Comfort food. That's what you'll find at Rosto in Linden. Above and beyond their more-than-amazing rotisserie chicken, this restaurant's claim to fame is the fact that they specialise in Italian street food. Yup.But thankfully Rosto took the road less travelled and decided to bring their ultra-authentic take on Italian street treats to Jozi. Based right across the road from Linden Primary and around the corner from Gourmet Cheese, Rosto sits comfortably nestled between a brunch place and an old apartment block.
When you walk in, you notice that there's something out of the ordinary here. White and yellow subway tiles adorn the walls inside this cafe/restaurant/take-out joint. The seating's all made of hard wood and steel and branded with the Rosto logo.
Now that we've set the scene for you, let's move on to the food, shall we? Nope. Not that fast. Let's start with something to drink first. They've launched Aperitvio, or Italian happy hour, which takes place every Wednesday and Friday from 3 to 6pm. You can grab yourself a boozy ice tea for half price and enjoy one of their infamous menu items along with it. We highly recommend the Alternativa ice tea which consists of a fig, melon, rose and ginger fruit infusion tea coupled with Spiced Gold Rum and Ginger Ale.
Ready to order? Of course you are! For starters we had the chickpea fries (chickpea pâté shaped into big slices and deep fried in oil), all three different offerings of arancini (those beautiful deep-fried rice balls stuffed with cheese and Italian sausage), and real meatballs in tomato sauce. Each starter can hold its own and we recommend each one as much as the last.
For mains, we dived straight into the deep end and had a quarter of Rosto's infamous rotisserie chicken (by far the best we've had – sorry, Checkers on Bram Fischer Drive, you've been dethroned), served with chips AND corn on the cob because you simply have to have both... Rosto also serves thick-base focaccias that are made from a 90-year-old bread sponge (we kid you not).
For dessert we had an Italian favourite, Semifreddo al Torrone (the principal ingredients are usually eggs, sugar and cream.) This is topped off with a dark roasted double shot of espresso, which is optional but, hey, when in Rome, so to speak.
All in all, Rosto should be the next place you go eat at on a Saturday afternoon or for the odd day you finish work early on a Friday. You won't be sorry. This little Italian street food joint in Linden gets two thumbs up from us... by far.
By Shawn Greyling
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