If you don’t know about the delight for the senses that is Old Town Italy, I’m about to school you.
A few months back, Alessio and I were stocking up for a self-catering trip to the Drakensberg. We avoided the typical Woolies shop and decided to grab our goods from Old Town Italy in Umhlanga. I had popped in before, but my very Italian boyfriend was yet to see what was waiting for him.
We walked in, and within seconds Alessio had taken out his phone and was sending photos off to his family, oohing over imported authentic products and generally just going: “Jisssssie…” over everything in the store.
Now, Old Town Italy is open in Pretoria. Other than being my second city since we started dating over a year ago, Pretoria is also home to a large Italian contingent. Who knew? So this spot is right at home here!
The booths of the restaurant section of Old Town Italy look so awesome!
Grab a bite to eat at the bar
There’s also a big homeware focus here, that’s what’s upstairs there…
Old Town Italy is from the same masterminds behind Remo’s, and besides having a delicious menu to munch from, has one of them most incredible deli, butchery and bakery.
We’re talking steaming ciabatta being baked right here, sitting alongside Nutella bombolone (stuffed donut balls), exceptional imported cheeses and cold meats, and my favourite – fresh antipasti and pastas.
I got to pop in the day before this gourmand’s delight opens, and test out a few menu items, eat all the carbs, sample salamis and savour chunks of Grana Padano.
The ethos behind Old Town Italy is that food is an event rather than just something to consume, and as such, everything in the bakery or butchery here is either produced completely from scratch or sourced locally from a free-range farm.
The bakery at Old Town Italy
Look how gorgeous that veg looks?
This ‘slow’ approach to food is so refreshing in a country where a lot of the food we consume is based on fast food principles. It’s in keeping with celebrating produce as Italians do, enjoying a meal rather than rushing through it, and using simple ingredients in the best way possible.
All the wines here are either Italian or have an Italian wine maker that lives in South Africa
The gorgonzola gnocchi was ridiculously good!
Just a casual wheel of Grana Padano
Old Town Italy is now open at Menlyn Maine in Pretoria daily from 07:00 until 21:00. You can visit their website here.