I guess it’s not really fair on Primi to try their breakfast the day after breakfasting at Manna Epicure, but that is how I experienced it. A group of us met for breakfast at the Primi in Constantia. I would say that Primi is basically the antithesis of Manna. While Manna’s decor is soft and relaxing, Primi is all about energy; industrial with a lot of bright orange. There wasn’t much energy going on when were were there as we were basically the only table (competing with the Mugg & Bean next door can’t be easy). Despite there being more waiters than patrons, we struggled to get service when we needed it. Why do waiters always choose to stand looking away from the tables? Are they scared they might actually be asked to do something? Anyway, the service wasn’t terrible, just surprisingly not good.
The breakfast menu is extensive, offering about 25 different options! There are several healthy options composed of muesli, fruit and yoghurt. There are the standard options like the English breakfast, American breakfast (more meat), omelettes, flapjacks, muffins and croissants. For those who like a heavy breakfast, there were some interesting options like the Frittata Genovese (R32 – potatoes sauteed with rosemary and topped with napoletana sauce and parmesan cheese, served on a fritatta style omlette – I tried this, it’s very good) or the Pizza del Mattino (R40 – thin, crispy pizza base topped with mozzarella and cheddar, bacon, cherry tomatoes and 2 fried eggs).
I was eyeing the eggs benedict with salmon (R45) but went for the ham and eggs (R35 – toasted english muffin topped with ham, tomato and poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce). I wasn’t particularly impressed. The eggs were a bit over done and there wasn’t much sauce but what I really didn’t like was that the slices of tomato were completely cold which made the whole dish cold.
I had two coffees. The Americano (R12) comes as a shot of espresso with a small jug of milk and small jug of water so you can make it to your taste. A nice idea, but the coffee and the milk were luke warm so it wasn’t very enjoyable. The Cappuccino (R14) was better but not fantastic. It wasn’t a great breakfast experience, I can see why the Mugg & Bean next door was full but they could easily improve their offering.
I’m not sure where I stand on reviewing restaurant chains. The quality can vary across them so it doesn’t really seem fair to review one. For now, I’ll share my review and just state which one I went to. Here are some general thoughts on Primi.
There seem to be different ‘levels’ of Primis, but there are so may different levels and the names seem to have no relevance so I have given up trying to work out the differences. Regarding the rest of the menu, I have eaten dinner at a Primi on several occasions. It’s mainly an Italian restaurant so there are lots of pizzas (R34 – R78) and pastas (R37 – R71), but there are also burgers, salads and mains of chicken, fish, lamb and beef.
I’ve had the pizza and while it was passable, it wasn’t as good as Col’caccio. Apparently the burgers are quite nice and some of the pastas look quite tasty. Overall the food is average but if you’re looking for a place that has a buzz where you can go as a group and have a fairly inexpensive meal, Primi is a good option.