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CinCin Restaurant at the Colosseum Hotel
Celebrate good food and good times with the friendly folk at this Northern Suburbs eatery
“Chinchin!” My partner and I clinked our glasses of wine together, enjoying the Mother City’s twinkling twilight skyline from a dining area dressed in two-storey windows. Sunday dinner in Century City suddenly seemed extra special amidst CinCin Restaurant’s white linen-draped tables and with a glorious shimmering Swarovski crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling. The name of the Colosseum Hotel’s eatery is pronounced like the word for celebratory cheers, and anyone that comes here is sure to get a strong sense of occasion as well.
While hotel restaurants can be rather intimidating spaces seemingly reserved for the elite or staying guests, at CinCin I felt like even little old me belonged within the elegant interior. The eatery manages to combine an atmosphere of sophistication and classiness with that of homeliness and comfort. So, people who live, work and play in Century City can easily make it their ‘it spot’ or go-to place when no one feels like cooking.
The eatery also dishes up the best of both worlds when it comes to the menu, which features a selection of food that combines traditional elements and imaginative flair. After being served the unbelievably fresh bread of the day – on that Sunday it was raisin bread – my partner and I were treated to a delightfully surprising amuse-bouche, a bite-sized appetiser prepared by the chef to whet the palate. The word literally translates to “mouth amuser” from French, and my taste buds were simply tickled by the miniature seafood paella’s fragrant, lemony rice and morsels of squid and prawn that were plated alongside a single mussel.
Inspired by the nautical taster, I ordered the mussel starter, which came in a black potjie pot and was served swimming in a more-ish, finger-licking good creamy white wine and garlic sauce, while my partner went surf and turf with the homemade chicken and prawn ravioli with a rich sun-dried tomato sauce. The selection of main meals includes options that are hearty, homey and even healthy, but each is constructed with a fancy flourish to make the dishes more than just ordinary: think deconstructed lamb shank pie (cooked in gravy and served with a crispy, golden half-moon-shaped piece of pastry), oxtail casserole in a traditional potjie and grilled linefish – it was yellowtail when I was there – served either on a bed of sun-dried tomato, spinach and feta ravioli or with steamed vegetables and a baked potato.
Though our bellies were just about ready to burst from the generously portioned dinner (I had the fish and my companion had the lamb), the waiter’s insistence that the white chocolate, cookie cheesecake was a definite must-try convinced us to dig deep and channel our inner gluttons. It was totally worth it. The creamy, sweet slice was just the right way to round out the meal, and afterwards we definitely had a bad case of “magies vol, ogies toe” (tummies full, eyes shut).
That feeling of satisfaction was likely also fueled by the warm, welcoming service we had all evening. The elegantly attired waitstaff were beyond friendly, striking up conversation, offering helpful suggestions and information and, to a couple on holiday from Bloemfontein, giving insights on things to see and do while visiting the Cape. This “where-everybody-knows-your-name” vibe together with daily deals designed to help ease the weekly grind or toast the end of another great weekend, make the restaurant an easy choice for many a Northern Suburbanite on the lookout for a regular haunt.
From 5pm to 6pm every Monday to Sunday, the thirsty can enjoy half-price drinks while taking in the sunsets of summer or taking refuge from the rain in winter. Wednesdays and Fridays are pasta nights, with select dishes, like the Spaghetti Puttanesca, Malay Chicken Tagliatelle and Garlic Shrimp with Tomato and Sweet Basil, coming with a complimentary glass of house wine, and on Thursdays, the folks at CinCin are kind enough to foot half of the bill for main meals (minimum of two diners, drinks excluded).
Those who do find themselves here quite frequently, whether it’s for a quiet dinner for two, a lively family birthday gathering or a midweek treat, can count on it being a bit of a celebration each time thanks to the comfortably classy atmosphere and the attentive people who work there. I’ll certainly cheers to that.
Tip: CinCin also servers up a scrumptious, belly-busting Sunday Buffet Lunch, which features a wide selection of salads, roasts, sides and, the chef’s speciality, desserts for just R150p/p.
The Bill: The eatery offers generous portions at reasonable prices. Starters range from R35 (for soup of the day) to R65, mains will set you back anything between R75 and R140 and desserts ring in around R38.
If you’re in the mood for a more oceanic treat, try the Blowfish Restaurant in Blouberg. It offers sunsets, seafood and sushi.
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