The Cousins

6 Reviews
Phone Number 0832739604 Opening Hours

Monday to Sunday 6pm to 10pm

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Menu - The Cousins - Menu - updated in May 2018


R140 avg main meal
R140 avg main meal
Coffee, Groups, Special occasions
Mastercard, Visa
Accepts credit cards, Beer served, Child friendly, Dinner, Food, Functions, Licensed, Lunch, Parking, Serves food, Vegetarian

Critic's review

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food

Thando Ndabezitha

This warm and cosy trattoria is a slice of authentic Italian cuisine heaven made simply and with love, telling the story of generations of the proprietors’ way of cooking where they grew up in Romagna, on the Adriatic coast of Italy.


The signature starter of peppered mushrooms served with crostini comes highly recommended. Fresh, flavoursome and with a moreish broth in which to dip the crostini, it’s a real palate tantaliser.

Home-made pasta is of course par for the course, with fresh flavours based on recipes that have taken years to refine. The tagliatella della Tina, for instance, is based on the proprietors’ grandmother’s original Bolognese sauce recipe. But there’s also room for experimentation with dishes like black pasta, which has been infused with squid ink, and tastes of the goodness of the sea with prawns, mussels and pieces of the line fish.

For the lasagne, they use a spinach pasta dough, and there’s also a lovely selection of ravioli and gnocchi dishes from which to choose. The Cousins’ signature pasta is a creamy, cheesy tagliolini served with cream, mushroom and thyme, and tossed in a wheel of Grana Padano cheese right in front of you before it’s dished up at the table with a flourish.

There’s something deeply satisfying about a coffee-infused dessert after a tasty home-made Italian dish. The affogato al caffe won’t disappoint. Think espresso ice cream meets 33% cream-based tartufo bianco ice cream with Italian meringue and a shot of espresso coffee to pour over the ice cream. Heaven!


In addition to a fairly extensive wine list, there’s a choice section of cocktails, spirits and Italian liquors. Try out the negroni, a pre-dinner cocktail made with gin, Campari bitter, vermouth red and orange. On offer are also Italian liquors such as Grappa Alexander and Amaretto di Saronno to be enjoyed as apéritifs or digestifs.


Reservations are essential as this establishment is only open for four hours a night. Book well in advance, but you’ll find the reservation process to be pain-free. You can either send a request to book on the website, mail them, call in the afternoon or WhatsApp. They’re quick to respond on either platform and at pains to accommodate everyone. The waitrons are knowledgeable about the menu and friendly, treating regular guests like old friends.


The vibe is warm and cosy, while elegant. The bowler hats hanging from the ceiling as pendant lights and giant metal cutlery sculptures on the walls add character, while the gently worn wooden furniture gives the restaurant a cheery hominess. Sultry and joyful jazzy tunes play gently in the background and the black-and-white photographs of the cousins’ nonna making pasta and a close-up of hands kneading dough remind the guests that this is a restaurant built on love – for family and good food.

Best for…

Authentic Italian food with a personal touch.

(August 2019)

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

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User reviews

6 Reviews
    Really good. Very authentic homemade Pasa!!
    I enjoyed my experience at the cousins! The staff is very attentive and friendly.
    Ravioli heaven: hands down the best ravioli served in Cape Town!
    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!
    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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