This week I got try a scaled down version of the very popular Italian restaurant, Primi Piatti. Primi Xpress in Rosmead hosted a meetup of Zomato foodies and other food bloggers and treated us to a night of food and comedy. I was giggling through most of my meal on Tuesday night as Yaseen Barnes and Dalin Oliver shot the breeze and put the mike through it’s paces. Being an Xpress store I had wondered how they were going to do a stand-up comedy show in such a small space. Let’s just say, the night was thoroughly improvised.
Located in the Rosmead centre in Kenilworth, there is ample parking. I was surprised to find the store full of people seated for a meal even though it’s an express store. And that’s besides the bloggers group. There’s comfortable booth and and simple table seating. The space is a bit tight as the counter runs the length of the store but if you don’t mind the proximity it’s pretty acceptable for an easy meal.
It was great to see some blogger faces that I already knew and meet some new foodies. Here we are doing what bloggers tend to do at these things. I know this looks awful, everyone on their phone tweeting and texting, but it’s fleeting and a necessary part of the process. Else you wouldn’t know about all these great new finds.
Shivaan Mathews, the owner of Primi Xpress, had a special menu prepared so we could sample small tasters from all parts of the menu and not feel like the Oros Man when we were done. We ordered some drinks. They offered mocktails on the menu so I decided to blow the no dairy rules and went for a Pina Colada. It was thick and creamy, a bit more like a milkshake really. We kicked off with grilled halloumi on lettuce wraps topped with a spicy tomato relish. Loved this and was surprised to find it on an Xpress menu. This was accompanied by platters of Rosemary Salt Focaccia with a Recco and Napoletana sauce. The Recco sauce has a creamy and spicy curry inflused flavour and is a definite winner. This is a great starter but I had to resist tucking in too much as the delicious salty, herby crusty bread would just fill you up too fast.
Little taster bowls of pasta followed as the comedy got under way. I was distracted by the show which because of the confined space felt very intimate and like if you made eye contact too much, you’d get picked on. I never sit in the front rows at comedy shows, and this felt very front row to me. In the process my pasta got a little cold before I could get stuck in. I thoroughly enjoyed the Recco con Pollo which was the same spicy sauce served with the focaccia. The Calabrese was a fresher, lighter pasta dish with olives, garlic, chilli and fresh rocket. It was good but was totally overshadowed by the Recco sauce in the other pasta.
Then came a variety of pizzas for the table. The Quattro Formaggi was my favourite. The slight blue cheese flavour and onion marmalade paired so well together. The Moroccan Chicken was tasty but super hot. I did not manage a taste of the Tre Carne, but it looked decidedly meaty as the name suggests. This was followed by 2 sliders. One with Beef and egg and the other with grilled Chicken on a sesame bun. At this stage, in spite of my best intentions I was starting to feel like the Oros Man, and only managed a bite of each. They were quite beautifully presented but I wasn’t wowed by the flavour. It’s not their core offering and it’s the Italian that Primi does well, not the American. Dessert was little mini ice cream sundaes which wrapped the meal up quite nicely.
Prices start at R75 for pasta up to R139 for a seafood pasta. They also do half portions which start from R60. They have a pretty full menu for an express store and even offer breakfast which starts at R29 for French Toast and R35 for a Basic Pastrami and Eggs and other more elaborate options. A full range of pizzas, burgers, wraps and sandwiches, coffees, teas and a small range of desserts. It’s all there. I think this will be a popular destination as it is one of the very few fully halaal primi’s and a bigger space with more seating would be great.
Met Echi Ismail from Halaalife.com and the spunky Maz from Caffeine and Fairydust . Rif and Imaan were there from Suitcases and Lattes and Meghan from Garnish and Ginger. Got to take my pic with the stars of the night and that cute little face next to me in the last pic is Raeesa Naik from the Fashion Factor who got picked on something chronic because she arrived late. Never, ever, ever draw attention to yourself at a comedy show…
Waddling out into the parking lot after saying plenty goodbyes, and promises to stay in touch with new friends and old, I realised I would need a coffee for the long ride to the other side of the boerewors curtain. I popped into the Fresh Stop on Doncaster street which I knew had a Seattle Coffee and got this baby to keep me company on the long road home.
Primi Rosmead has kindly offered a R150 voucher to give away to one of my readers. To stand a chance to win it
- just follow me on Twitter and
- tweet the following: Win with @Hungryforhalaal and @ #hungryforprimi
Updated 18 August 2016
Breakfast, Casual Dining, Dinner, Lunch,
Cheap | Under R100, Medium | R100 - R300,