Hake & chips/vegetable/salad plus a glass of Cape Chenin Blanc all for R138 (USD 11.25) – what! are you serious? There must be a mistake surely! Wait, because there’s more…….
A Restaurant Review
Il Forno Mediterranean Family Restaurant
Il Forno is a family run restaurant and is located in a quiet little center in Alberton, east of Johannesburg.
There is no ‘out of this world’ decor, as all furnishings are very simple, but extremely comfortable. However, there are Da Vinci murals on the inside walls, particularly “Lazarus and the Beggar” which are so lifelike and to someone like myself, very moving.
Whilst Il Forno says that it is a ‘family’ restaurant I was not sure if that meant that is was family run or catered for families. The good news is that both statements are true. The family runs the restaurant and the restaurant caters for families.
There is no play center for the younger one’s and so it is primarily families with older children that would dine at this very homely spot.
Italian, would not have the same meaning without a pizzeria. Il Forno serves a good range of pizzas dine in and capitalizes on a very busy take out pizza service as well.
They cater for all manner of events and the restaurant buzzes from 11.30 am up to 8 each day of the week.
They seem to have space (and this is my guess) – for 200 patrons or more. If you spend time, like I do at varying times, tables are constantly being reconfigured to accommodate mixed groups of patrons.
The ambiance is brilliant; this being due to a number of number of reasons. Firstly, the unsophisticated homely furnishing of the restaurant. The temperature control, seems to always suit the outside weather. Background music is soft, pleasant and totally unobtrusive. Patrons appear to come from a wide spectrum of social circles. Most of these are happy and seem to really enjoy themselves.
The staff are absolutely amazing. When my Fiancee and I arrive, we are welcomed like family. Given that we have been dining here for the last three years on at least a once-a-week basis, we feel like part of the ‘family’. We see, as we are both very interested in our surroundings and behavior of people in particular, that newcomers are really made to feel welcome and like regulars – are treated with care. Waitpersons are professional and are clearly well trained. Management are absolutely ‘hands on’ and are always fully visible, whatever time of day.
So; what about the cuisine?
The cuisine is Italian and the menu has a very good variety, which caters for all eating tastes, without being so large as to make choice difficult. There are fish, chicken, meat, pizza and pasta dishes to choose from. I always get the feeling that someone’s ‘Mamma’ originate the cuisine.
There is a wide variety of beverages both alcohol and other. The wine selection is good without being ‘over the top’. If you are a beer drinker, it’s available from the pump and is never anything but fresh.
For those of our global readers; we wait for you to visit our land of sunshine and friendly people along with the greatest dollar value in the world.
Il Forno Family Restaurant, 11 Alberton Lifestyle Centre, 57 St. Austel Road, Alberton
Bookings : 011-869-1455
What more do you need to know?
Il Forno waits for you. A caveat here – please book, no matter what time of the day. Chances are good you’ll get a table anyway, but don’t risk it.
This is not a sponsored review
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