Venues

Villa San Giovanni Ristorante

Villa San Giovanni Ristorante
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  • Phone Number 0125430843
  • Location Wonderboom National Airport, Main Terminal Building, Linvelt Road, Pretoria
  • email info@vsg.co.za
  • Website URL www.villasangiovanni.co.za
  • Opening Hours

    Lunch: Monday to Sunday 12noon to 3pm

    Dinner: Monday to Saturday 12noon to 9pm

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Cost
R120 avg main meal
Ambience
Authentic culture, Classic elegance
Food
Italian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Hennie Fisher

Food 
The extensive menu offers delicious eats, regardless of the time of day or the level of formality, and there is a number of buffet options and set menus at the end of the informal ‘magazine-style menu’ which can be ordered for special functions. Try some Italian classics such as cannelloni ricotta, gnocchi quattro formaggi, Napoleone pizza with sundried tomatoes, artichoke fresh basil and feta, saltimbocca, osso bucco and, for those who love visual puns, their delicious tiramisu ice cream (layered to resemble a lasagna, consisting of ice cream, nuts and sauce).

Drinks
Apart from some funky cocktails such as the Amarena cherry martini, limoncello meringue martini and chocolate negroni, the wine list is well structured and includes some good choices.

Service
This restaurant has a formal interior, which extends to the staff. Those stationed outside on the veranda, however, are much more casually dressed to reflect the easier, more casual menu and vibe. This does not mean that everyone is not very attentive and well trained. Giovanni and Maria Maiorana are the founders of this family business, and either they or their offspring are always around to ensure that service is smooth as butter.

Ambience
Apart from the formal restaurant and slightly more casual area inside (with large TV screens overhead to broadcast sporting events), there is also a large area overlooking the air field, perfect for weekend outings. It also adjoins to a large, safely enclosed kiddies area with a few tables where young patrons can create their own pizzas under supervision.

And…
One can now take one of three daily scheduled flights between Wonderboom Airport and Cape Town. For Pretorians this might prove one of the simplest ways to get to Cape Town and back without having to venture to one of the other Gauteng airports. Considering that one has the option of dining at a quality Italian restaurant, this is a perfect option for future consideration.

(September 2016)

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  • Diane de Beer

    Food
    This eatery is known for their hospitality and generosity of spirit, which shines through in the food as well as the people who make it happen, the Maiorana-family. They’ve kept with the times but have introduced a strong contemporary twist. VSG is still your best bet for classic Italian fare, with dishes like a melt-in-the-mouth slow-cooked osso bucco with tomato salsa, homemade lasagne – light as a feather and with the right balance of sauces and cheese – and some of the best gourmet pizzas in town, with a low GI crust if you prefer. Start the meal with a Gorgonzola focaccia just to get the juices flowing. Then try the typically Italian chicken livers pan-fried with onions, garlic, chilli, wine and tomato salsa. Or perhaps go for the snails, buttered, pan-fried and topped with a Gorgonzola sauce. And keep in mind that all the pastas are homemade. They don’t miss a beat with both casual terrace meals and fine dining – you’ll have plenty of options to choose from, both from a food and seating point of view.

    Drinks
    They make wine suggestions with the different dishes and have their own house brand bottled exclusively by De Morgenson. Zandvliet contribute a further four house wines, all of which have been named for the family. But if you need to reach further afield, it’s all there.

    Service
    The staff is part of the charm and look after you well. They will even do a personalised birthday song on request.

    Ambience
    As they’re part of the Wonderboom Airport complex, with more airlines leaving from this spot in the future, this will be much more than a destination. They’ve embraced their setting, which makes them unique. With some of the seating almost on the runway, this could be your Casablanca moment! it’s almost like a restaurant with an airport rather than the other way round, and they even have their own hotel if you want to make a night of it.

    And…
    Children are especially welcome and can make their own pizza in little Giovanni’s pizzeria or play to their heart’s content in a well-equipped play park.

    (August 2015)

  • Hennie Fisher

    Food 
    This is a great ‘destination’ restaurant located at the Wonderboom Airport. The hot antipasti offering includes one of the best calamari dishes around, cooked gently with onion, garlic, wine and tomato in classic Italian style and served on grilled polenta. Other starters include antipasto for two; an old fashioned crayfish cocktail perfectly suited to the old-world charm of this airport setting; and a lovely rocket salad with sundried tomatoes, parmesan and a simple dressing.

    As for the homemade pastas, you’ll find cappelli di preti alla gorgonzola (pillows of pasta filled with chicken and served with a creamy gorgonzola sauce), cannelloni ricotta, and gnocchi ai quattro formaggi (gnocchi with four cheeses). Mains include slow-cooked oxtail, lamb shank and a 500g T-bone, all done to perfection in the wood oven. There is a huge range of pizzas, with some tempting gourmet options like the Troia (with bacon, feta, spinach and avocado) or Vasco da Gama (with chorizo, spring onion, sundried tomato and olives). They also pride themselves on a selection of decadent Fabbri ice-creams, of which the Black Forest Cup – topped with those delicious black Fabbri cherries – transports one to a different time and place.

    Drinks 
    Italian restaurants should offer some great wines from that country, and Villa San Giovanni does just that. Their selection of sparkling wines include Lambrusco Amabile, and Torresella Prosecco, in addition to some French Champagnes and South African MCCs. There are quite a few imported reds and whites available, and on the local front they stock a De Morgenzon Barbera bottled under their own label.

