Remo’s serv­ing up a fresh take

With its unique decor and am­biance, plus an ar­ray of de­lights on the menu, it sets it­self apart, writes An­gela Daniels

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY -

“. . . [it] adds to the il­lu­sion you’ve left the Bay and stepped into a trat­to­ria”

ASENSORY over­load of a de­light­ful va­ri­ety seems the most apt way to de­scribe Remo’s Port El­iz­a­beth, a beau­ti­ful lit­tle res­tau­rant tucked away in Al­abaster Street. Be­fore your eyes can even take in the gor­geous dé­cor of the Baak­ens Val­ley eatery, your ol­fac­tory senses are awo­ken by the rich smells of au­then­tic Ital­ian dishes.

Once past the door­way, the res­tau­rant’s im­pres­sively eclec­tic de­sign has your eyes dart­ing from cor­ner to cor­ner as there is just so much to see.

From the blue Vespa parked on the floor to the dozens of black-and­white pho­to­graphs adorn­ing the walls, the es­tab­lish­ment of­fers a unique ex­pe­ri­ence for din­ers.

It also serves up just about ev­ery­thing food­ies could want. Fresh in­gre­di­ents, craft beer, Ital­ian wines and cock­tails and a de­light­ful lit­tle deli of­fer­ing cheeses, meats and pasta.

The staff are friendly with­out in­trud­ing and the hig­gledy-pig­gledy lay­out of the ta­bles is de­light­fully quirky.

The sounds of clink­ing cut­lery, happy laughs and Ital­ian mu­sic adds to the il­lu­sion that you’ve ac­tu­ally left the Bay and stepped into a trat­to­ria.

While def­i­nitely top qual­ity, Remo’s Port El­iz­a­beth has a ca­sual, happy at­mos­phere which steers away from the more for­mal vibe of a Ris­torante – a re­ally good qual­ity in my opin­ion.

Then there’s the food – sim­ple, com­fort­ing and very tasty.

On our first visit we de­cided to try some of the an­tipasti on of­fer to start off with.

We opted for one of the cheeses and some ham (R45). It was de­liv­ered promptly, ac­com­pa­nied by home-made bread. All de­li­cious with the olive oil and bal­samic vine­gar avail­able on the ta­ble. Be­cause I love to eat lit­tle bits of ev­ery­thing I’ll def­i­nitely be back to try more, per­haps as a meal on its own.

We weren’t able to try too much as we knew we’d be eat­ing a full meal but what we had left me want­ing more. For mains my hus­band and I both tried a pasta – a lasagne for him (R95) and a ham, pea and de­li­cious sauce dish for me (R75).

It was an ag­o­nis­ing de­ci­sion as these gor­geous-look­ing piz­zas were be­ing car­ried out to ta­bles all around us. We were not, how­ever, dis­ap­pointed.

Both dishes – yes I dipped a fork or two into my hus­band’s dish be­cause who doesn’t – were fan­tas­tic from a flavour and pre­sen­ta­tion point of view.

I couldn’t ac­tu­ally find any­thing to fault and that’s pretty im­pres­sive as there is usu­ally some lit­tle nit-picky qualm I have when vis­it­ing a res­tau­rant.

Whether it’s a ser­vice prob­lem, de­lays or the food not be­ing quite what you ex­pected, it’s rare to find ev­ery­thing to your lik­ing when din­ing out.

But there you have it, there was ab­so­lutely noth­ing to com­plain about ex­cept for the fact that I couldn’t quite man­age to try the one thing I had been eye­ing since step­ping into Remo’s. Perched on the bar were a stack of mouth-wa­ter­ing look­ing Bom­boloni – Ital­ian filled dough­nuts – and while we were tempted to get stuck into one, the an­tipasti and mains had been so satisfying it just wasn’t pos­si­ble.

A trip back for one of those is a must.

With Baak­ens Val­ley quickly be­com­ing one of the city’s go-to food spots, Remo’s – for­merly the pop­u­lar Fratelli Foods – is a wel­come ad­di­tion.

The own­ers and staff, it would seem, are also keen to be­come a part of the bur­geon­ing food mar­ket scene, tak­ing part in events such as Food Truck Fri­day, cre­at­ing Grana Padano Parme­san and pasta in a wheel housed on site.

It’s ex­cit­ing to see food in Port El­iz­a­beth play­ing such an im­por­tant role in the re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion of Baak­ens Val­ley.

Remo’s Port El­iz­a­beth and its spe­cial lit­tle neigh­bour­ing restau­rants such as Friendly Stranger, and the many Food Truck events are just what the Bay needs to up its rep­u­ta­tion as a city where food is wo­ven into its very fab­ric.

As any self-re­spect­ing mil­len­nial who pho­to­graphs their din­ners and lunches be­fore up­load­ing them to so­cial me­dia will tell you, food is the new “it” thing.

Here’s to hop­ing Baak­ens Val­ley and its food of­fer­ings con­tinue to grow and thrive.

Remo’s does not take book­ings so if you ar­rive at a busy time such as be­tween 6.30 and 7.30pm then you may not get a ta­ble – but you can en­joy a drink at the bar.

Its hours are from 7am to 4pm, seven days a week and open for din­ner (un­til 10pm) only on Wed­nes­day, Thurs­day and Fri­day.

This re­view was unan­nounced and paid for in full.

EYE CATCH­ING: Remo’s Port El­iz­a­beth is a wel­come ad­di­tion to hip and hap­pen­ing Baak­ens Val­ley, and to the city as well

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