Venues

Café del Sol (Olivedale)

Café del Sol (Olivedale)
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  • Location 011 704 6493
  • Phone Number Olivedale Corner, Corner Olive and President Fouche Roads, Olivedale, Randburg, Johannesburg
  • email bookings@cafedelsol.co.za
  • Website URL www.cafedelsol.co.za
  • Opening Hours

    Lunch: Tuesday to Sunday 12 noon to 3pm

    Dinner: Tuesday to Saturday 6pm to 9.30pm

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Cost
R140 avg main meal
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Bistro fare, Italian, Mediterranean, Modern, Vegetarian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
500

Critic's review

Jodi-Ann Pearton

Food
Nonna’s menu never disappoints and one can see this from the smiles beaming off every face in this hidden gem of a restaurant in Olivedale. Despite the fact that Café del Sol is to be found in a somewhat semi-deserted shopping center, it is always full and the food never ceases to tantalise the palate. Every item on the menu is inspired from classical Italian roots and is cooked from first principles, using only the freshest ingredients. Nonna, the founder Italian founder and patron of this fine establishment, can often be seen keeping a watchful eye on her kitchen hands, when she is not walking the floor and taking orders from her clients, or sharing the daily specials. These include tender pasta pockets of ravioli stuffed with roasted butternut and served with crispy sage and beurre noisette, hand rolled gnocchi and classical Napolitano sauce, crispy squid heads with aioli and seared salmon served with hand cut pasta or veal saltimbocca. The a la carte menu is extensive. The perfectly prepared risottos are a testimony to the exceptional skills of the establishment and the delicate porcini risotto should not be missed. For the health conscious, the seared salmon, crusted in black sesame and served with avocado mash and grapefruit is just mouthwatering. Oh, and do not forget the puds and cakes – all made in-house and totally delicious. Rich, moreish and over the top. What a joy it is to dine at such a wonderful, easygoing establishment where the food is so comforting. It is not a cheap night out, but is well worth it.

Drinks
The wine list is of a reasonable size, with a suitable selection of both red and white wines within most budgets. There’s also a good selection of beers and spirits to choose from.

Service
The service is excellent but since Alex, the former host, has moved to the Botanica branch, it does feel as though the restaurant has lost one thumb. Over time it is sure to grow back but for now they are regaining balance, even though it has been six months. The staff on the floor are always kind and friendly and helpful, but be warned they are not always as friendly when you try and phone to book, perhaps because they are terribly busy. Booking via e-mail (and well in advance to avoid disappointment) is sometimes easier.

Ambience
The ambience is fabulous: feel good quotes from floor to ceiling all over Café del Sol inspire conversation, and the patrons are always bubbly and lively. The hum of the busy kitchen filters into the atmosphere and creates a high-energy buzz, vibrant and fun. At night, candlelight and low lighting create a soft ambience; over lunch time the feel is more street style café.

And…
This is also a great spot to pop in for coffee and cake during the day.

(August 2015)

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Jodi-Ann Pearton

    The 2015 Best Everyday Eateries are voted for by Eat Out readers. To find the winners, we calculated the restaurants with the highest average ratings on eatout.co.za from 1 October 2014 to 30 September 2015 – that’s a full year of reviews and star ratings. Café del Sol in Randburg won the award for the best Italian eatery in Gauteng.

    Eat Out critic Jodi-Ann Pearton paid them a visit, to find out why Joburg residents keep coming back for more.

    Food
    Despite the fact that Café del Sol is to be found in a somewhat semi-deserted Olivedale Corner Centre, it is always full and the food never ceases to tantalise the palate. Every item on the menu is inspired from Italian roots and is cooked from first principles, using only the freshest ingredients.

    Luciana Traccani, the Italian founder and patron of this fine establishment, can often be seen keeping a watchful eye on her kitchen hands, when she is not walking the floor and taking orders from her clients or sharing the daily specials.

    These include tender pasta pockets of ravioli stuffed with roasted butternut and served with crispy sage and beurre noisette, hand-rolled gnocchi and Napolitana sauce, crisp squid heads with aioli, and seared salmon served with hand-cut pasta.

    The à la carte menu is extensive. The perfectly prepared risottos are a testimony to the exceptional skills of the establishment, and the delicate porcini risotto should not be missed. For the health-conscious, the seared salmon, crusted in black sesame and served with avocado mash and grapefruit, is just mouth-watering.

    Oh, and do not forget the puds and cakes – all made in-house and totally rich, moreish and over the top.

    What a joy it is to dine at such a wonderful, easygoing establishment where the food is so comforting. It is not a cheap night out, but it’s well worth it.

    Drinks
    The wine list is of a reasonable size, with a suitable selection of both red and white wines within most budgets. There’s a good selection of beers and spirits to choose from.

    Service
    The service is excellent, but since former host Alex has moved to the Botanico branch in Bryanston it does feel as though the restaurant has lost one thumb. Over time it is sure to grow back, but for now they are regaining balance, even though it has been six months.

    The staff on the floor are always kind and friendly and helpful, but be warned they are not always as friendly when you try to book by phone, perhaps because they are terribly busy. Booking via email (and well in advance to avoid disappointment) is sometimes easier.

    Ambience
    The ambience is fabulous: Feel-good quotes from floor to ceiling inspire conversation, and the patrons are always bubbly and lively. The hum of the busy kitchen filters into the atmosphere and creates a high-energy buzz. At night, candlelight and low lighting create a soft ambience; over lunch time the feel is more street style café.

    And…
    This is also a great spot to pop in for coffee and cake during the day.

