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Boschendal Style Award nominee: Craft Trattoria

Durban hotspot Craft Trattoria blends serene Scandinavian design with fun, quirky elements to create a relaxed, stylish space.

The mood: hip yet relaxed, the crowd changes from young families early on, to the hip party crowd later in the evenings. Contemporary design elements coexist quite happily with colouring in books for the kids.

The designer: Owner Neil Roake (who’s also behind Freedom Café) called in long-time friends, Neil and Roche Dry of Egg Designs to take care of the interior.

The details: The structure is constructed from beautiful poplar wood, lending a faintly Scandinavian feel to the interior. A glass-fronted kitchen offers great views of the action, and light fittings designed to resemble giant matchsticks make a quirky lighting solution. Comical faux cuts of meat, fabricated from fabric and stuffing, hang from meat hooks on the walls. Outside, takeaway pizzas are passed out through a large pair of glossy red lips, created by Egon Davell. Egon is also responsible for a fiberglass fork, twisted around the lamppost outside.

The food: Head chef Werner Adendorff turns out modern regional Italian dishes, using only authentic ingredients. Pizzas are named after saints, and you won’t find any heathen ingredients here – no chicken, avocado or banana! Other specialities are oxtail ravioli in a jus, risotto cakes with dipping sauce and seafood pastas which come steamed in the bag.

Does Craft Trattoria have what it takes to win the Boschendal Style Award at the Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards?

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