Venues

The Cousins

The Cousins
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Cost
R80 avg main meal
Ambience
Authentic culture
Food
Italian
Payment
Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Graham Howe

Food
Inspired by their nonna (grandmother) who taught them how to cook back in the Romagna province on the Adriatic Coast, these three Italian cousins specialise in making delicious homemade pasta from scratch. Authenticity and simplicity are the key to a winning formula of wholesome ingredients, mouthwatering flavours and sublime sauces.

Try a delectable burrata for starters: mozzarella filled with stracciatella cream cheese drizzled with tomato balsamic vinegar or lightly steamed fresh asparagus in season. Share a signature dish of homemade gnocchi - a mouthful of light, fluffy pillows of joy - served with a piquant sauce of blue cheese and grated pecans. An unusual specialty (and acquired taste) is the strozzapretti - meaning strangled priest - short, lean, extruded pasta made only from egg whites, served with a choice of traditional bolognaise, pesto, gorgonzola and mushroom sauces.

Classics like tagliatelle bolognaise or lasagne get a makeover - though the ravioli with ricotta and spinach with butter and sage is hard to resist. For dessert, try the tiramisu or ciambella - soft biscuit served with crema pasticciera. The portions are generous, the prices are reasonable, and you’ll come back soon for more.

Drinks
A reasonably-priced selection of local wines with good Italian aperitifs and digestifs from the well-stocked bar.

Service
Warm and informal as well as quick off the mark on delivering dishes.

Ambience
Intimate and laid-back, this informal little trattoria is a family-friendly neighbourhood joint, a local’s secret that draws fans and friends back.

And…
Try the signature tagliolini with cream, mushroom and thyme, theatrically tossed by the server in a giant grand padana cheese then brought on a trolley to the table.

(September 2016)

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

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User reviews

  • My husband and I had been dying to try The Cousins for ages after a friend posted a video of the now infamous "Cousins" pasta being mixed in a large hollowed out parmesan wheel. It's a gem of a spot tucked away in Barrack Street and even on a Monday night - it was a fantastic date night spot! We sat at a table for 2 that had been almost built into the window, so it was super cosy! The mussel starter almost stole the show (it was on the specials board) and there were at least 15 ginormous mussels in their shells with a delicious breadcrumb story baked over them. The beef carpaccio was also equally delicious. Then came their signature pasta - which my husband absolutely loved. It is deliciously rich, so if you don't like very rich food, perhaps stick to something not mixed in a parmesan wheel! I had the mushroom gnocchi with truffle sauce. Possibly the softest and most delicious gnocchi I've ever eaten. And such a large portion! I cannot review dessert as we were too full to even look at the dessert menu. Service was really attentive and the waiters take pride in explaining each specialist dish and why it differs from your run of the mill Italian restaurant. Really nice to see waiters who believe in what they're selling and are proud to do so! Our new favourite date night spot for sure! But also a great place for an evening out with a group of friends! I'm sure it buzzes on a Thursday/Friday/Saturday night!
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  • The staff are welcoming and service is good. Its a cosy place in a quieter part of the CBD. I've heard good things about the Italian brothers, and was eager for a good Italian meal. There is a limited daily specials menu (plus 'The Cousins pasta' constant) plus a larger menu that we hardly glanced at as we were there for the fresh dishes of the day. The mussles gratin arrived cold (I've had them at another authentic Italian deli/restaurant in the CBD and they didn't taste half as good), the 'cousins' pasta was presented in a showy way by swirling in aound in a massive hollowed out cheese, however once on the table, it was cold! All dished lacked seasoning (apparently real italian food is under-seasoned), the wine choices are good. While we stayed til closing enjoying catching up with friends, we won't go again! Sorry Luca.
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  • The best Italian food I have eaten in SA! Authentic and delicious. The eponymous dish "The cousins" is pasta heaven.
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  • The best Italian food I have eaten in SA! Authentic and delicious. The eponymous dish "The cousins" is pasta heaven.
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  • The best Italian food I have eaten in SA! Authentic and delicious. The eponymous dish "The cousins" is pasta heaven.
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  • Oh... My... Goodness! This place is a gem. Tucked away off the beaten track, its no-frills, authentic and true-to-mama's-recipe style is simply charming. Don't expect anything but traditional Italian made exceptionally well. My husband had the crayfish tagliolini special and I had the ricotta and spinach ravioli with sage butter. Stunning!! If I had to be hyper critical, I think the wine list needs a little work. But the great Aperol Spritz and incredible food makes up for it. By far my favourite Italian spot in Cape Town. I'll be returning again and again.
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  • An absolute wonderful dining experience - another one of Cape Town's "biggest little hidden" gems. One is transformed into a very special little space upon entering this restaurant, with excellent service by "the three cousins" and their team (they are a classic, amusing, warm and friendly trio). Food awesome. Fresh, classic Italian Cuisine. Been twice, nothing but a wonderful experience and we look forward to going back soon. Well done Cousins! Sam & Christine, Cape Town
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  • It was my first time at The Cousins last night and I had a fantastic time. The food was amazing and the service was friendly and professional. I'd recommend this gem to anyone who appreciates good food at reasonable prices.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Beer served
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Vegetarian

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