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    Sep 2014 · Dana Sanchez

    It's not unusual to see children pressing their noses up against the glass display cases where the cakes and desserts...

    It’s not unusual to see children pressing their noses up against the glass display cases where the cakes and desserts are kept at Doppio Zero Bakery and restaurant.

    I ate at the Greenside location, the first of what has grown to at least seven locations in Johannesburg, and 11 in Africa including one in Cairo. They’re part of the family-owned Doppio Zero restaurant chain.

    Prices are affordable here. The most expensive dishes on the menu costs less than 100 rand ($8.60 USD) and food is made fresh from scratch daily, manager Dean Snyman told me.

    “We bake our own bread, make our own sauces, make our own gelatto,” he said. “Nothing is left over from the night before.”

    The restaurant’s name is inspired by the double-zero (or doppio zero in Italian) grading that designates the finest milled flour. It’s used to make pizza, pasta and confectionery at this café-style Mediterranean restaurant.

    Decor was contemporary, relaxed and comfy in this newly refurbished restaurant, and we sat under an umbrella on the outdoor patio enjoying the gorgeous September evening. After a short while we barely noticed the traffic on the busy street below.

    I passed over a large selection of thin-crust pizzas with names like Gne Gne Gne (gorgonzola, caremelized onion, butternut squash, pine nuts and honey) and went instead for traditional Italian pasta.

    I ordered the house signature pasta — aglio olio — made with grano padano, a popular, grainy Italian cheese; fresh basil and cherry tomatoes. My friend ordered the spaghetti frutti di mare, which included prawns, mussels and calamari sauteed in white wine.

    Our waiter was charming and attentive, even though he laughed at the way I pronounced aglio olio (It’s supposed to be “ahl-yo ohl-yo”).

    Dessert was tough considering the choices that included liquorice black velvet cake and lemon meringue. “Our gingerbread people go quickly,” Snyman said. I tried a chocolate coconut log but the chocolate florentine had to be one of the best confections I ever tasted.





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