for the visual. #food #capetown #sablogger #southafrica pic.twitter.com/w9p2gpqFjL
— The Boldest Type (@TheBoldestType) June 24, 2018
Jeanne and I have tried a number of Italian joints in and around the Mother City and, when given the opportunity, I wasn’t going to pass up indulging in an Italian feast at Lupa Osteria.
When we arrived I fell in love. The decor is gorgeous, the staff friendly and, when I opened the menu, it was a challenge to narrow down and finally choose what I wanted to eat.
We sat down, ordered some wine and coffee, spoke to the manager who told us all about their special features (two pizza ovens (one used as a grill), spaghetti straws and homemade pasta) and mulled over the menu for a good 15-minutes before finally placing our order.
For starters, Jeanne ordered the whole baked camembert (wrapped in parma ham and served with caramelised onions and toasted bruschetta) and I ordered their Caprese salad (Buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, avocado, basil and balsamic glaze). I know, I know, I am so predictable, but I am on a mission to try every Caprese salad in Cape Town, okay?!
When they placed both plates in front of us, the first thing I noticed was their portion sizes – they are huge! Talk about great value for money, guys, wow.
Jeanne immediately cut into her baked camembert which, in true food porn style, started oozing onto the plate – perfection. Luckily, there was lots of delicious bruschetta to help her mop up every morsel, leaving nothing to go to waste.
My Caprese salad was nothing short of incredible. The bowl was filled to the brim with tomatoes – there is nothing worse than a Caprese salad with not enough tomato to pair with the mozzarella – and the mozzarella absolutely delish.
The half an avocado on top was a nice touch but, in my opinion not needed, as the mozzarella was creamy, moreish and wonderful together with the ripe, crunchy tomatoes, sweet balsamic and fresh basil.
Oh my God, take me back now!
When it came to choosing a main, Jeanne and I were more focused. Mainly because after we were told that Lupa Osteria made their very own homemade spaghetti and fettuccine, all we had to choose was a sauce. I mean, it would have been a crime to choose a steak and leave without choosing their homemade pasta, am I right?!
Jeanne always chooses bolognese, mainly because she says it’s a classic dish that, if made well, can’t be topped. Whereas I always go for the tomato and basil based sauce – named ‘Loula’ at Lupa Osteria – and think if they get the balance right between the sweetness of the basil and the acidity given off by the tomatoes, well, then they can do anything!
When both our plates hit the table not 10 minutes after ordering, I think both Jeanne and I could not believe our eyes (and our noses). Sitting in front of us were two plates – again, think huge portions – of delicious pasta that we couldn’t wait to dig into.
Of course, we had to wait for the waiter to grate lashings of parmesan cheese all over everything – because, yum! – before we could dig in, and I had to take a photo to share with all of you guys but, my point is, it was hard to wait a second longer than needed!
Both of us enjoyed our main courses. The pasta was delicious and cooked to perfection, my sauce was silky, smooth and balanced, while Jeanne enjoyed tucking into her bolognese that was a little different than she was used to – which is not always a bad thing!
Jeanne’s bolognese had a touch of cream in it, which only added to the depth of flavour, as well as being a combination of both pork and beef mince – which both of us has never had before and enjoyed, thoroughly!
However, because of how large both our starter and main portions were, Jeanne and I had to take the rest of our main courses home and decided to give dessert a miss… I know, shocker.
This means that I cannot give you a review of any of their desserts – yet! Instead, Jeanne and I decided to go back to try their pizza (probably share one!) and dessert.
We already know what we are going to have (Jeanne: Crème Brûlée, and me: Chocolate and Caramel Fondant, obvs!), and are excited to venture back again to try out some more of their menu. When I do I will update this post and let you know.
Overall, Lupa Osteria might be one of our fave Italian joints we have tried in Cape Town thus far and is yet another restaurant we are dying to take family when they visit throughout the year. But until then, Jeanne and I will be frequenting for many a date night!