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    4.0 rating based on 1 rating
    Sep 2015 · jkennedy

    I knew I was in for a treat before I even stepped past the waiting area and into the dining...

    I knew I was in for a treat before I even stepped past the waiting area and into the dining room at Punchinello’s. From the lobby, I could see the luxurious interior and smell the fresh aroma of grilled meat coming from the kitchen. The decor is certainly quite upscale, but the neon lighting throughout makes the vibe a bit less stuffy. I ended up eating both lunch and breakfast here, which offer quite a different experience.

    The first thing I had was lunch, which comes with a large menu of selections, it also has a buffet available for the price of R80 per plate, for a one time use. We started with a few appetizers including a plate of fresh meat and marinated veggies from the buffet, along with an order of the house calamari. The calamari was excellent but a bit on the small side compared to other restaurants. The buffet choices were a bit better, and the meats like the prosciutto and salami were all top quality.

    For mains we got the filet medallions along with an order of grilled prawns. The filet medallions were ultra tender and cooked to perfection. Plating was also superb and the asparagus underneath was probably the best I’ve had. The prawns, while large and spiced well didn’t seem to have that pop that you get if you are dining right by the ocean, but that’s understandable as we were all the way in Johannesburg.

    To finish it off with dessert, we got the tiramisu, which wasn’t just some piece that they cut out of a giant cake, but a work of art that was made to order. The hints of coffee were super strong and the rest of the sauce helped to balance out the flavors. The dessert will have to battle it out with the filet to decide which was the best meal of the day. I’m still undecided.

    On the other hand, the service throughout the meal was pretty slow. I think it took almost two hours for what should have been a one hour lunch. I think our waiter got lost in the shuffle somewhere between dealing with other large tables. From ordering dessert to bringing it out took 20 minutes for example.

    We went back for breakfast in the morning however, and service was far snappier. The breakfast at Punchinello’s is a one price a la carte affair, with plenty of fresh juices, cereals, fruits, bacon, waffles, biscuits, lox, made to order eggs and more. It’s all top quality as well. Overall it’s a fancy place to go if you want to relax from some of the busier restaurants throughout the Montecasino complex.

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