3 Great New Ballito Restaurants
In the revamped Lifestyle Centre, three Ballito restaurants are making waves with locals. If you're visiting the area, these are the eateries to seek out.
The revamped Ballito Lifestyle Centre is popular with locals as well as being the ideal place for the area's many holidaying visitors to head for a spot of shopping. It's also the location of several of our favourite Ballito restaurants. So, pick up some groceries and other essentials, then take time out to enjoy top-notch food with family and friends.
Our 3 Best Ballito Restaurants Right Now
Started by seasoned restaurateur Robbie Mitchell (of Joe Cools fame), Katmandu is a travel-inspired dining venue based on a fictitious local guy named Johnny, who goes off to explore the world and returns to set up a restaurant. He develops a menu filled with his favourite dishes from around the globe, and presents them in a casual cosmopolitan indoor-outdoor setting suitable for the whole family – ‘a temple for his tribe of free thinkers’.
This idea of international flavours comes through in the breakfast offerings, where eggs are combined with smoked haddock in the Monte Carlo, with country pork bangers in the Londoner, and with spinach and hollandaise in the Florentine. For lunch and dinner, choose between dishes such as Mozambican chicken, Lebanese watermelon fatoush, Karoo lamb shank, Turkish flatbread and sourdough pizza.
And don't miss out on Fizz Thursdays when, for R150, you can enjoy a snack and bottomless bubbly between 5pm and 8pm, or banish the 'Sunday blues’ by relaxing on the expansive wooden deck under the giant fig tree for live music every last Sunday of the month. But no matter when you choose to visit, there will always be three selections of raw juice on the menu, as well as a variety of beers from boutique local brewery Mist and Drizzle Brewing Co.
2. 45 on Eat Street
Bold floral wallpaper and a vibrant Ardmore fabric on a couch form part of the eclectic yet finely curated interiors of 45 on Eat Street, where decor and design are as much a part of the dining experience as the food. Opening up to an unconventional outdoor hangout for children out back – complete with a cantilevered glass playhouse – the restaurant has become Ballito’s gathering spot for family days out, special occasions and lingering coffee dates.
Choose to sit outside looking onto the plant-lined pond, in a circular booth in the bar area, cosied up near the fireplace (our favourite at the moment), under the 18th century wall-mounted clock from Belgium, or around one of the butcher-block tables sourced from Poland.
The menu, developed in collaboration with local foodie Jacqui Rey of Food Matters, includes sharing options such as hearty mini bunny chows and a popular sushi menu (try the signature 45 roll with 45 spicy sauce).
All stocks and sauces – from tomato sauce to chutney – are made in the kitchen, adding to the local flavours evident in every meal. Start off with the cheeky pork accompanied by pea purée and citrus foam, move on to lamb curry with sambals or opt for sesame-and-pepper-crusted seared tuna, and end off with milktart spring rolls or a citrusy malva pudding with lemon meringue shards, lemon curd and homemade lemon cheesecake ice cream.
3. Lupa Osteria
A visit to Lupa Osteria is like a teleportation to Italy. Focaccia, beef carpaccio, tortellini, gnocchi, Parma ham and caprese salad are all on offer, but if you want to try a bit of everything, we recommend the antipasto platter. Alternatively, go for the melanzane parmigiana as your starter.
For mains, you can’t go wrong with the woodfired pizza (with the option of buffalo mozzarella and gluten-free bases). If you’re fine with heat, the Spicy Gamberi pizza with prawns, chorizo, chilli and garlic will blow you away. Pasta lovers shouldn’t miss the homemade spaghetti and fettuccine – both are made on site every day. Top these with the Lupa creamy chicken sauce with cherry tomatoes, basil pesto and roasted peppers, or the Norma sauce of sautéed aubergine sprinkled with ricotta and Parmesan.
For the ultimate Italian experience, pair your meal with Prosecco, and end off with a dessert such as tiramisu or cremino al cioccoloto, a decadent treat of Nutella crème brûlée, smashed Amaretti biscuits, salted-caramel gelato and meringue. And don't forget that restoring glass of grappa...
Between 4pm and 6pm daily, you can enjoy wine, gin and beer for R25, cocktails for R35 and snacks such as cauliflower fritti for R40 during the restaurant’s ‘Aperitivo Hour’. On weekends (and week nights over school holidays) live music – played outside Lupa Osteria, on the Lifestyle Centre’s outdoor walkway – adds to the pleasure of feasting here.
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