Pizza heaven is in New Doornfontein, Jozi's newest trendy hangout
Pizza a la awesome view is how I'd sum up a meal at Treviso Café, writes Ufrieda Ho
Treviso Café is on the fourth floor of a regular building in Johannesburg's Eastern 'burbs better known for light industrial factories than trendy eating spots.
But it's part of the steady reincarnation of industrial spaces into new-generation businesses. The trend is catching on and you can see it from the galleries, bespoke clothing and artists' studios popping up in old warehouses and factories across the neighbourhood.
While Treviso Café is not the easiest space to find (signage is still to be made, the owner says), its covered deck offers a vista of the statement architecture of the city, including the bowl of the Ellis Park stadium, Hillbrow Tower and Ponte.
The view was enough to convince the owner, who ran Treviso Italian Deli and Café in Craighall, to relocate here earlier this year.
The sourdough breads baked on site are still at the heart of this establishment but it's worth a sit-down visit for some honest, simple Italian food, too. Visit soon to capitalise on opening-special prices that are set to go up after Easter.
The quattro stagioni pizza (R65) - a margharita with ham, mushroom, olives and artichokes - was generously packed close to the edges with the promised goodies. The base was thin and crisp enough but thankfully not so thin that you'd think you'd ordered a cracker with toppings, rather than pizza.
Pizzas here are not done in a traditional wood oven but in an electric oven with a ceramic bottom that gets pretty hot - high heat being one of the secrets to a great pizza. But its slightly lower temperature means a bit more control and no charred carcinogenic edges.
The arrabiata funghi penne pasta (R35 - yes, an opening specials price) with Napoletana chilli sauce, home-made pesto and mushrooms, was not shy on the chilli but the balance was right so the pesto still came through. And with the addition of Parmesan shavings the dish was a simple, creamy bowl of ''yes please".
The small space is modern but cosy, the menu is uncomplicated and caters mostly to a breakfast and lunch clientele. Staff are friendly and efficient and the owner is welcoming and hands-on.
Breakfast includes no-frills eggs on toast that will set you back a mere R15 and you can have a freshly baked muffin for R18. Lunch fare includes sandwiches and toasted tramezzinis.
• Treviso Café is at 4th Floor Morkel House, 31 Voorhout Street, New Doornfontein. Monday to Friday 7am till 4pm and Saturdays 7am till noon.
• This article was originally published in The Times.