After all these years, celebrated chef and prolific restaurateur Giorgio Nava’s first restaurant, 95 Keerom, still delivers on the goods: Italian cuisine that is at the same time beautifully simple and wonderfully sophisticated.
Oh, where to start; what to order? The carpaccios are always worthy of praise and the beef tartare is reputed by some to be the best in town. (The husband, on ordering the latter, falls silent as it arrives and is unable – or unwilling – to converse for some time.) For myself, I heartily recommend the asparagi alla ‘95 – steamed asparagus with Hollandaise sauce, rocket and generous shavings of parmesan. It’s a reviving spring dish.
The pastas here are wonderful. Special mention must go to the gnocchi with gorgonzola and walnuts – light yet filling; rich but not cloying. Should you be feeling particularly flush, there’s the La Fiorentina 1.2kg grilled T-bone for 2 at a cool R750. For my part, a dish of seared rib-eye scaloppine with white wine, parsley and lemon well and truly hits the spot.
And for dessert? Well, there’s the (famous) dark chocolate fondant, which is always worth a bite. These days you’ll also find a duet of fondants there, one white with white rum and the other dark – it’s a delicious option for two. But it’s the slightly retro options that catch my eye – the Italian chocolate mousse with brandy, the rum baba and the classic tiramisu. We fall for the feather-light promise of the latter and consider ourselves very, very lucky.
An excellent wine list – with some nice options by the glass – makes up for the fact that this is a no BYO establishment. You’ll find a very nice variety of wines here at all price points. At the well-stocked bar downstairs, the barman pours a very fine gin martini and a generous glass of prosecco, which is a lovely way to get the party started.
After a slight dip in service a while back, the quality of the reception is now admirable. Service is warm, attentive, informed and very speedy.
There is something to be said for an establishment confident enough to let the food take the shine, not bombarding the senses with strident décor or insistent music. The look and feel is stylish and sophisticated, without being snobby. This restaurant found its stride years ago and is not about to go toying with the décor
An intimate dinner for two, or any special occasion.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.
Marco R. Angeli
Congratulations, everything was perfect. Excellent food, service and ambiance!
I couldn't agree more with some of the reviews, the owner Giorgio has taken off his focus from Keuroom 95. There seems to be no management, and if there is, no interest in the client anymore.
As regular clients we recently had a rather bizarre experience. We left by mistake ZAR 2000,00 on the table, realised the mistake outside, phoned immediately and the money was gone already. We had paid tip already generously by credit card. As the managing director of Penguin Tours we regularly bring clients to Keuroom 95. I left 4 messages with various managers for the owner Giorgio to please call me back, but none was returned. I finally phoned him myself, he promised a follow up, and again, he did not bother to call back. We will certainly not recommend Keuroom 95 to any of our clients anymore, neither are we going there for dinner ourselves again. It seems like somebody is covering up for something.
Like one can see so often in the hospitality industry, lack of management and interest by the owner send this place down.....
I agree with Chris Read, the owner has taken his eye off this estabishment. The management is really bad, the place is dirty especially the toilets. The serving staff is arrogant, and incompetent, they pay NO attention to getting orders right. Food is not what it used to be. Once a favourite, now I would even think of going back.. was really a unpleasant experience.
95 Keerom is located at the end of a downtown street and across from its sister restaurant Carne. The building is quite old, and originally used to house slaves. Most recently it housed a law office. Some of the interior has been restored, which makes it quaint as well as a little eerie, Upon our arrival, we were informed that due to the roving blackouts, power may be cut off in an hour. Fast forward, luckily the power was never cut off. The menu is quite extensive. We started with the Insalata Caprese which was your basic tomato, mozzarella and basil salad. However, this salad was not basic because the mozzarella was some of the best I've tasted; extremely creamy. We also tried the Pasta Geogio which was an entry in the World Pasta Championship. This was a generous portion of small pasta shells with broccoli puree, anchovies, fresh tomato, bread crumbs and oregano. Excellent dish but very filling for a starter so it's a good idea to share it. We both had La Selvaggina as our main entrée, which consisted of black wildebeest, kudu, springbok grilled rare to medium rare with olive oil and rosemary. All of the meats were tender and delicious. We were extremely pleased with our selections but unfortunately had no room to try their homemade desserts. With the food and service both of high caliber, this restaurant comes highly recommended and is extremely reasonable in cost when compared to restaurants in US and Europe. Even if you are from South Africa, splurge, it's well worth every penny (rand).
Last night was one of the best meals i have had in a long time.
We did not have a reservation, but the manager asked us to sit at the bar while he tried to make a plan for us.
10 minutes later we had one, and it was definitely worth the wait.
May Carpaccio was perfection, Osso Bucco one of the best I have had, and the chocolate fondant is to die for.
Simple, discreet service which was prompt, but not hurried, good wine recommendations, and the manager was all over the place at all times, constantly checking to see if everyone had what they needed.
I was very impressed and will definitely be back!