There was a time when a visit to your local grocery store was more of a social event than a chore. Where the butcher knew your preferences and the baker greeted you by name – a place where product knowledge, a hearty smile and sound advice was given freely. These day spots like this are few and far between and so we’re forced to head back to the supermarket for run-of-the-mill ingredients and less than fresh products. Luckily for Durbanites that is all about to change with the opening of Old Town Italy, a new, authentic Italian foodie haven.
The new 600 square metre mecca of authentic Italian food and culture in Umhlanga, promises to transport customers back to a time to when life was defined by a more romantic set of values, based on a simpler, slower and better quality of life. The space is set to be a unique combination of market style stalls, food counters and a fully-fledged restaurant where locals can tuck into the very best food made from the freshest ingredients.
The new concept is the brainchild of Renzo Scribante and Remos Fratelli two passionate foodies who wanted nothing more than to gather premium quality Italian foods and product and passionate people all under one roof. The idea was to create a space where the people of Durban and tourists can eat, shop and learn. What’s more, no matter you’re looking chances are you will find it at Old Town – whether it’s a fromagerie, charcuterie, patisserie or simply an authentic Italian ristorante.
The artisanal bakery, headed up by Vanessa Smith who recently spent time learning from the best at Eataly in Milan, will tempt you with freshly baked artisanal breads and pastries, all hand formed and freshly baked on the premises. Think prosciutto and parma ham straight from the butcher, the smell of freshly brewed Dolce Vita Caffe by the team of talented baristas and a deli that is stocked floor to ceiling with luxury imported goods from Fratelli Foods – pasta, specialty cheeses, olive oil, preserves, dolci, wine and craft beer.
If you’re not interested in shopping for ingredients then head to Old Town Café where Chef Nicola Burrows and assistant group executive chef, Nicolai Pareti, will transform simple, high-quality ingredients (that are all available to purchase at the market) into delicious authentic Italian meals. Choose from a selection of Café lights, ciabattas and of course home-made pastas and pizzas.
We can’t wait to visit this new foodie spot and we love that whether you’re popping in for a quick bite to eat, stocking up on fresh ingredients or just needing advice on your next meal, Old Town is sounds like THE place to be.