Balducci’s review

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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6 responses to “Balducci’s review”

  1. Balducci’s recently added gourmet pizza to their menu and are running a launch special where all pizzas (except the flaming prawn) are R50 from noon until 5pm.

    We went to check it out, after not having been to Balducci’s in a while.

    Things are pretty much the same as when I last reviewed it except the prices are higher. The excellent lamb burger is now R75 but they also offer a selection of beef burgers now which start at R55.

    The three of us tried the pizzas. I had the braized duck and butternut (usually R89), I tested the Prime Cut (beef, ham, salami, bacon with barbeque sauce – R88) and the white pizza (goat’s cheese, spinach, garlic and bechamel sauce). They are not bad, but not fantastic. The Prime Cut was the best, I thought it would be too meaty but it was fine because they don’t put a lot of toppings on.

    I think when I want pizza I’ll go to Col’cacchios and rather have some of the other fine fare at Balducci’s when I am there.

    But, the pizzas are definitely interesting and at R50 well worth checking out, so hurry and take advantage of the special.

  2. Dax – maybe seeing as St.Elmo’s has closed down next to Balducci they have taken over their pizza chef’s and perhaps why they are just o.k.!

  3. Henry

    I don’t think that there is even a comparison between Cal’cachio’s pizza and that of Balducci’s- I think Balducci’s wins hands down! Balducci’s never seems to disappoint me. I had the Parma Ham (with rocket) Pizza on Friday and thoroughly enjoyed it..I will definately be taking advantage of their special again!

  4. @Rene, they are way better than St. Elmos. With Balducci’s making pizza and St Elmo’s gone, the average level of pizza at the Waterfront has gone up nicely I would say.

    @Henry, Everyone has different expectations of pizza. I agree, the Balducci pizza is good but I do prefer Col’cacchio and the rest of Balducci’s menu is so good I wouldn’t waste a visit on pizza.

  5. r whittingdale

    balduccis new pizza /hamburger prcing is excellent value and maybe the best pizzas in town

  6. Lindie

    Went there last night for the first time…the service was poor as I had to wait 15 minutes before a waiter came to take my drink order. The pizza was average and at R85 one would expect better. Guess they are not the place to order a pizza at.