This space is neither a restaurant nor a deli nor a market. It is an eclectic combination of the three that works both cohesively and independently. A destination venue, Old Town Italy is billed as an authentic Italian market where you can shop, talk, eat and learn.
The Café Italiano is the heart of this experience, sourcing its foods from the accompanying deli, thus ensuring the freshest premium quality product on the table.
Both the extensive breakfast and lunch menus are wholly composed of seasonal ingredients available in-store. The Italian titles add to the charm with l’ovo sapiens or il bosco verde, sounding more romantic than free-range eggs with streaky bacon, oven-dried tomatoes, mushrooms and artisanal bread or free-range poached eggs with creamed mushroom and sautéed spinach.
Other breakfast feasts include Sebastian’s sausage patty, home-made in the butchery and topped with poached eggs and tomato and served with home-made orange ginger marmalade; waffles from the in-store gelato station served with amarena cherry ice-cream; or buttery croissants either plain or with homemade jam and cheese, chocolate-filled, custard-filled, almond-flavoured or accompanied by bacon and cheese.
Lunch offers a mouthwatering array of antipasti, from mozzarella con prosciutto to pepperoni classici (grilled yellow and red peppers marinated in extra-virgin olive oil) or the daily focaccia special.
Pastas, hand-made in-house, are served as the traditional introduction to a main meal or a light finish to antipasti, and are another expression of classic Italian cuisine. Innovative salads further capture the essence of fresh ingredients like kale chicken Caesar or Norwegian salmon Niçoise.
Mains can be either a buffet-style from the deli or à la carte, like succulent lemon-caper chicken or 300g rib-eye steak prepared Fiorentina style, with crushed salt and pepper, herbs and olive oil. Seafood includes grilled Patagonian calamari or fritto misto, a decadent bowl of batter-fried calamari, prawns, mussels, zucchini and mushrooms.
Complementing the food is an outstanding selection of classic cocktails, natural beverages, artisanal beers and a glimpse into fine Italian spirits, liqueurs and wines. No local wines are available, so this is the opportunity to branch into new horizons. Speciality teas and coffees as well as freshly-squeezed fruit and vegetable juices are also available.
Attentive, interactive and refreshingly different, the service, whether in the café or throughout the store, adds to the ambience and experience.
This is an experience of a traditional Italian market square with the bonus of being modern, convenient and chic. It provides otherworldly charm in the midst of the newly established light industrial/commercial space of new-town Umhlanga.
Don’t leave without perusing the cheese, charcuterie and artisanal bakery counters or indulging in a box of Italian hand-made chocolates or gelato.
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