A good restaurant, someone once said, must make a singular connection between food, family and friends, and wine of course – a connection embraced by Italy’s rich gastronomic culture. Without these essential elements, it is without soul. On 26th September 2017, Balducci at the V&A Waterfront (part of the Slick Restaurant Group together with Belthazar and Gibson’s Gourmet Burgers & Ribs), will have been making this connection for 21 years.
It is this connection, together with passion and commitment to excellence and innovation that has earned Balducci a loyal following, and multiple awards: for consistently delivering a memorable dining experience, for outstanding dedication to wine as well as for architectural design.
What is the secret of Balducci’s success? “We are passionate about everything we do, from food to service to décor and design. We only use the very best and freshest ingredients, serve generous portions and maintain consistency in our recipes by tasting several times a day! Our menu is varied and creative, catering for all tastes, so our guests are always spoilt for choice. Doron Duveen, my business partner, and I have an eye for detail and this, together with our hands-on operational style, and our commitment to service excellence, have been responsible for our success. And of course, we are fortunate to have such a stunning location in the vibrant heart of the V&A Waterfront, with great views of the harbour and Table Mountain. You always have to keep abreast with the latest trends, whether taste profiles or service or architectural style, and you need to keep upping your standards, reinventing yourself to remain a step ahead. That’s why we have been around for 21 years!” says Ian Halfon, co-owner of Balducci.
At Balducci the food is based on the essentially Italian notion that the best food is found at home. Over 21 years Balducci have created a home – warm, welcoming and relaxed with a focus on freshness, simplicity, consistency and flavour – their pleasure being the joy of family and friends who love what they do and keep coming back for more. They are, of course, devotees to what the doyen of Italian food, Marcella Hazan, described as “the Italian art of eating”, which requires “generosity… patience… and the best raw materials.”
Balducci’s friends return time and time again just to share Balducci’s Antipasti Platter or eat a plate of the famous Balducci Pasta—a classic dish of pasta turned in a light Parmigiano cream with sundried tomatoes, olives, chilli, and garlic. Or they hunger for the Dalla Griglia Smoked BBQ Pork Ribs or A-Grade Grainfed Beef supplied by sister restaurant Belthazar’s master butcher. Others visit only for the Mozambican Prawns or Asian noodles, tapas and sushi, swearing that the popular Chicken with Soy and Ginger Noodles, Salmon Teriyaki and Tempura Soft-Shell Crab Rolls are unmatched. Or claim that they can’t leave the table without a plate of the Balducci Japanese Salad, paired perhaps with a Portofino Pizza from their wood-fired oven. Expect the same intimate sense of celebration to end the meal where favourites include White Lindt Chocolate Cheesecake, Chocolate Fondant, Tiramisu or a Formaggi selection served with habanero sweet chilli jam and melba toast.
Always moving forward, Balducci have recently added exciting new soon-to-be-favourites to the menu, including:
- Warm Spicy Avocado & Lime Kale Salad – Warm kale, sautéed vegetables topped with corn, black beans and avocado and garnished with apple, pear and coriander with a spicy chipotle dressing;
- Warm Quinoa Salad – Warm blue cheese quinoa, roasted cauliflower and broccoli, topped with green beans, pitted Calamata olives, avocado and shavings of Parmigiano;
- Fall-off-the-bone Lamb Shanks slow-cooked in red wine;
- Brioche Burgers – Their Burgers which made them famous are now served on a home-baked, brioche bun made with egg and butter and coated with sesame seeds;
- Kashmiri Rogan Josh Lamb Curry – Delicious spicy and authentic, served as a traditional curry with basmati rice and topped with natural yoghurt – Also available as an artisanal wood-fired Pizza, or as a Pasta;
- Pulled BBQ Pork – served on a wood-fired Pizza or a Parmesan Cream Pasta.
Banting followers love the Banting Lasagne, Banting Burger and selection of Banting Pizzas on offer. Gluten-intolerant patrons and vegetarians are also well-catered for at Balducci.
