[Ballito, South Africa] Fiamma Grill

This is the restaurant at the Coco de Mer hotel, where we were staying overnight. I’m not usually a fan of hotel restaurants but this was also rated on Tripadvisor at #3 or Ballito’s 67 listings, so was obviously worth a try. It offers a decent looking Italian menu. Service was friendly and on the ball. Portions are large, so it may be an idea to forget the idea of three courses unless you’ve brought a good appetite with you.

Bread comes first, along with stuff to have with it. Lots of chopped garlic in melted butter was an excellent idea. There was another dish of what I thought was pesto, so slathered it on, only to find it was just finely chopped, very powerful chilli.

There was a lentil soup to start – rich and flavoursome, although there had been quite a heavy hand with the salt. Chicken livers were excellent – lightly cooked and served in a well-balanced white wine, tomato and cream sauce.

For mains, there was pizza Quattro Stagione for one of us and lasagne for the other. Both well-made and, as mentioned earlier, substantial portions which couldn’t be finished.

Only one of us wanted dessert. That’d be me. I’m on a quest to find the perfect tiramisu and can never resist ordering it in a new place. I have a couplie of favourites – one in Manchester (UK) and one in Vermont (USA). This version was fine but not claiming a top spot. Nice flavour, but a bit dense in texture. Another big portion which, perhaps, I’d have enjoyed more if I hadn’t eaten so much already.

We finished with good espresso – strong and hot.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold