Real Italian flavours with The Cousins Italian Trattoria

by Karisa

If you’ve been craving some really good pasta, you have to check out The Cousins Italian Trattoria inBarrack St.  Now it’s really nothing fancy, and you will be forgiven for walking right past the place without even realising that it’s a restaurant, BUT the goodness is in the tasting, and to me that’s what counts.

The Cousins – street view

The Cousins Italian Trattoria is the brainchild of cousins, Andrea and Simone, who wanted to share their knowledge of authentic Italian cuisine with the Mother City.  Originally from Romagna on the Adriatic coast of Italy, they came to Cape Town a few years ago, fell in love with our beautiful city, and decided to stay.

Recently they were joined by a third cousin, Luca, and together they create a dining experience that is quite special.  The interior is very simple, yet quaint, with the menu written up on a big black board.  Simone also takes the time to give you some background info around Italian cuisine, explaining how what we know as Italian today is actually far from the classic cooking style you’ll find back in their home town.

Andrea makes fresh pasta every morning, using only fresh and natural ingredients, and following recipes passed down by his mom back at home.  Biscuits & tiramisu are also baked daily, and then in true Italian style they’re also passionate about their coffee.

We kicked things off with their cold meats starter of parma ham, salami & pecan nuts, then I decided to try their Ravioli with butter & sage, while my friend D had the Tagliatelle Carbonara.  For dessert, they had unfortunately just run out of tiramisu, so we tried the bombolone and the ciambella (you can choose either nutella of homemade custard with either – we went for one of each).


Now, when I tweeted a pic of my ravioli on the night, I received some rather snippy comments about the plating (you know who you are… Ryan…), but to me plating comes into play when I’m eating at a fine dining establishment where I’m gonna have to select the budget option on my credit card.  When it comes to relaxed dining like this, it’s really all about the flavour, and on that front I had zero complaints.  In fact, I dare to say that it was the best pasta I’ve had since my time in Italy back in 2011 – both the ravioli & carbonara were excellent.  The starter meat platter is also really good if you’re a meat lover like me, and then the dessert I’d say opt for the  homemade custard option with both dessert options.  The custard really makes it.  (or maybe you can snag a piece of that Tiramisu and tell me how it is – really keen to try it)

To Andrea, Simone & Luca I give a big two thumbs up for simply being cool, and for that delicious pasta made just the way their mama and grandma used to make, I’m giving them a top score of kiss5on the Miss K Kiss-o-Meter scale.

Here’s the team – From left to right: Luca, Andrea & Simone

To get your own little taste of Italy, visit them at:  3b Barrack Street in the Cape Town CBD

These are their opening hours:

  • Mon – Fri: 12:30 – 14:30 and 18:00 – 22:00
  • Saturday: Lunch: Closed – PM 18:00 – 22:00
  • Closed on Sundays

And you can contact them on: 021 4613168  or

THEN I also have a HOT tip – starting this Thursday, 16 October (and happening every Thursday thereafter) it’s a Aperol Spritz Party:

  • From 5pm to 8pm
  • Join them for good music, many different cocktails, finger food & pasta for free and as they put it “a good atmosphere with a touch of madness typical of the Cousins!” 🙂

These kind of sundowner events are a big thing back in Italy and was really such an awesome experience while I was there… I’m definitely gonna try pop in this week & I would recommend that you do too.  If you can’t make Thursday though, definitely add them to your dining to do list.


1 comment

Gugu_A1 Oct 15, 2014 - 11:45 am

Oh lawd the pasta looks…


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