Col’Cacchio: Home of healthy and now Halaal dishes


Monday, 10th December 2018


Col’Cacchio: Home of healthy and now Halaal dishes.

It’s safe to say the restaurant, in creating an authentic Halaal menu, did not compromise on quality or taste.

Loosely translated from its native Italian, Col’Cacchio (col-cuck-ee-oh) means “up yours” and that’s essentially what the founding restaurateur and entrepreneur duo of one of South Africa’s biggest franchises told naysayers who scoffed at their healthy pizza idea.

Now, some 25 years later, there are branches throughout the country and the detractors are still choking on their salty reaction.

The Citizen photographer Tracy Lee Stark and I, on the other hand, got to choke (in a good way) on what felt like the entire menu at the Eastgate branch, where we eagerly sampled some of the old favourite moreish fare, as well as a few new culinary additions to coincide with the branch receiving Halaal certification.

Staying true to Italian hospitality and influence, our host and Col’Cacchio Eastgate franchisee Bajith Panday greeted us as if he had known us for years. “I hope you guys are hungry because we have a feast planned for you and our other media guests,” he said.

Brioso salad at Col’Cacchio. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

We were barely seated when Panday excitedly urged us to try any of the new nonalcoholic mocktails. Tracy chose the berry citrus iced tea (a natural English tea extract infused with lemon and maraschino cherries, cranberry juice and mint) and I opted for the apple ginger crush (frozen green apple puree and a blend of Appletiser and fresh ginger). We were not disappointed.

Panday beamed at our satisfaction, adding: “We’re delighted to bring to our customers a worldclass restaurant offering, coupled with the highly acclaimed South African National Halaal Authority (SAHNA) accreditation. Now, please enjoy our feast.”

And did we ever? From the salads, most notably the brioso (lettuce, rocket, roasted beetroot, green yoghurt dressing, feta, roasted butternut, butternut chips, crispy onion, pomegranate arils) to the mentionable main dish of blu formaggi pasta and chicken macon, the green monster pizza and the decadent desserts – it’s safe to say Col’Cacchio, in creating an authentic Halaal menu, did not compromise on quality or taste.

So buon appetito, bil-hana or wa ash-shifa (may you have your meal in gladness and health).

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