Lupa, Ballito. Feels like Italy, yet it’s in our backyard. Good start? I think yes. Andrea Bocelli is playing softly in the background, the pizza oven emits an aroma that has me thinking of sunny Mediterranean days and the welcome we receive is probably the closest to the warmth of the Italians I have found locally, ever.
It’s obvious, Aperol Spritz are needed to quench our thirst as we sit down and peruse the abundant menu, while reminding me of Roman nights. Naturally, to accompany our Aperols, we have to start our taste buds on some Carpaccio di Manzo, which is thinly sliced raw beef with Mr Cipriani’s dressing, sliced mushrooms and parmesan. Yes, we had to go traditional Italian somewhere in the starting lineup.
To follow, and in order to do a sort of ‘tapas style’ starters, we ordered the meatballs in a slow roasted Napoli sauce and the grilled Falkland Calamari which would’ve done any seafood restaurant proud! It also had us anxiously awaiting our mains… For me, an Italian restaurant is only Italian if there is Veal Limone on the menu. The meltin-your-mouth veal escalopes are pan fried with lemon, butter and parsley and served with spinach and parmesan fries. Yes, this dish did the Romans proud and was cooked to perfection!
To allow some fusion into the Italian mix, the Chargrilled Beef Burger with Fontina cheese, bacon, caramelised onion and parmesan fries was ideal for burger lovers everywhere, and of course, this burger was sophisticated and oh-so-gorgeous to look at too!
Back to its roots, the meatball pasta, with al dente spaghetti, pork and beef meatballs cooked in a slow roasted Napoli sauce with a hint of light cream was something out of Nonna’s kitchen- so fresh, vibrant and homely that I swear if you closed your eyes, you could hear the Vespa’s scooting by. Since we were at Lupa, and the pizza oven did smell so good, we had to order the Olivia pizza, with calamari, mussels, prawns, chilli, garlic and parsley. This type of pizza is synonymous with the South of Italy with its seafood, fresh tomato, cheese and crispy, thin base. Delectable and delicate all in one.
Their pizzas are must, mark my words! Lupa, quite obviously, does everything well, very well. We were looked after like family and the food was good enough to give the best of the best a run for their money back in Italy. For a night out with family and food to satiate any appetite, Lupa Osteria is a non-negotiable.