Cafe del Sol Botanico

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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