Tue 26 Feb 2013
I have been to eat at Goloso Deli and Restaurant on Regent Road twice in ten days, and have been impressed with how popular this eatery has become amongst Atlantic Seaboard locals and tourists walking past in four short months. Chef Alessandra Masciadri and her husband Chris Kennedy have created a rustic eatery that brings the best of Italian home cooking to our city.
Chef Alessandra is a qualified lawyer, and left her practice in Milan to follow her husband Chris’ dream to come back to his home country, on condition it was Cape Town, to be near the ocean, and because it is more continental. Chris grew up in Johannesburg, where he had worked at an international law practice, and was sent to Milan. This is where he and Alessandra met. Chris now practices as an advocate in Cape Town, but is hands on in chatting to the guests. Alessandra is not so confident in her English, and asks Chris to translate if she cannot think of the right English word. She told me that her family loves cooking, and it was her grandfather making charcuterie and selling it in a deli near Como that shaped her family’s love for food. She and her sisters were taught by their mother to cook, ‘deepening their passion for cooking’, and they went for cooking lessons too, which expanded their repertoire. Chris and Alessandra love travelling around the world, as well as in Italy, and it is here that they focused on the small villages where they picked up unusual Italian dishes, and have brought them to Cape Town, finding the right ingredients locally being the only impediment. She loves her restaurant, and says the immediate feedback from her customers makes this new career much better than the law one she left behind in Italy.
‘Goloso’ means ‘a little bit greedy’ or to be a glutton, Chris explained, and this was the name given to the outlet by the previous owner, who ran it mainly as a deli, and offered a few take-away and sit-down Italian dishes. Chris and Alessandra bought the restaurant five months ago, and took over the neighbouring shoe shop space too, painted it red and yellow, and decorated it simply with wooden shelves to house the wines and Chef Alessandra’s cook books. The red Vespa photograph says ‘Italy’ better than anything else! The wooden tables have a table cloth, with sheets of paper over them. Cutlery is unbranded, and a Goldcrest coarse sea salt grinder, a Natural pepper grinder, and olive oil and balsamic vinegar imported from Italy are on the table, with a paper serviette. The restaurant can seat 43 inside and out. Most of the deli part of Goloso has been removed, but they will be selling Chef Alessandra’s home-made pasta to take away. The chef is also making basil pesto, tomato paste, aubergine paste, as well as olive paste, for customers to buy. Their pastes and pastas are freshly made, and do not contain preservatives.
Before my order arrived Chef Alessandra sent out tomato bruschetta, as well as a brown paper packet of bread slices, an unusual way of serving it. Preparation space is very limited for Chef Alessandra and her team, and a dry wall section taken out of the restaurant seating area has an open top so that one can hear the plates clanging as the dishes are prepared, the only negative of the restaurant. The Chef pops in at the tables, greeting her guests, many being locals, and some having become regulars and friends already. It is no surprise that Goloso is fully booked most evenings. I asked Alessandra what she enjoys eating, and she likes plain pasta sprinkled with olive oil, with chili, garlic, and parsley. Her favourite pizza is a Margherita. She rarely has time to go to a restaurant, but has enjoyed the Cape Malay restaurant in the Old Cape Quarter the most.
The menu comes in a black plastic cover, with plastic pockets, with a dish scratched out with a coki pen. It is changed regularly, and there is always a dish of the day. I ordered the Polla al Limone, but did not like the sound of chick peas for the vegetable served with it, so Chef Alessandra offered some lovely fresh pasta and butternut with an assortment of nuts roasted in olive oil. The chicken was prepared in lemon and wine, and the sauce was heavenly, the dish being excellent value at R100. The specials board on the day I ate at Goloso offered a special of pasta and chicken with mussels in white wine sauce, at R70. The menu offers Antipasto of carpaccio of beef (R70) and vegetables (R50); seven salads, including Caprese (in two sizes R27, R50), salmon, and Sicilian; sixteen pasta dishes, with Tagliatelle, penne, and Tagliolini, served with a range of ingredients, including bacon, smoked salmon, gorgonzola, chicken, mushrooms, eggplant and more. Main courses include rump steak, chicken, veal, and beef fillet.
The Tiramisu (R35) was excellent, a generous portion topped with cocoa and roasted flaked almonds, and thick and creamy. I ordered a Hausbrandt (Italian coffee supplier from Trieste to Goloso, and also supplying their gelato) Cremoso (R25), a liquid coffee gelato, Chris explained, to which one can add a liqueur.
Chris and Alessandra are making the most of their space, and offer an extensive Breakfast menu, with add on items charged separately. Scrambled eggs cost R28, for example, and R32 with chorizo, and R55 with salmon. Omelets (plain at R28, with a bolognese sauce at R36, or with three fillings out of a choice of nine R55), fried eggs, French Toast (plain at R25, or with a bolognese sauce at R36), muesli, fruit salad, yoghurt, smoothies, continental breakfast platters, antipasto platters, muffins (choice of carrot, honey and date, mixed berry, Lindt, banana, apple), and Swiss Lindt brownies are some of the Breakfast choices.
Goloso is licensed, and offers a mix of reasonably priced wines and liqueurs. Chris showed me their Limoncello on Sorrento, which comes from Franschhoek, as well as the Organic liqore du cioccolato, which is available in mandarin and raspberry flavours too. The wine list is a laminated sheet, not specifying vintages. A fair number of the wines are served by the glass. Arabella from Robertson serves as the house wine, the Sauvignon Blanc costing R25 per glass and R90 per bottle. Sauvignon Blancs from Noble Hill, Cederberg, La Motte, and Graham Beck are also available, a Graham Beck Unwooded Chardonnay (R20/R80), Amani (R140), and Ken Forrester Petit Chenin (R25/R90) on offer too. Red wines include a Fairbridge red blend (R20/R80), Umfiki Cabernet Sauvignon (R20/R80), Arabella Shiraz (R90), and Secret Cellar supplying the Merlot (R25/R95), and the MCC (R100). Corkage costs R30.
Chris and Alessandra are having such a good time in what they do that they are opening Goloso Pizzeria across the road, closer to the refurbished Checkers, in March. The flour will be imported from Italy, being ‘doppio zero‘ finer flour, as will be the tomato base and most of the toppings, such as artichokes, olives, mozzarella di buffalo, sun-dried tomatoes, and olive oil and balsamic from Modena.
Goloso is a very friendly homely eatery without any airs and graces, at which one can enjoy genuine Italian fare prepared with love and passion, at good value. Chef Alessandra and Chris would like their restaurants to feel like ‘mother’s kitchen’, with customers feeling at home, and well cared for by Alessandra and her team. It looks as if they have achieved this in a very short period of time, being full most nights.
Goloso, 90 Regent Road, Sea Point, Cape Town. Tel (021) 439-2144. www.goloso.webs.com Monday - Sunday 7h00 - 22h00. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage