Venues

Fumo

Fumo
Write a Review
  • Phone Number 0123460916
  • Location Shop 21, Groenkloof Plaza, Corner of Baines street and George Storrar Drive, Groenkloof, Pretoria
  • email info@fumo.co.za
  • Website URL www.fumo.co.za
  • Opening Hours

    Monday to Thursday 10am - 11pm; Friday to Saturday 10am - late; Sunday 10am - 9pm

Is this your venue?

Claim it now!

Please or signup in order for you to claim this venue.

Cost
R140 avg main meal
Ambience
Authentic culture
Food
Italian, Tapas
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Hennie Fisher

Food
The menu starts with a comprehensive list of tapas and starters – be sure to try the grilled sardines with pine nuts and raisins with a little vinegar dressing or the octopus, chorizo and cauliflower dish, which is totally delicious and with a sauce begging to be mopped up with some great bread. Other starter dishes include chicken thighs in Moroccan harissa; a selection of utterly delicious croquetas (in flavours like mushroom, chorizo and spinach) presented in a folded paper cone; lamb arrosticini (tiny lamb kebabs with an anchovy sauce).

Of course there is also a selection of pastas, risottos, raviolis, pizzas and items from the Josper grill, and there is a very popular goat’s stew cooked in a carolo sauce, served with polenta and peppers. For dessert try the cannoli Siciliani with pistachio ice cream; torta al limone or baked Napoletana ricotta cheesecake.

Drinks
The cocktail list features some very creative cocktails such as the #42 (with Hendrick’s gin, raspberry jam, fresh lemon and earl grey, finished with prosecco), or the Fumo with Finlandia, Grand Marnier, cinnamon syrup and cranberry juice. The wine list kicks off with two and a half pages of champagne followed by some prosecco and MCC’s, and goes on to list some interesting wines.

Service
Toni Signorelli is the front-of-house manager and will see that you are made to feel welcome, while the waiters and waitresses are well-trained, friendly, knowledgeable, helpful and also smartly dressed in black with bright white branded Laurent Perrier aprons.

Ambience
The restaurant has recently had a total make-over that reorganised the kitchen and bar, opened them both up and improved flow considerably – gone is all the wood and stuffiness. The outside area and smoking section are much more casual with lounge furniture between a few tables.

And…
Fumo appears to attract a lovely mix of clientele from the public, corporate and local worlds, keen to experience good Italian cuisine.

(September 2016)

Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Hennie Fisher

    Food
    Owner/chef Claudio Uccello believes Italian food is all about buying the best ingredients available, and then treating them as simply as possible. He is a hands-on guy who tells a story of a food blog he follows and contributes to, where Italian chefs share their passion for food and where the simplest question - for example how to best coddle an egg - can result in an exchange of epic proportions, in true Italian style.

    A visit is a treat from start to finish. The bread sticks (grissini) are made with good quality parmesan, while other homemade breads (pumpkin or olives) at the start of the meal should be an indication of what to expect. The tapas menu takes snacking to the next level: grilled sardines with pine nuts, raisins and white vinegar; meat balls in tomato sauce; deep fried mozzarella di bufala; sautéed chorizo with peas and onion; baby octopus with cocktail tomatoes, garlic and white wine; chorizo and spinach croquettes; Arancini balls stuffed with porcini mushrooms and smoked mozzarella, or a plate of Gammon Bellota with a fresh fennel and rocket salad and pickled chillies.

    Claudio probably makes the best nettle risotto in the country and is able to explain why nettles from some areas are so much better than others. Their risotto is made more unctuous through the addition of Tallegio cheese and the end result manages to strike just the right balance of soupiness and bite, elegantly presented and garnished with a thin, crisp parmesan wafer. This was followed by an asparagus ravioli, a pear and ricotta ravioli in beetroot pasta with gorgonzola sauce, both offset by a little mound of grilled sliced aubergine – utter perfection. While they often have specials such as seabass or sea bream imported from Italy, the a la carte menu lists a number of starters from the sea. Think of Manucce di Calamaretti - fried baby squid with baby marrow and brinjal; Mussels Guazzetto - peppers and fennel in a fresh tomato and chilli sauce, or the deluxe pan-fried duck liver and Venetian scallops with cauliflower and beetroot purée. Main course options include Sagne a Pezze al Ragu (broken lasagne); Vongole e Broccoli (home-made black ink pasta with clams and broccoli) or an Italian fish stew with Napoletana sauce, white wine, garlic, chilli, fresh herbs and toasted bread, to name but a few. For desserts try the passionfruit crème brûlée; Limoncello panna cotta with fresh strawberries or Tiramisu tower with liquorice ice cream.

