Let’s be honest, everyone entering Canal Walk through entrance 3 Lower Level would have been enticed by the delicious aromas wafting towards them from the Col’cacchio kitchen. Alas, we as Muslims could not drop in for a quick bite as Col’cacchio was not halaal, until now that is! This iconic brand has finally seen the light and have gone fully halaal with 3 of their stores, one in Cape Town at Canal Walk, one in Athol in Johannesburg, and another soon in Durban.
On Wednesday last week, we were invited to the official media launch of Col’cacchio, Canal Walk. After being seated and amidst introductions and reconnecting with other influencers, I was offered a drink. While waiting I took in the décor which is simple and elegant with neutral colours. The dark wood particularly stands out with the 3 curved booths at the back.
Colcacchio now offers a great range of mocktails: so it goes without saying that I ordered one, being a huge fan of these exotic and colourful drinks. My pick of the day was the Kiwi Daiquiri. Having tried countless daiquiris, this one was a true refreshing delight. I have never come across a Kiwi Daquiri before, mix it with mint and you have a winner. It was neither too frosty nor overpoweringly sweet. Later on I tasted some of the Berry Daquiri, which was also great, particularly the cherry flavour that came through. One huge brownie point to Colcacchio was that they were using bamboo straws!
Now on to the food. First up was the tagliata: sliced sirloin steak with a homemade sundried tomato, garlic, chilli and olive oil tagliata sauce. The steak was cooked medium, which allowed the tastiness of the meat to filter through. The sauce added wonderful flavour, although my palate did not register any chilli (this palate is too accustomed to the hotter side of the food spectrum).
Pasta lovers you have got to try the Blu Formaggi pasta. It is Italian-style blue cheese sauce, chicken macon, garlic pangrattato and crispy onion. Not being much of a pasta fan, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this simple yet creamy and flavoursome dish. In case you think the blue cheese sauce may be a turn off- let me assure you I didn’t even realise it was blue cheese sauce until I saw the menu. The flavour of the blue cheese is ever so slight but adds to the creaminess beautifully. The chicken macon was a hit, I have never tasted macon so well cooked. It was anything but dry and fatty.
Okay so we all know Colcacchio as ‘the pizza place’, and rightly so. Their pizzas are thin-based, gourmet-style, non-greasy and they offer a huge variety of unique topping combinations. Not only that, they offer half and half pizzas. Bottom line, their pizzas were some of the best I have tried thus far. We certainly lack this kind of offering on the halaal restaurant scene.
We tried 3 pizzas: Morituri, The Moghul and Norm’s Pralina. First up the Morituri, which had seasoned chicken, avo, macon, feta and roasted red pepper. It was tasty and the topping was plentiful. The topping combination was pretty standard I thought. So if you prefer a no-fuss pizza this one is for you.
The Norm’s Pralina had a butternut and tomato base and the topping was roasted butternut, chilli, feta, pumpkin seed praline and rocket. I have never tasted such a unique combination on a pizza, that this truly took my breath away. Pure yumminess! The pumpkin seed praline is what truly gave it that blast of flavour. Inge, the owner and our host informed me that it is their most popular vegetarian pizza, I can definitely vouch for why.
The last one was The Moghul, if you like Indian cuisine this one is right up your alley. I never thought butter chicken on a pizza would work, surprisingly this one did the trick. Topped with butter chicken, yoghurt, galbani fior di latte mozzarella, coriander and crispy onion, this one definitely catered to my palette. It was tasty with the added freshness of the coriander that cuts
through. Although I do think I would prefer it without the crispy onions.
All you dessert lovers, here it comes – dessert was chocolate brownies and profiteroles. The brownie was the perfect combination of chewy, moist, decadent and had the added delight of hazelnuts. The profiteroles were covered in white chocolate and one bite meant a melt-in-your-mouth moment. Decadence oozed out in the form of cream, slight coffee flavours, chocolate and pastry.
What stood out? The great range of unique pizzas, there literally is something for everyone. The service is top-notch. Don’t forget to take the little ones along, they have a bambino menu as well. I absolutely loved the new range of mocktails. Who knew little profiteroles could be so delightful. Enough to get me to frequent Colcacchio’s just for dessert and coffee.
What could be improved on? I thought the price was a tad steep, although one has to factor in the quality of the food, the service and the fact that it is a sit down restaurant. Their dishes could have more of a kick, depending on your palate some dishes may come across as bland. I noticed others adding chilli and garlic to the pizzas too.
For those concerned about how the kitchen was handled after the change to halaal, rest assured. I spoke to Inge, the owner, who confirmed that all wooden and plastic utensils were discarded. All stainless steel and other equipment were sanitized by MJC as per their processes.
The menu has remained the same overall, of course all unhalaal meat has been replaced with its halaal counterpart.
Accountant by profession, writer at heart. Avid traveller, adrenaline junkie and bookworm.
“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life”- Rumi
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Breakfast, Casual Dining, Dinner, Lunch,
Medium | R100 - R300,