If you’ve followed the cities wave of craft foods, beers, gins, rums, etc. there is a slight…
Whether you’re wanting to take a pasta-loving date to one of Joburg’s most romantic restaurants or are craving authentic Neapolitan style pizza where the owners have done their homework, there’s one restaurant that always comes to mind: Tortellino D’Oro in Oaklands. But does this 22-year-old trattoria still live up to its reputation? I decided to pay it a visit to find out.
The name translates to golden pasta shaped as a belly button – a reference to owner Dante’s memories of growing up eating real Italian food that only his mother could make. Upon stepping inside the restaurant, a sense of old-world charm comes over you – think well-worn wooden tables, dangling copper cookware, flickering lamps and shelves stocked with indulgences like fine wines and sweet loaves of panettone.
READ MORE ON DINING OUT HERE.
My dinner date and I arrived on a Friday night and opted for a table inside the main dining room for an evening of candlelit romance. Italian ingredients from the on-site deli shape the menu, from homemade fettuccine and trenette to mortadella and salami. To start, we ordered the Crostini – French loaf with sliced mozzarella and tomato, and an olive pâté sauce. The warm country bread was a delight dunked in the imported olive oil on the table.
For mains, we ordered two pasta dishes to share – the homemade spinach panzerotti in a butter and sage sauce, and the famous tortellini with a mixed filling of Parma ham, mortadella, chicken and parmesan in a cream and mushroom sauce. We had no trouble finding a wine to match our meal – Tortellino D’Oro’s list is concise but works well with the menu.
READ MORE ON FOOD AND DRINK HERE.
After placing our main meal orders, we started regretting having ordered a carb-heavy starter, but when the pasta arrived, we were surprised by how small the portions were. Even though they weren’t as generous as I remembered, the pasta was as excellent as ever – evidently made with love and served in a sauce that will make you want to lick your plate clean! We finished off our meal with a scoop of pistachio ice cream – which comes served in an ice cup with almond biscotti. The gelato was so moreish that it made us stop by the deli to buy a tub to take home on our way out … no regrets there!
It now makes sense why it’s still difficult to snag a reservation at Tortellino D’Oro on weekends. It’s simply amore al primo morso – love at first bite!
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Oaklands Shopping Centre, Pretoria Road & Victoria Street, Oaklands
011 483 1249
Hello Joburg was first published in April 1980 as a monthly restaurant and entertainment magazine. Over the years we have developed a network of patriotic Joburgers that love nothing more than sharing their experiences in this beautiful city!