The menu was devised by chef Chris Black, who has made a name for his Italian food. And although this is a franchise, the kitchen executes his dishes with aplomb. Pretzel-dusted calamari, carpaccio or tomato and mozzarella risotto cakes served with zucchini fries segue into mains. Pizzas – made with imported flour and cooked in the wood-fired oven – are exemplary and also come in a gluten-free version. Toppings range from Parma ham, Philly cream cheese and rocket to chorizo, feta, peppadews, chilli and avocado. Pasta is homemade (select a sauce to pair with your choice of pasta) and a trademark dish is the salsicce with Italian fennel sausages, bacon, mushrooms, Chianti and cream. Meaty dishes include veal Marsala and lamb shank, while seafood brings kingklip roasted in the pizza oven with lemon, capers, white wine and garlic. Decadent dessert options include the Nutella pizza with ice cream, as well as homemade tiramisu and a salted popcorn sundae.
A compact but well considered wine list is presented per varietal and provides a balance between value and quality. There’s a small selection of Italian wines and bubblies, plus a range of craft beers.
Professional waiters are prompt, friendly and industrious, giving the right amount of attention without being intrusive. The kitchen processes orders very efficiently.
Lupa successfully combines the necessary warmth expected of a neighbourhood eatery with playful contemporary touches. Blonde and almond wood floors and tables (that have no formal dressing) are juxtaposed with orange and white metal chairs and exposed brick. The front opens up with large windows that allow local passers-by to peer inquisitively into the perpetually busy restaurant.
The two-course kids’ menu with a cold drink offers good value for money.
The menu at this delightful Italian eatery charms with traditional flavours with a modern twist. With pensioners' discounts available, as well as a kiddies’ menu for R50 and a set menu for R150, Lupa is set nicely in the affordable range of good restaurants.
Pizza bases are light and thin based. A standout is the Sarah pizza with mozzarella, prosciutto, Philadelphia cream cheese and fresh rocket. The pastas are freshly made and, though not strictly al dente, make for a most delicious and filling dish. Treat yourself to the fillet escalope with mushroom sauce and a creamy side of parmesan linguini. Also recommended is the antipasti platter for two, with a selection of traditional Italian cured meats, cheeses, pickles and focaccia – a nice choice for a starter to share.
They offer a superb wine selection, including great Champagnes and imported Italian wines such as Bastianich. Wines by the glass start from R25, while certain wines are available in medium and large carafes.
Service is welcoming, dedicated, professional and friendly. Mostly it is very efficient, but the tempo can hit a bit of a snag when the dinner service heats up, so if you’re there at peak times, be prepared to possibly wait a bit.
It’s a big, open-plan restaurant with side-by-side booth seating. The vibrant atmosphere makes it a great place for a social evening, with a bar and tapas area, too. The seating does not offer much in the way of privacy, though, and given the quite noisy cafeteria vibe, Lupa might not be the best option for a quiet or romantic dinner.
The quality of the pasta and pizza bases here is outstanding – helped no doubt by the use of imported 00 Italian flour and locally sourced organic eggs.
Had lunch at Lupa today and the food was superb. Loved the fillet with mushroom risotto and my fiancé also enjoyed his seafood pasta. Will be back.
Such a divine restaurant. We went there for a ladies dinner and all I can say is 'wow'! I had the calamari and salad which was absolutely delicious. One of my girlfriends had this divine fillet of beef on mushroom risotto with roasted tomatoes and avo, let me tell you it is as delicious as it sounds. Will definitely go back there. Wine was also very good!
What a huge disappointment. After looking forward to experiencing Lupa, our Father's Day lunch was awful. A few had the veal, which looked like it had been boiled and was totally tasteless (some said inedible). The rest of the food was very ordinary and uninspiring (a lot of which looked like the 'mass produced' variety). The service was virtually non-existent, and the venue totally cramped, with too many tables far too close together. Couldn't wait to get out of the place. Never again.
An amazing resturant, awesome food, good staff and service. Best pasta/pizza place I have ever eaten at.
Very impressed. All 5 of us had stunning starters, mains and dessert! The chocolate pizza was a big hit!
Chris Black and Guy Cluver have yet again done an amazing job! Lupa is wonderful! Food excellent, service professional and efficient, yet relaxed. Managers are brilliant. We love the veal dishes and the meatballs are outstanding! Our children's favourite new restaurant. The only problem we have is deciding between Bellevue and Lupa now. Well done!
Awesome addition to Hillcrest and really great value. I'm looking forward to eating there a lot!
Prices far too cheap!
Good day, I was highly disappointed with the end of my evening at Lupa Hillcrest on Friday night - 12 April 2013. I was there for the second time in a month as we were celebrating a friend's birthday. We had two tables and some of the party left early all paying! As the two tables were divided up under three bills a close call needed to be kept on the orders. I was one of the last to leave and my bill was questioned as friends had already left but they made us pay again for his meal - a veal with three Savannas (approximately R200).The manager was rude and my friend who is 8 months pregnant paid to avoid conflict. I was very happy with the food and wine but Lupa is certainly expensive in comparison to most restaurants, therefore service is a must. I would like some feedback as this is totally unacceptable. My bill alone was R1100 and there were another two, makes me wonder!
The place is amazing.Their fillet steak with porcini mushrooms is amazing. Wish I could eat there every night.