    Drinks
    The wine list is carefully considered and includes some delightful imported wines such as Italian Pinot Grigio, but it is heartening to see that local wines are also given their due.

    Service
    The staff at Fumo are extremely well-trained, personable and professional. One of the outstanding features here is that there is always a person on duty at the reception desk, something so few Pretoria restaurants deem necessary. Few restaurants these days employ a maître’d, and it is such a pleasure to dine here and be attended by a professional who understands the subtleties of fine dining.

    Ambience
    The space has changed hands since it was initially fitted out as a restaurant, resulting in a restaurant that is slightly quirky and probably has a stronger New York influence than the average restaurant in Italy would have – perhaps due to the sepia-toned prints lining the walls. The space is generous; exposed metal beams in gun metal grey and large black-and-white chequerboard tiles set the tone. There is a large bar counter to the left of the entrance, a wine cellar, an outside area, a separate section where the pizza oven is housed, and a number of alcoves. When booking, ask for a table in the little bay alcove with doors that slide open to let the outside in.

    And…
    On Sundays they have a live jazz band to set the scene for a relaxed afternoon of good food and music

  • Diane de Beer

    Food
    Blue-blood Italian chef Claudio Uccello has recently taken over the establishment having worked in the kitchen from the start; it will be interesting to see what route he follows. The food is authentic, slanted towards the South of Italy. Claudio is young, adventurous and keen to create his own brand of Italy. If you want to start with salad, opt for their radicchio salad with chicken, black olives, pine nuts, pecorino cheese and an orange dressing. Alternatively, consider ordering the fennel and fresh tuna salad with anchovies and white balsamic. Or opt for the finger-licking calamari squid, served in a funky paper cone, and then turn serious with some succulent pan-fried duck breast with spinach and an unusual Marsala wine sauce and sesame seeds. This is imaginative Italian fine dining.

    Drinks 
    Their clientele demands a serious list, so expect all the hot vineyards as well as a serious collection of grappa.

    Service
    Staff are clear-headed and fast on their feet, which is good because this is a busy corner of town.

    Ambience
    There’s a contemporary feel about this space, which was at first designed as a smart American diner. It's a large room, with one area covered in the classic white and black checkered tiles and smart tables with crisp white linen tablecloths. Another space offers large armchairs for a quiet chat away from the table. The décor seems to go down well with the young, funky and professional crowd it serves.

    And...
    If you like to people-watch, you could see the odd business deal go down here. In this governmental and diplomatic city, it's fun to watch the players at work.

    (July 2014)

  • Fumo has created something rare. It’s down to the ambience and the option of terrazzo or indoors in summer. You can go formal or more casual as the occasion demands. The food is Italian with flair from a chef who’s passionate about his country of origin and its cuisine. Service is classic and the menu offers an extraordinary range: osso buco served with saffron risotto, a pizza in grand style, or spaghetti served in baby octopus sauce with cherry tomatoes, chili and parsley. ­(EO mag 2014)
  • Food
    Only a year old and they decided to shed their Mastrantonio wings. After hooking up with this acclaimed Joburg brand when they started out, Fumo has now found its own feet and identity. With a blueblood Italian chef, the food is authentic and slanted towards the South of Italy. From black gnocchi to white pizzas (without the ubiquitous tomato), the food is delicate, extraordinary and even though simplicity is underlined, the flavours will intrigue.

    Wine
    They have a list that’s as rich as it is varied.

    Service
    With clientele stretching from professionals to family, they’re impressive.

