A New Italian Gem in Melville: La Luna

Now that my mother lives in Melville, I’ve been spending a lot of time there, which inspired me to write a story in the Sunday Independent all about my favourite spots in this once grungy, now trendy suburb. Judging from my tweets, alot of you still avoid it. If you’re one of those people, I highly recommend you spend an evening there. Along with 7th Avenue in Parkhurst and Gleneagles Road in Greenside, 7th Street is one of few long streets in Jozi lined with restaurants and shops, making a stroll from top to bottom quite a thrill.

I firmly believe that the ambiance of a restaurant is just as important as the food itself, and this is something La Luna has perfected. Large glass windows create an indoor/ outdoor feel, complemented by soft lighting and perfectly spaced tables. I was a bit disappointed by the service which was quite slow.

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Portions are relatively small, so you’ll definitely be able to handle a 3 course meal, which is all the better because the food is just sublime. The restaurant’s two chefs, Claus and Linda, have travelled the world, cooking up a storm in fine dining establishments everywhere from London to Shanghai.

Pasta is made in house, with ravioli, agnolotti and tortellini all being produced manually on a daily basis. To start, try the Panzanella, Tuscan style bread salad with fresh fennel, tomato and fior di latte mozzarella, R85. The restaurant prides itself on its Pumpkin Ravioli, R85, served with brown butter, pine kernels and amoretti. I tried the Prawn Ravioli in lobster bisque, R160, the flavour of which was explosive. Dessert didn’t disappoint either, go for the Tiramisu Semifreddo, R60, which is like tiramisu and ice cream in one- the best of both.

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As you can see, this Prawn Ravioli is small for a main, but I liked that I could have 3 courses without feeling stuffed.
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Pumpkin Ravioli- so much flavour

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I loved the fact that the dishes were so unique but yet still tasted great. It’s often a trade off between the two- the old favourites like Bolognese and Alfredo taste great but are boring, and when chefs try brand new things they often don’t taste that great.

Open Mon: dinner only, Tue- Sat: lunch and dinner. Closed Sun.  Address: 9 7th Street, Melville. Contact 011 482 7451. Visit www.laluna-melville.co.za