Upmarket Italian Dining at Amacorde in Illovo*

Remember Assaggi? That I(talian restaurant in the Post Office Centre that everyone loved? Buzz about them went quiet for a while, and then they had a Groupon… and I knew they were doomed from that point on. Good, thriving restaurants just don’t go on Groupon.

Anyway, turns out the chef from Assaggi actually left and started her own restaurant- Amacorde in Illovo. You really can’t miss it, it’s the white restaurant facing Oxford in Thrupps Shopping Centre.

I went to try it out a while ago and was waiting to see if we’d publish in the Sunday Independent before I wrote about it here, but I decided that it’s going on too long now and you guys need to know about this spot.

It’s a really classy, upmarket spot with a relatively pricey menu. The food is Italian gourmet- you’re going to find expensive, unique ingredients on the menu, like porcini mushrooms and veal.

I found starters to be quite pricey, albeit delicious. I’d probably recommend skipping starters and going straight to mains. We had the “Calamari Fritti”- fried calamari with zucchini chips and tartare sauce, R84. I loved the dish, I thought the zucchini chips were delicious, I’ve never had anything like that before.

Mains were equally impressive: Rishav had the “Quaglie alla Cacciatora”, R155- oven roasted quails stuffed with an italian sausage served on a bed of polenta with a mixed herb and tomato sauce. It was HUGE- and he loved it. For some reason I didn’t photograph my dish- probably because I was starving and Rishav was most likely taking too long to photograph his.

The pasta options are sophisticated and premium: think “tortelli di bufala”, R99, pasta parcels filled with buffalo mozzarella, parmesan, basil and oregano, topped with Napoli sauce and parmesan as well as my choice- which was amazing: “canneloni ricotte e spinaci”, R94, homemade pasta filled with ricotta cheese and spinach, served with a white sauce, tomato and parmesan cheese.

Dessert was lovely and I was glad to see that it was well priced too, we had the most amazing tiramisu, as well as DIVINE panna cotta with mixed berries, both R48.

I loved Amacorde enough to recommend it as a dinner venue for our weekly family dinner with my sister and brother in law, also big foodies. Sadly, the second time we went the service was slow, my pasta was served cold and it just wasn’t the same experience I had before. I still think it’s worth a try, perhaps they just had an off night the second time I went.

Amacorde Contact Details:
Thrupps Shopping Centre
204 Oxford Road
Phone: 011 268 2287
Website: www.amacordosteria.com