I’d read about Stretta Cafe in the November 2013 issue of House and Leisure magazine and on seeing that the chef imports cheese, flour and fresh ravioli from Italy on a weekly basis, I decided then and there that I would find the opportunity to sample what is on offer!
Opportunity arose a little under two weeks ago when we found ourselves in Hillcrest for the pre-race registration of the Hillcrest Marathon; what could be more apt than lunch at an Italian restaurant for the obligatory ‘day before a marathon’ carbo-loading. I was competing in my first Midmar Mile since 1991 the following day to, so a hearty bowl of pasta could easily be justified!
The menu is varied and interestingly enough, breakfast is served from 07h00 to 15h00! The reason for this perhaps is the popularity of the chef’s Breakfast Pans where all the ingredients are cooked and served in the pan. The bacon, potato, onion, rosemary and eggs option would certainly have been my choice if I wasn’t so hell bent on devouring a pasta dish!
There are 17 different pasta choices and with the majority of them one has the choice of either a medium or large serving. The difference in price between the medium and large servings is sometimes as much as R25, so something to think about if one is on a bit of a budget!
After pondering the menu for quite some time, I eventually settled on a medium portion of the Gorgonzola: rigatoni (that’s the fat version of macaroni for those of you who don’t know!) with a creamy gorgonzola sauce, topped with a generous portion of Parma ham and fresh rocket. Oh my word – my only complaint was that I should have ordered the large portion!
My husband, erring on the side of caution and steering clear of creamy sauces the day before a 42.2km race, ordered a crumbed chicken breast served on a bed of spaghetti with a fresh tomato sauce. I most certainly did not have order envy!
Other dishes are 16 different pizza or calzones (again, these are also served on either a medium or large scale) as well as burgers, salads, sirloin, fillet and panini’s which are toasted in the pizza oven. Also on offer are craft beers and excellent coffee.
The interior is gorgeous, screed floors, a bar area with a cement top, exposed red brick and tiled walls. An interesting feature is the covered lights which must look pretty when lit during the evening.
Stretta Café truly is a gem of an eatery; I only hope I don’t have to wait until the 2015 Hillcrest Marathon to have another excuse to get back there!
Contact Stretta Cafe
Address: The Colony Shopping Centre, 50 Old Main Road, Hillcrest, Durban
Telephone: +27 (0)31 765-7136