Blanko Restaurant at The Alphen Hotel
Modern Italian fare in a slick, contemporary environment.
Blanko restaurant is a modern and slick Italian eatery located at the lovely Alphen Boutique Hotel in Constantia.
As the name suggests, Blanko’s inside walls are predominantly white, punctuated with colour and character by pieces of modern art by local artists. The space is gallery-like in its simplicity and maintains a sharp, efficient feel as waitrons in leather aprons move seamlessly between the restaurant’s rooms, outdoor area and kitchen.
The food, much like the space, speaks to unfussy dishes that sound simple but are complex in flavour and concept. We started with a daily special of pillowy ricotta-stuffed ravioli with roasted baby tomatoes, fresh basil and shaved Parmesan. The dish as a whole just a real success of simple flavours and textures done well. We also loved the baby squid, which was so tender and seasoned beautifully. Following antipasti is a good selection of mains that range from carne and pesce to pasta, risottos and pizza.
The Sea Bass main and Sirloin Tagliata were both delicious – the steak absolutely perfectly cooked with fresh pesto and crispy fries. The Sea Bass was served with stuffed courgettes, beautifully sweet slow roasted tomatoes and added freshness from basil. What stood out across all dishes was a commitment to clean, simple concepts, with the real work being in the concentrated flavour in each element.
For dessert, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try the Chocolate Tart with salted saramel and hazelnuts (a similar pastry can be bought at la Belle next door to take home with you – which we highly recommend). It was honestly so yum! We also tried the Limoncello Pot – cheesecake crème and biscotti. An ultra light, layered glass of lemony goodness with the biscotti adding crunch. Ideal to end off a sophisticated meal.
The Wine List
The wine list is also well-curated and it was a pleasure to see some really excellent wines offered by the glass. Often these are only available as full bottles, but when you are dining as a couple and only one person is drinking wine, it is refreshing to be able to order something really amazing.
Why you Should Visit
Blanko firmly removes the red-checked tablecloth stereotype of Italian restaurants and replaces it with a contemporary, polished feel. Don’t go expecting an arm’s length list of rich pizzas and pasta; this is not what Blanko is about. Instead, expect a refined menu that brings the classic flavours of Italian cuisine to the fore and delivers these in a sophisticated and delicious way.
Ideal for a entertaining clients, a family lunch or an intimate dinner for two.