    Service 
    Villa San Giovanni is a family-run concern. The Maiorana family combines their passion for the restaurant business with some serious style and good looks, giving the impression that they just stepped out of the pages of an Italian fashion magazine. It is a good sign that there’s often a group of family members occupying a table. The handful of extremely competent waiters clearly understands the importance of pleasing their guests. These guys are friendly, attentive and extremely well trained in the art of table service.

    Ambience 
    What could be better than enjoying some great Italian food while watching planes take off and land, enjoying the exciting buzz of an airport and the sense that people are going on exotic trips to far-off destinations? Despite this buzz, it is certainly is not a theme-park restaurant. Apart from the covered outside area, there is a large, slightly more informal area punctuated with TV screens that's frequented by airport personnel, passengers and locals coming and going. This area accommodates the bar and leads on to the kitchen where the wood burning pizza oven can be found. For those wanting a more formal experience or a special night out, there is also a formal dining area.

    And… 
    There's a large play and pizza preparation area for children.

    (July 2014)

  • This spot has that traditional Italian restaurant feel: where warmth is more important than design, and taste valued more than presentation. Here it’s all about family and food and they will accommodate any request. Children are welcomed and Sunday lunches especially are family affairs. The menu features pizzas, both basic and gourmet; fish, from Norwegian salmon to crayfish Thermidor; oxtail and lamb shank; and, for dessert, calzone with strawberries and cream or with a thick layer of nutella. (EO mag 2014)
  • Food
    This is an establishment with a tradition, but the sons, who are stepping into their father’s shoes, have kept with the times. The spot is still best for classic Italian fare with some of the best pizzas and homemade pasta in town. They offer many different options, from both a seating and food perspective. Make your pick or get the owner to help with choice.

    Wine
    A good selection of local and Italian wines, but also pay attention to their cocktail menu.

    Service
    You feel well looked after.

    Ambience
    This one is part of the Wonderboom Airport complex, and because they’ve embraced rather than shunned that, it’s a huge part of their charm. With some of the seating almost on the runway, this could be your Casablanca moment!

    And...
    Kids can make their own pizza in new little Giovanni’s pizzeria.(DdeB, October 2012)

User reviews

  • What a dissapointment! Went there for a birthday party but what a disaster! They call themselves authentic italian food? Please Im sure some boere tannie can do better! My penne pasta was tasteless and tasted if it was made the previous week. The chicken schnitzel arrived and looked like a take away! No garnish no lemon wedge nothing! Only slapped on the plate! The sauce tastes worse than spur sauce! The waitress got our drinks order totally wrong! They cant even make a proper mojito! We send it back! The pizza was mediocre with no cheese. The atmosphere of the whole place felt like a take away venue! We visited this place numerous times in the past and everytime its getting worse! what pity! I will never visit it again. I can do much better at KFC! Its overpriced, mediocre and poor food and service! Stay away!!!!
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  • Excellent venue foe special occasions. Valentines 2015....helicopter ride, 5 course meal, fantastic wine ans beautiful music....not to mention the special person at my side.........10 out of 10
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  • We took our friends for dinner, they wanted a place to eat pasta. We had carbonana pasta, and a pizza. The food were really very good and the pasta excellent. Accompanied with the pasta fresh garlic and chopped chillies, very good. We eat at Villa San Giovanni's often and our friend said they will be back.
    Lettie
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  • Just had the lamb shank from the menu. Lamb being my favourite, thought I'd give it a try. Worst lamb shank I've had. Perhaps better to stick to the pasta and pizza. Ordered two take aways for the children...

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  • Excellent food coupled with a wide variety of international wine - service is average but ambience superb in the main restaurnt (non-smoking section).

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  • We had the misfortune of going to the Villa San Giovanni restaurant at Wonderboom Resturant today - 11 march 2012.
    These people seem to be ace marketers of their establishment - with every inch of menu and signage sold of the highest bidder. Pity that the food and service was probably the worst I have had in a long time. The waiters and management were disorganised. They were running around trying to organise themselves without much co-ordination. Our waiter Richard was incompetent - when you could get him to serve you. The son/manger Luca was extremely good at ignoring the customers - giving us all the blank gaze above our heads when we tried to get his attention. The food was slow in arriving and my badly cooked tasteless rump took about 5 minutes longer than the rest of our table to arrive. When it arrived with veg and potato pieces instead of the chips that were requested the waiter's lame excuse was that's how they gave it to him. When condiments were requested they were taken off tables occupied by other guests (not asking them ) or not brought at all - thanks Richard. To make it more fun they seem to have installed a bargain basement misting system outside which they constantly switch on and off. These misters are directly above the patrons and drip on you during the switch off period - very annoying - when we complained we were given the dumb grin and ignored.
    Dessert was a classic - too lazy and ignorant to make a real Tiramisu. Call it a lasagne - plastic aerosol cream - biscuits dry and hard (even though the menu says they are soaked in coffee - when 3 weeks ago?) Not very Italian
    All said this place is a rip off with mediocre food and a boring menu. They seem to be aiming at the kiddie market with a massive setup of playgound kiddie pizza ovens and a big ad for childrens parties.
    Save your money and go to a real resturant - anywhere else but this place. This is also the second time I have been here - last time was about 5 years ago. Then I had to send back my calamari 3 times as it was overcooked and tough.
    Nothing has changed - poor service and lousy food. Stay away.

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  • Had the best pasta that I have had in a very, very long time - the Capelli di Preti alla Gorgonzola was fantastic - worth the long drive to get true Italian hospitality and food!
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  • What a wonderful restaurant! The only place Ive been to where the staff make you feel like family! Ive been going to VSG for the past 3 years now and it has definitely become my restaurant of choice. Keep up the fantastic work guys!
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  • The Perfect Treat!
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Live entertainment
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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