There are many different types of restaurants to choose from. Trendy, romantic, hip, family, award winning, fine dining or casual dining to name a few. Sometimes you just want a beautiful restaurant where its simply the beauty of the restaurant that bowls you over. This is the case at Cafe del Sol Botanico.
The original branch located in Olivedale which I have reviewed here is one of my favourite restaurants and hands down the best Italian restaurant in Jozi. Both branches are extremely popular so don’t expect to visit without a booking made weeks in advance.
I love the earthy and of course botanical theme that they have run with. The benches with cushions and plants make for a cute outdoor seating area.
This restaurant is bigger than its Olivedale counterpart and probably in a more convenient location. The décor is light, pretty and whimsical. It’s perfect for a romantic date or special occasion.
I had the grilled bruschetta for R78 as a starter. The different toppings are salmon and cream cheese, olive tapenade, tomato salsa, crème fraiche mushrooms and strawberry with gorgonzola. An expensive starter which was a miss for me with the slightly burnt, hard bread. The tomato salsa was my favourite followed by the salmon and gorgonzola, the mushrooms were bland and the tapenade super bitter. I do wish that they would stop with the sticky balsamic reduction which serves no purpose but to mess everything.
Battered prawns with a citrus and vanilla aioli, teriyaki smear and avocado, pineapple and chilli salsa for R89 lacked seasoning. The lumpy salsa texture didn’t complement the prawns whose batter was a miss. The starters are expensive and do not deliver on taste.
Ravioli pasta pockets with a chicken and mushroom filling, paprika, portobello mushroom, cream and tomato for R120 is a delicious dish to try. Chicken fillings are always strange to me because you can never taste them. It is great to see a ravioli that isn’t spinach and ricotta.
I couldn’t help but compare the earthy porcini mushroom risotto with green peas and truffle oil for R140 to the one I had at Olivedale. The risotto was stodgy, heavy and didn’t have the same delicious flavour I had come to expect and enjoy.
Vanilla bean panna cotta with berry and mint salsa and berry coulis R50 For dessert was super delicious! Definitely the best panna cotta I have ever had. The sweet creaminess of the panna cotta was offset deliciously by the acidity of the berries.
The service was good and our food arrived quickly. Cafe del Sol Botanico is a pricey place to eat out so give the average overpriced starters a skip. The Olivedale branch is better on the food front but the beautiful setup makes it a restaurant I would recommend and visit again.