La Luna‘s food really doesn’t need any help, but what endears this place even more is it’s come back story and we all love a come back kid. And the story goes that The Westcliff shut its doors last year for renovations (they’re soon to be SA’s first Four Seasons Hotel) and let the staff go. Fast forward to the end of last year & chefs Klaus Beckmann & Lindy Pretorius joined forces and La Luna was beautifully born…
starter platter: peppers in bagna cauda (an Italian dip), mozzarella, grilled artichokes, prawns & baby calamari
“We’re just two simple chefs. All we know is how to cook.” the quirky pastry chef Lindy says modestly but she’s down playing it in a big way. Between them they’ve cooked in luxe hotels, restaurants and private functions for the rich and famous in Berlin, Paris, Basel, Kiev, Bucharest, Shanghai, Osaka & London to name a few.
La Luna is Italian at heart but scratch any average pizza and pasta joint far out of your head. It was a quiet Saturday afternoon when we arrived on the busy 7th Street in Melville & we were driving down the street looking out for a different/new place to eat and when I saw La Luna & it rang a bell that I’d heard and seen some (good) whispers online. We grabbed a window seat and people watched and feasted. We decided to go all out and have a full three courses and shared everything to be able to try as much of the menu as we could…
- If you have just one dish, splurge a bit and have the prawn ravioli and grilled prawns in lobster bisque. The ravioli is perfectly done and the bisque left me wishing I’d saved some of the bread to soak up every last drop on the plate.
- I love, love love that they’ve open up in the quirky suburb of Melville. Much like the inner city (my 1st love) Melville has always been perceived as gritty but is fast becoming the new cool kid.
- I ate artichokes for the first time (in our starter) & actually liked it in combination with everything else on the plate. It worked.
- They’ve brought many of the otherwise stranded waitering staff from The Westcliff to La Luna with them so you’ll be glad to know the service is smart, efficient and polished. They’ve even helped to place some of the waiters at other nearby restaurants – love that!
- Try as I may, I really cant come up with a single thing.
Penne with grilled prawns, coriander (unusual but works!), chilli & tomato
THE prawn ravioli with grilled prawns in lobster bisque
My beloved crème brulee – completely on point
The prawn ravioli dish is actually quite similar to the one I had on my last trip to The Westcliff before they closed (& I loved theirs too!) but better. I really should have stopped after mains but my all time favourite dessert, a classic crème brulee (I really don’t need the biscotti and fruit garnish etc.) was on the menu and I just cannot pass that up…
La Luna is fine dining quality and presentation without all the stuffiness. They’ve gone back to the basics of fresh ingredients (think home made pasta & olive oil from the Cape) and definitely have a personal touch. I watched as Lindy personally went over to all the tables to chat to guests. When she heard (via our waiter) that I couldn’t have the red meat she came over to chat options that weren’t even on the menu but that she could easily whip together for me with what she had in their pantry/fridge – how amazing?! If you don’t like the hustle & bustle of the streets they also have courtyard on the side of the restaurant where you can soak up some sun & its quieter. If you like your wine there’s a large selection (mostly local) – in fact so many pages I wasn’t sure there was a menu under all that.
Need to know
- There’s fast & uncapped wi-fi – I only found out as we were about to leave
- They’ve recently invested in a generator so they’re always good to go
- Their menu is available online (nice!) & changes regularly. Also check in for their daily (value) special…
- They’re closed on Sundays and don’t do breakfast. “Who me? Cook eggs?” said Lindy 🙂
- You can also reserve a table online.
If I ran the place
- I’d have a food baby. All the time.
- Ok on a serious note, I do wish they’re get onto Twitter etc. so they can see all their compliments!
La Luna’s been one of my best find in a while since Burhan’s Butcher & Kebab.
You will love!
La Luna of Melville
9 7th Street, Melville, 2092
+27 482 7451