    Ambience
    It has always been a fabulous spot and they have brought in an Italian feel with a more comfortable ambience rather than the seriously smooth interiors of the previous proprietors. It’s smart though, so don’t think of it as an Italian bistro.

    And...
    If you want to people-watch, this is where you might find some serious clout from the business, government and diplomatic world. (DdeB, October 2012)

User reviews

  • Real italian feast! And we were treated to a live in-house band for entertainment too. Their risottos are amazing and the mascarpone millefeuille to die for! Wine a bit too pricey though...
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • My parents in law live in a small town with little access to good restaurants so we always like to visit good restaurants when they come to Pretoria to visit. Their favorite is Italian. On Saturday we decided to try a new Italian place as opposed to the few really good ones we frequent. We visited Fumo based on a good Eat Out review. What an utter disappointment. The setting and décor are attractive and set the scene for a wonderful evening. We sat on the balcony under the full moon and ordered a really good wine. All boded well for a wonderful evening. However, the service and food that were to follow did not match up to our first impressions – nor the menu prices I must add either. After having to request our waiter for the daily specials, another waiter arrived to inform us that the specials for the day were pork cutlets and sea bass. He did not have a clue how they were prepared nor what they were served with. In a restaurant where the average price for a main course is about R180, this is not acceptable. When we asked questions about the specials, he appeared to make things up suggesting that we could order ‘any kind of sauce for the pork – including cheese sauce or lemon butter’! How absolutely unappetizing. None of us decided to take the specials of course. My father in law then asked a question about the scallops and ceviche starter which he was excited to order. He wanted to know if there could be a slight modification made to the dish. The waiter did not know and went to the kitchen to ask. When he returned he said that the ceviche was actually just a sauce – which confused us all, but nonetheless, my father-in-law ordered it. About 10 minutes later, the waiter returned to say that actually, they did not have that dish available for the night. Irritated and disappointed, my father in law ended up foregoing a starter. When the rest of the table’s starters arrived – mussels and avocado carpaccios - they were acceptable but not amazing. For mains my steak was ok but there was hardly any green peppercorn sauce on the steak as per the menu. I could not complain however. The rest of the family ordered the Italian fish stews, which sounded great on the menus. However, when they arrived they were shameful and most certainly NOT worth the R180 advertised. They contained one or two small pieces of fish and a few prawns but mostly just shells and unidentifiable things that could have been bits of crab shell. My parents in law had to request additional prawns and bread. None of them were satisfied with the food – quality nor quantity wise. As a result we asked for the bill and left. Needless to say, we did not stay to order deserts or anymore wine. For what my father in law paid in the end we could have had a fabulous meal at a few other Italian restaurants in the city. And that is what we will be doing in the future. I would definitely not recommend Fumo and we will most certainly not be returning. Rarely is the case where I feel motivated enough by a restaurant’s poor food or service to write a review. However, after this experience I must say that as customers we felt completely taken advantage of. Oh, and as a side note, for the duration of most of our meal, the restaurant manager was watching sport on TV.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • BEST PLACE TO GO TO FOR PROPER ITALIAN FOOD ALL FRESH AND HOME MADE.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Amazing from start to finish....so good that we are going back for more tomorrow!!!!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Fumo is a lovely establishment, with stylish decor, and very tasty food. You can choose to sit in a booth for a more relaxed meal, inside for a more formal dinner, or on the balcony to enjoy the evening breeze. They make lovely pizzas (think mushrooms with truffle oil, mmm) and there risotto is excellent. Fumo is a firm favourite.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Very disappointing food and wine at this Italian eatery. 45 minutes after ordering I was told that my meal was not fit to serve and was offered an alternative which was mediocre. It is hard to serve bad red wine in South Africa but they succeeded in doing so. The salad was oily and totally overdressed. To top it all off, I waited 45 minutes extra for the taxi...wow

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • The food is a dream, an Italian dream! The Italian chef is as good in the kitchen than with clients, and his lovely beautiful, French wife is as pro as her husband. You have to go there!

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food

Menu

Set menu - Fuma - Updated February 2017

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Alfresco
  • Beer served
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian
  • WiFi

Write a review

Nearby Restaurants

Featured restaurants

Eatout