BALDUCCI ASIAN NOODLE & SUSHI BAR
For a genuine Asian experience, Balducci’s Asian Noodle & Sushi Bar is not to be missed. Here in this tranquil signature-designed Japanese and Asian Restaurant and Bar, opposite Balducci’s entrance, you are welcomed on arrival with a heated towel to wipe your hands and offered a complimentary cup of green tea. Only fresh authentic ingredients are used by the brigade of Japanese and Asian Chefs to create a mouth-watering medley of Japanese-inspired dishes and five-star sushi. Favourites include:
- Miso and Tom Yum Soups,
- Tuna or Oyster Tataki (with chilli, spring onions, chopped ginger and pickled garlic in a ponzu sauce),
- Spicy Edamame Beans,
- Calamari Teriyaki,
- Fresh Prawn Spring Rolls,
- Inari Pockets (filled with rice, prawns, avocado, salmon, caviar, Japanese mayo and sesame oil served with a secret sauce),
- Tempura Shrimps or Vegetables,
- Balducci’s Royal Platter,
- Speciality Sushi Rolls,
- Salmon Sashimi with citrus yuzu sauce,
- Thai-Style Prawn Noodles,
- Assorted Sashimi and Nigiri including local fish, mackerel, tuna, octopus, salmon, prawn and unagi (Japanese eel) and more…
Loyal Asian patrons keep returning for the Crudo Raw platter, proclaiming it to be the best-quality fish in Cape Town. Keeping in the spirit, make sure you try the Sake (Japanese rice wine) or Kirin or Sapporo (Japanese Beers) and end with Ocha (Japanese tea).
The Italian art of eating invariably requires wine. You may get lost in the pages of the Balducci wine list which showcases over 100 of the Cape’s finest wines, including 60 available by the glass. Not sure which wine to choose? As at any good family table there is always someone who knows just what to order. Just speak to one of their experienced sommeliers. It is this dedication to wine that has earned Balducci a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the fifth year in a row.
When Balducci first opened on 26th September 1996, the whole restaurant was done out in solid cherry wood, designed by world renowned architect, Stefan Antoni. It was THE architectural masterpiece in SA and won the PG Bison Award for design excellence. Almost two decades down the line, Stefan and his team went back to the drawing board and redesigned another Balducci masterpiece. A fusion of contemporary design, Balducci combines a modern African graphic with a monochromatic interior of raw and industrial finishes. Sheet metal and leather contrast with delicate blonde woods, and a bronze mirror creates a sense of warmth and luxury. Stained oak feature walls and screens divide the space into niche dining areas, transforming the original classic restaurant into a place where both foodies and design aficionados meet. Balducci is poised to once again set the scene for many years to come. The new cutting-edge design saw Balducci shortlisted for the international Restaurant and Bar Design Awards.
The Balducci Asian Noodle & Sushi Bar also saw a major makeover by Stefan Antoni. The result – a small sparsely decorated glasshouse, a boutique designer environment, an authentic Asian Restaurant and Bar.
SLICK RESTAURANT GROUP SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY INITIATIVE
In celebration of Balducci’s 21st birthday, the Slick Restaurant Group will be launching a social responsibility initiative later in the year.
FUNCTIONS, CHRISTMAS LUNCH AND NEW YEAR’S EVE DINNER
Balducci cater for a variety of functions, offering a choice of four set menus. Amidst the celebratory vibe of the V&A Waterfront, Balducci’s Christmas Lunch and New Year’s Eve Dinner are sure to be winners.
Christmas Lunch Menu
- Glass of Sparkling Wine on arrival
- Antipasti Starters: Oysters OR Shrimp Cocktail
- Secondi Piatti Main Course: Platter of Roast Turkey, Rare Roast Prime Sirloin and Traditional Gammon OR Shellfish Platter
- Dolce Dessert: Christmas Pudding OR Ferrero Rocher Christmas Fantasy OR Luxury Cheeseboard
- Tea/Coffee and Christmas Mince Pies
New Year’s Eve Dinner Menu
- Glass of Sparkling Wine on arrival
- Antipasti Starters: A choice of Melanzane Alla Parmigiano OR Grilled Calamari OR Oysters
- Secondi Piatti Main Course: Grainfed Beef Fillet OR Shellfish Platter
- Dolce Dessert: Frozen Mixed Berries with a hot white chocolate sauce OR Crème Brûlée OR White Lindt Chocolate Cheesecake
- Coffee and Trio of Halawa
To complement the above menus, 12 great-value Balducci House Wines will be on offer.
Book early to avoid disappointment.
Balducci are now delivering with Uber Eats, to areas as per Uber Eats delivery schedule on the Uber Eats App.
THE SLICK RESTAURANT GROUP LOYALTY CARD
Join the Slick Restaurant Loyalty programme and receive 10% of the bill total credited to your card, redeemable at any Slick Restaurant, as well as a R200 birthday voucher.
THE BALDUCCI TABLE
Round up your family and friends and head to the V&A Waterfront to enjoy the Italian art of eating at the Balducci table.
Daily operating times: 11:00 – 23:00 / Booking advised
Tel: (021) 421 6002/3