The biggest thing lacking in the restaurant industry is an intimacy between the restaurateur and the patron. There is often a sense that one should arrive, eat, pay the bill and leave. It is as if there is a wall built between those serving the food and those receiving it. This division is completely broken down at the Italian restaurant Gemelli in Bryanston.
Don't expect to see pizza on their menu. The restaurant's heart lies in homely, hearty Italian cuisine. Founder, Alessandro Mosupi Khojane, grew up in Rome, Italy, surrounded by a large family who enjoyed entertaining friends, which sparked his own love for people and food. With over 10 years in the industry, Alessandro has developed a passion for seeing truly happy customers enjoying their food experience.
The interior of the restaurant does not resemble the average Italian food joint. It is decorated to look and feel like a New York-styled high-rise loft apartment. The wall behind the bar is painted by the Los Angeles street artist Cyrcle. One can see on the surface that there is a lot of passion and dedication put into Gemelli. The décor and feel-good vibe of the restaurant is a direct reflection of the food. This shows in Gemelli's Whiskey Prawn entrée which is made up of prawns set in a jelly of single malt placed on top of smoked Franschhoek trout, lemon crème fraiche, an oatcake crumb and avocado mousse, all topped with artichoke & lemon and citrus oil. The Whiskey Prawn should be enjoyed with a Creation Sauvignon Blanc.
Gemelli’s contemporary Italian food menu explores innovative, contemporary ways of paying homage to Italian timeless flavours and combinations, with a memorable touch of Gemelli personality. Modern, innovative cooking styles and techniques, coupled with inspired yet classically definitive flavour pairings translate into multiple courses intended to be light at heart in concept, yet entirely poignant and sincere in their delivery.
Gemelli, whilst simple in its approach, aims to always deliver high on food expectation. Each plate is a play of flavour, colour and detail, full of fresh, seasonal and ethically sourced ingredients.
Gemelli's maxim has always been La Famiglia Prima, which is Italian for family first.
Alex has made a point to treat his employees as equals. He makes sure that they all have an open relationship with one another. This is something that comes forth when dealing with any of the staff members. Their smiles and courtesy are genuine. This makes for an even more pleasant culinary experience. The importance of building and maintaining relationships with Alex does not end at Gemelli, but also spreads to his produce and drink suppliers.
The Dry Aged Wagyu Sirloin is a prime menu choice. The dish consists of charred sirloin, chimichurri salsa, cannellini bean ragu, fried gruyere polenta, parmesan crumb, and basil oil. The buttery wagyu beef goes very well with a Creation Reserve Merlot.
In conclusion, Gemelli is so much more than a handful of walls, a couple of seats and a kitchen. It is an experience where the owners of the establishment make a point of making you feel at home. A lot of places claim to have a passion for food but few deliver as well as Gemelli does.
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By Shawn Greyling