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Pesce Azzurro

Pesce Azzurro
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Cost
R150
Ambience
Groups, Quick meals
Food
Bistro fare, Italian, Mediterranean, Tapas
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R50

Critic's review

John Maytham

Food

Pesce Azzuro is Italian for ‘blue fish’. That’s the category that we South Africans refer to as ‘oily fish’, and it contains fish like sardines, anchovies, tuna and swordfish – although one wouldn’t want to see the latter too often on the menu, as it’s listed ‘orange’ on the SASSI index.

The menu at this cosy neighbourhood Italian eatery is dominated by fishy choices. Yes, there are meat options like sirloin and lamb, and primi piatti such as gnocchi di ricotta and pasta carbonara, but eschew those and dive into the ocean.

Start with a plate of five tapas – there is a list on a blackboard, but the five that arrive on your plate are chosen by the chef based on what fresh fish is available on the day. On our visit, it was kabeljou served three ways – delicious and lightly spiced fish balls in a rich tomato sauce, cubed and cooked with a white bean salad, and filigree thin carpaccio. The octopus and potato salad is a regular, and very tasty with interesting texture contrasts, and the aubergine caponata highlights the smoky taste of this veg superbly.

The spaghetti scoglio is the dish most often re-ordered on repeat visits, and it’s easy to see why. A huge mound of perfectly al dente spaghetti groans under the weight of a maritime mélange of calamari, mussels, clams and prawns in a yummy tomato sauce with just the right hint of chilli. Kabeljou made a return as a main – grilled to perfection and served with chips that would tempt even Prof Noakes.

For the sweet of tooth, Grandma’s tiramisu or panna cotta are reliable ways of ending the meal.

Drinks

The wine list is basic and without much imagination, but there is sufficient choice to match most dishes on the menu satisfactorily. There are also some Italian wines available.

Service

Perfectly efficient and charming on the night.

Ambience

It’s like being beside the Mediterranean or Adriatic without a hint of kitsch. Whitewashed wood tables with an eclectic mix of chairs, a bare brick wall and sea-themed paintings all add up to a relaxed and cosy space to enjoy an evening out.

And…

I am always encouraged when I enter a restaurant serving regional food and the place is full of the accents of the region. This is an Italian restaurant where Italians love to eat.

(August 2017)

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

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User reviews

  • Fantastic authentic Italian - clearly patronized by Italians! Share a few starters and then dive into the pasta. Delicious al dente ribbons with delicate seafood sauces. The gnocchi with fish ragu was an unexpected highlight! They have just recently got their license so no need to take your own wine any more.
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  • Best italian food we have had. The 5 tapas starter is a must. No liquor license, take your own wine.
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  • What an experience! I was warned that the chef was grumpy and the service slow. What is happening to South Africans? Don’t you understand the meaning of dolce farniente? Tuna tartare: superb. Mussels: superb. Whole grilled Red Roman (touché!) served with fresh white asparagus: excellent. In spite of a full restaurant Andrea, Judith and Lynn were omnipresent without being intrusive. Worth a detour? Absolutely! Bravo!
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  • We were a table of 7. Two people got their food the rest waited an extra 30 minutes. When my pasta came it was undercooked. Chef is arrogant and zero customer service!!Refused to listen. I then waited half an hour and a waiter then comes and says chef refuses to make the dish for me. Huh?? When I confront him he says too bad, he has worked hard all day and my dish was fine. Seriously!? Why didn’t he tell me that up front?? And he is wrong. A couple of us tasted it and it was raw and completely different to another dish of the same. Will never go there again! They don’t understand customer service at all.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Alfresco
  • Beer served
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Dinner
  • Dog-friendly
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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