Food & Wine
Tempting treats and flavoursome fare
The tasteful interior has that warm, welcoming ambience of a typical Italian restaurant with café-style tables, low-hanging pendant lights and cosy wooden booths.
To the one side of the open-plan eatery is the in-house bakery, which has a beautiful glass cabinet filled to the brim with decadent made-from-scratch cakes and pastries and baskets of freshly baked artisanal breads…tempting doesn’t even begin to describe it.
With branches in Cape Town, Gauteng and even Egypt, the Umhlanga site was the first offering in KZN. Now, exactly a year after opening their doors, the restaurant and its staff have more than proved themselves amongst both locals and holidaymakers in this coastal village. And it’s not hard to see why.
The staff are friendly and quick to offer advice when choosing from the extensive menu. If you’re visiting at night, there is a buy-one-get-one-free deal on cocktails before 7pm – a great reason to book your table early and enjoy a few drinks before ordering your dinner.
After settling us in, our waiter brought us a selection of starters, so we could all get a taste of what was on offer. We tried the Mushroom Fritti (crumbed mushrooms with aioli), the Fried Halloumi (with tzatziki) and the Salmon and Sweet Potato Fish Cakes (with ginger chilli dressing). All were very tasty, but the mushrooms definitely stole the show!
For our main courses, we ordered a wood-fired Tutti Frutti Di Mare pizza (calamari, prawn meat, mussels, garlic and parsley topped with whole prawns), a Thai Chicken Salad, Pollo Involtini (bacon-wrapped chicken breast filled with spinach, feta and sundried tomato in a white wine red pepper sauce) and Pollo di San Paolo (grilled chicken breasts, fried haloumi and Cajun Roquefort sauce). Both the pizza and the Thai chicken salad elicited ‘oohs and ah’s’ when they arrived at the table. The ingredients are fresh, colourful and generous…making you want to dig right in. Both chicken dishes were also very tasty, with the Pollo Involtini, served with roasted vegetables and creamy spinach, being especially memorable. After indulging in our starters, sizeable mains (and a few cocktails and a good bottle of wine), there was no way any of us were going to manage dessert. But, that didn’t stop us from taking home a couple of slices of decadent cake and a Peppermint Crisp Sundae to try later. I mean, we had to.
The dishes we enjoyed were just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what Doppio Zero has to offer – with everything from juicy burgers and pastas to Roast Pork Belly, Marinated Lamb Chops and a wide range of tapas.
The breakfast menu is also extensive, and you can enjoy a wide selection of dishes, from Sticky Bacon Flapjack Stacks, Spicy Livers and Smoked Haddock Benini to traditional Avo & Toast and freshy smoothies.
Whether you’re looking to enjoy a romantic date-night or just need a place to grab a light snack, great piece of cake and coffee or even some take-home fresh bread, Doppio Zero offers traditional, wholesome food in a comfortable, contemporary setting…and is well worth a visit. Details: Doppio Zero is situated at Shop A21, The Pearls Boutique Mall / 010 900 3173 /. Opening hours: Sunday and Monday – 7am to 9pm, Tuesday to Thursday – 7am to 10pm and Fridays and Saturdays – 7am to 10.30pm.
Text: Leah Shone