‘South African foodie joint meets tiny, Italian corner Cafe’ – that was the dream of Giulio Loreggian’s Italian mama, and became his dream too. The realisation of this dream is Giulio’s Cafe at 16 Loop Street, a bright and vibrant spot serving up wholesome Italian cuisine for breakfast and lunch.
Originally Giulio studied finance, and then, like a lot of young adults, decided to go in a completely opposite direction and to pursue his passion instead – food. He signed up to study at the South African Chefs Academy and after graduating was offered the opportunity to help set up Jamie Oliver’s new restaurant Recipease in the UK. He spent a year working in the kitchen and training with Jamie; after this he returned to Cape Town to cook as a private chef before deciding to open his own spot.
The universe aligned when the space at 16 Loop Street became vacant – in a matter of a few days the lease was signed and he summarily hopped onto a plane to the South of Italy to hone his Italian skills. He returned inspired and with a vision of how he wanted his mama’s corner cafe to be, and with the help of designer Michael Chandler, they created the beauty that is Giulio’s Cafe. Locally sourced leather chairs, hand crafted gilding and chandeliers and with a touch of mama’s Loreggian’s homely influence, the result is a space that is simply elegant and welcoming.
A lot of love has gone into designing the menu – the focus being on simple ingredients and in keeping with a South Africa meets Italy style. Dishes on the menu include the Open Lamb Wrap – layers of lamb with homemade hummus, watercress, chilli mushrooms, toasted pine nuts and lemon mint yogurt, or the monstrous Giulio’s Burger – a 100% pure beef patty topped with grilled zucchini ribbons, Mama Franca’s melanzane, balsamic caramelised onions, garlic mayo and basil pesto, served with Parmesan truffle fries – wow!
Pasta dishes are held in high regard – we tried the Pollo Pesto Linguine, with creamy chicken and basil pesto, rocket and Parmesan shavings and the Giulio’s Pasta Puttanesca, with pomodoro sauce, olives, chilli, capers and oregano. The sauces were delicious, the pasta al dente, and the accompanying Parmesan cheese generous and full-flavoured.
If you stop by Giulio’s for lunch, you must not overlook the Mangia Table, with five fresh salads prepared everyday, as well as a tasty Italian bake. You can partner your selection of salad with a portion of protein such as chicken, lamb, beef and pork belly. Once you’ve selected your protein it is cooked to order and served fresh, keeping it juicy and delicious.
Giulio not only works in the kitchen, but will also be seen front of house, making sure that guests are happy and comfortable. Alongside him, making sure it all runs smoothly, is Mama Loreggian – these two personalities make the restaurant bustle with dazzling energy. The motto in Giulio’s is – ‘the food flows, the wine flows, the personality flows’ and this is definitely the case.
For a burst of vitamins, try one of their freshly squeezed juices, or if it’s caffeine you’re after, try the tantalising Iced Coffee – a double espresso served with vanilla bean ice cream and maple syrup, a must have!
The combination of tasty food, combined with a comfortable environment filled with the warm personalities of Giulio and his Mama, make this new spot just bellissimo!
16 Loop Street
+27 21 418 6304