Pasta pronto – Bice

2011-08-12 11:16

Bice has panoramic views of Sandton and Randburg, and at night the view is all twinkling lights in an ink-black sky.

With a climate-controlled glass room that is the wine cellar and a sushi bar to one side, the restaurant is cool beige and cream with accents of brown and old black-and-white photos.

This is one of more than 40 Bice restaurants in the world but its roots lie in a Milanese trattoria opened in 1926. It was started by current owner Raffaele Ruggeri’s grandmother, whose nickname was Bice.

The waitron was on the ball, taking drinks orders in a flash and making sure we were stocked up on delicious olive bread, basil pesto and olive tapenade.

In fact, it’s worth going just for the pesto.

Pleasingly, many of the wines on the moderately priced wine list come by the glass, so you are not forced to buy a bottle to have something tasty with your pasta.

Also, when I asked about specials the rather dashing Italian manager came to explain what was available.

Best on the menu
My dinner date had a rich tomato-based seafood dish which he raved about, but I think my porcini and black truffle pasta was the winner on the day. The combination of the creamy porcini mushrooms with the earthy flavour of the black truffle shavings, along with the slivers of parmesan cheese and the homemade pasta was worth repeating over and over again. If you go twice, the gnocchi is the best you’ll find this far from the motherland.

Expect to find
Being in a hotel, there are many hotel guests eating here; lots of business lunches too, with suits doing deals; and at night the young and beautiful or those looking to impress a date flock to the 80-seater restaurant.

While the black truffle dish came at a price, R140, it’s to be expected with such an ingredient list. The rest of the menu is very manageable for a good night out and the pastas range from R68 and up.

The ideal is to do one of the tasting menus put together by the chef so that you can sample everything from the anti-pasta to the secondi, and finish with the tiramisu.

Hyde Park Southern Sun

011 341 8080 

– Gayle Edmunds

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