I has actually been a while since I have eaten at Balducci’s, despite the fact that it was one of my favourite restaurants at one stage. I have gone there occasionally to have a glass of wine at the plush bar. It’s nice to have a selection of good wines and complimentary olives and crisp bread to snack on. Just close your eyes when you get the bill because each glass is normally R40 and above.
Anyway, I was invited to lunch at Balducci’s recently and was reminded what a great restaurant it is. The decor has not changed much over the years, but that’s fine because I have always liked the decor. The chairs are comfortable and the place feels vibey and European. We sat outside on a lovely day, which added to the experience.
When they brought the menu, I was a bit apprehensive because I had heard that the prices had increased substantially. I even had some international friends tell me the place was very expensive. The new menu is certainly not cheap but it’s not as bad as I expected. I had the Lamb Burger (R65) which was absolutely fantastic. The patty was of a very high standard and prepared exactly how I ordered it. The other person who had the lamb burger was also very impressed. Others at the table had salads and pastas, comments were positive all round. The prices ranged from R60 to R80 or so. The fillet is about R130 and the seafood is very expensive but you can have a good meal at a fairly reasonable price.
The wines selection is very good but not cheap. The cheapest wine by the glass is R35 but it’s a Guardian Peak which is always a worthwhile option. If you’re feeling flush, you could order a glass of wine for R150. Not for the weak walleted but definitely a rare option in Cape Town.
The service is always excellent. I know a few people who have worked at Balducci’s and they are very strict about their training and service standards. We made some confusing changes to our orders which the waitress handled without much difficulty.
I would say that as far as lunch options in the Waterfront go, Balducci’s is high up the list. But make a meal of it (excuse the pun), I wouldn’t go there for a quick bite as it would be a waste of a pleasant experience.
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