  • Leila Saffarian

    Dining out in Johannesburg often means enjoying lunch or dinner in yet another shopping complex. The situation is what it is, but what makes the above more tolerable, in fact even pleasurable, is enjoying Italian cuisine at its best, in a restaurant that not only puts Nonna’s cooking to shame but also received the title of Best Italian Restaurant in 2012 from Eat Out. Clearly with good reason; there’s a load of good chatter happening about Café del Sol.

    Food
    A large menu means there is something for every taste. Naturally, you'll find pasta, as with any good Italian eatery. The handmade ravioli and gnocchi in particular are very tempting. When it comes to the ravioli of the day – hand-made pasta pockets with a seasonal filling – only ten portions are made daily, so hold thumbs they’ve still got some left for you. The same principle goes for the gnocchi, which comes served with browned butter and sage, a Napoletana sauce, or fresh basil pesto.

    As for the risottos, the porcini version won’t disappoint. Porcini mushrooms, fresh peas and a hint of truffle oil add extra flavour to this dish of perfectly cooked rice (R105). If carne is your thing, the tender rolled pork fillet will have you relishing every bite. It’s a delicious dish of rolled pork fillet, stuffed with parma ham, fontina and smoked mozzarella, and served with creamy garlic mashed potatoes and a sage sauce. The flavours complement each other beautifully and the sage really enhances the flavour of the pork (R120).

    Stuffed calamari is one of their best-sellers: delve into Falklands calamari tubes filled with red pepper, green olives, capers, ricotta cheese, Grana Padano and chilli. It's served with thin capellini pasta, seasonal stir-fried vegetables and a beurre blanc sauce (R115).

    Drinks 
    A good selection of wines present, along with local beers and spirits.

    Service
    Service is excellent and the waiters very attentive. They show a thorough knowledge of the menu and are helpful when it comes to food and wine pairings.

    Ambience
    The restaurant has a fresh, clean and modern feel. The walls and floors are adorned with foodie-inspired quotes. There is a buzz in the air as the restaurant fills up. Patrons seem to relax into the ease that flows from the kitchen to the tables.

    And… 
    If there is any space left for a touch of la dolce vita, give the dark chocolate tart a try. One portion is rich and decadent enough to share (R50).

    (July 2014)

  • The 2012 winner of Best Italian Restaurant. Sensational food served in an unpretentious, modern setting has made this eatery a firm favourite. They make stuffed ravioli (try the artichoke), gnocchi and basil pesto every day. The relaxed atmosphere belies their absolute precision and passion. (Eat Out magazine 2014)
  • Food
    The menu offers a wide range of modern Italian dishes, and not-to-be-missed specials. The traditional Nonna’s light, fluffy gnocchi pillows in a subtle dolce di latte Gorgonzola and walnut sauce are sublime. The cheesecake is a must try, so save some room.

    Wine
    The wine list offers an eclectic selection with a combination of classic, easy-drinking wines as well as contemporary brands.

    Service
    The service is top-notch and attentive without being disruptive. The maître d’ sets the tone with his enthusiasm and knowledge.

    Ambience
    Owners Ryan and Chiara have managed to create a cosy and whimsical space with an elegant yet relaxed feel. Décor is modern and minimalist white with splashes of red and black.

    And...
    Café del Sol is not your typical Nonna’s restaurant, but offers gourmet dining that embodies the essence of traditional Italian flavours and hospitality. (NM, October 2012)
  • Gwynne Conlyn

    It's a relaxed place, but the entire experience is executed with absolute precision and passion. The décor and open-plan kitchen are inspiring and inviting. Cafe del Sol stands out because of its consistency and the fact that everything works together to give a complete dining experience. A neighbourhood favourite for mid-week dinner. The gnocchi is always light, as it should be; also order the tender stuffed calamari.

User reviews

  • On the 17th September my wife SPOILT me by taking me out to dinner at Cafe Del Sol. Well I, no we, were truly spoilt by the magnificent service and meal at Cafe del Sol. We arrived at the restaurant only to be seated at our table which was covered in red rose petals. That just started was was to become a very memorable dining experience. The service from the staff was fantastic and the meals we ordered were incredibly well presented and cooked to perfection. To the staff and management of Cafe Del Sol, many many thanks for making our wedding anniversary so special.
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  • This is definitely one of a kind! Nothing else can be compared to Cafe Del Sol, as they really do have something so special it is almost impossible to put into words. The food is always absolutely top quality, and the panna cotta dessert is to die for!!! I don't mind the expense, because it really is so true that you get what you pay for - and you get an incredible, unique, excellent and totally worthwhile experience of awesome food, service and total happiness!!! A firm favourite always!!!
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  • The best of the best. What else can be said about Cafe Del Sol...My Fiance and I are frequent visitors to Cafe Del Sol and we are always treated to amazing food. This restaurant is by my favorite in the whole of Johannesburg. They are known for their amazing pastas and lamb dishes by the small things like the Primevera Rolls are fantastic. I have tried numerous dishes and they are all absolutely amazing.The wine selection is absolutely amazing. and The service is outstanding and they make the quest feel welcome all the time. Myself and Fiance are proud to call Cafe Del Sol our favorite restaurant. I would recommend this fantastic place to everyone!
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  • We celebrated our 17 wedding anniversary at Cafe de Sol Olivedale! What an amazing experience-treat! Our table had been sprinkled with rose petals - attention to detail! Menu was excellent. Everything sounded so yummy! The lemoncello calamari was mouth watering and the peppered fillet was excellent. We still made room for much raved about desserts, Chocolate Tart & Amaretto Semifreddo which is to die! Beautiful evening, delicious food, wonderful atmosphere! Thank you Joubert for your attentive service! Highly enjoyable & recommened as a must do dining experience!
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  • Simply the best. While the crepe suzette was a disappointment, everything else more than made up for it. I'll gladly go back and work my way through the whole menu. The lemoncello calamari was a treat. Hmm, I could go on. Highly recommended.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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