When it comes to Italian restaurants in Johannesburg, there is a seemingly endless list to choose from. And if fine dining is something you save for special occasions, you may not know which restaurants offer the most authentic Italian culinary experience, or which ones offer the best value for money. When you want to splash out, you really want to make sure that your hard-earned cash is not wasted on subpar dining.
So, if you’ve been searching for a restaurant nearby and can’t make up your mind, why not give Lupa Bedfordview or Lupa Design Quarter a try? These Johannesburg restauranteurs really know how to make guests feel welcome – the man responsible for overseeing things and ensuring that every guest leaves happy and well-fed, is Preshan Ramoorthy, the owner of Bedfordview and Design Quarter.
Our marketing team have stolen a few moments to chat to him and find out why customers should consider gracing Lupa Osteria with their presence.
Preshan Ramoorthy, Lupa Design Quarter & Bedfordview owner, pictured above
Lupa Marketing Team: What do you think customers love most about Lupa Bedfordview and Lupa Design Quarter?
Preshan: All our customers are treated like family, because this is your Nonna’s ‘home away from home’. We do not compromise on the quality of our cuisine and try our best to make every customer’s experience memorable and enjoyable – and they always return for more.
Pictured left is Lupa Bedfordview and pictured right is Lupa Design Quarter
Lupa Marketing Team: How would you describe the vibe at each restauranteur?
Preshan: Bedford Centre is warm and cosy, and our customers have become accustomed to the homely atmosphere. It’s like the feel-good place you go to, but get to enjoy the luxury of great Italian comfort food. Because of its location, Design Quarter has the more trendy and social media-friendly appeal, where customers come out to be ‘seen’. It has become a great venue for stylish and intimate birthday parties, where customers can be spoilt, yet still enjoy great value for money.
Lupa Bedfordview pictured above
Lupa Marketing Team: What is your favourite meal, drink & favourite dessert on the menu?
Preshan: I would love to say everything on the menu is my favourite, but I do enjoy the Balsamic & Avo Fillet with a glass of the Durbanville Hills Merlot (see our wine menu)- and to top it off, nothing is better than the Cremino Al Cioccalato.
Lupa Marketing Team: How long has each restauranteur been running for?
Preshan: Lupa Design Quarter has been open for 4 years and Lupa Bedford, 3 years.
Lupa Marketing Team: What is an average day at each restauranteur like?
Preshan: An average day entails store readiness, food prep and checks, and store setup before opening doors. From here-on it’s meeting and greeting our Lupa customers and ensuring that they are being spoilt and looked after.
Lupa Marketing Team: What makes Lupa Design Quarter and Bedfordview amongst the top Italian restaurants in JHB?
Preshan: Lupa is a traditional Italian restaurant and we take pride in serving classic, home-style meals. We stick to the rustic Italian way of cooking and this is entrenched in the way our dishes are prepared. When a customer orders Italian, the customer will get exactly that – Italian cuisine, made with love and authenticity. All our pastas are made daily, on premise, and customers are able to watch this in our pasta area, so they feel like they are part of the experience. But most importantly, we take our customers’ feedback to heart and we listen, so that we can continue to make them feel like part of the wolfpack family.
Lupa Design Quarter pictured left and Lupa Bedfordview pictured right
Lupa Marketing Team: What do you love most about your job?
Preshan: Getting to speak to our customers, interact with them, building relationships, and seeing those smiles on those faces. But the most satisfying feeling is seeing those customers return, time and time again.
Lupa Marketing Team: Why should people be supporting restaurants during the pandemic?
Preshan: Restaurants contribute towards our food, agriculture and tourism industry. So, by supporting restaurants and buying a meal, people are helping farmers, poultry farms, meat companies and wine farms, as all of these are needed to create those amazing dishes. But it also provides for people by giving them jobs, such as waiters, chefs, etc. Good restaurants attract tourists, as they want to eat delicious meals, and while this industry is still slowly recovering from the pandemic, it is starting to come alive again. And when the tourists provide highly rated reviews, restaurants can get more customers and this, in turn, is good for all those industries mentioned above.
Lupa Marketing Team: What has changed during the pandemic and how has this impacted you?
Preshan: The pandemic has instilled fear into customers, and they are hesitant to wonder outside of their homes. With our Bedford store, it has more of an inside seating area, and covid has made people fearful of being indoors. We, however, assure all Bedford customers that we follow the most stringent Covid protocols in terms of sanitising and cleanliness, to assure our customers’ safety. Design Quarter has a huge outside seating area, and customers love the outside seating in the South African sun. The impact of covid has made customers fearful of dining out, and also, many office staff are working from home, hence our lunch trade has reduced due to staff not working from the offices. Normally, all staff at the offices would venture to the restaurants for lunches.
We have been fortunate enough to meet customer needs during this pandemic and not drop our service standards or quality. We are extremely grateful for our return customers, who frequent our branches, and who we’ve formed great relationships with. They really help keep us going.
Need a little more convincing about these vibey Italian restaurants in Johannesburg? Don’t take our word for it – read these reviews to see what other customers have to say.
If you’d like to come visit either Johannesburg location, please find your nearest Lupa den here.