After posting my “Head-Up” article about Massimo’s, I decided I had to head through for a Friday night dinner to check out their recently-launched vegan menu!
Address: Oakhurst Farm Park, Main Rd, Hout Bay
Hours: 12pm-9pm Mon-Sun
Massimo’s is one of those places that when you walk through the door you begin to ask yourself, “Why have I never been here?” – and that is before you’ve even ordered anything! The room has an ambiance and warmth to it that makes you feel like there’s no other place you’d rather be!
Pizza chefs worked furiously at one end of the room beside the pizza oven whilst waiters and waitresses wove between tables with their food creations.
Our host/MC for the evening was Chris (manager and chef extraordinaire) who, along side owner Massimo and his wife Tracy, runs the business. Chris has worked in the industry for many years, both here and abroad and it became clear throughout the evening that he has a vast and passionate knowledge about food, flavours, ingredients, and combinations. He explained that although many of the dishes existed on the menu previously, the restaurant has now decided to create an entirely separate vegan menu to make life easier.
He also announced that Bae and I were to be the FIRST to try a new dish he has been working on – Vegan Melanzane. It was the first time in 17 years that he allowed a customer to try a new dish that he hadn’t yet tried himself. What a complete honour!
For those unfamiliar, Melanzane is a classic Italian dish of sliced aubergine layered with mozzarella (vegan, obvs!) and tomato sauce and in this case, finished with breadcrumbs (instead of Parmesan).
All I can say next is that Chris took us to vegan food heaven and back with his new creation. It was utterly delicious and we devoured it before Chris had a chance to come back to the table and try it for himself (sorry, Chris!). We then fought over who was going to lick the bowl! (no, really) It really was THAT good…and incredible to believe that it was vegan.
Although we could have probably moved straight on to our main courses we decided to order a couple of dishes from the tapas menu, the Patate Brave and Belladonna – both of which were simple, no fuss, tasty dishes. Massimo also brought us a small taster of the A Fagiolo (marinated borlotti beans). Where possible, everything is homemade and the dishes we had tried thus far clearly endorsed that.
The main course was a choice between various pizza and pasta options and we both opted for a pizza. Their bases are made with GMO-free stone-ground flour from Eureka Mills and you can choose an olive oil and rosemary or tomato base.
I opted to go classic and chose the Margherita and Bae ordered a Quattro (baby spinach, pine nuts, roasted garlic, mushrooms and balsamic reductions) with extra vegan cheese. As a variation (and experiment!) Chris recommended taking the Quattro on the farinata base (a soft non-crunchy gluten free base made with chickpea flour, olive oil, and water). It turned out to be the best advice! It had the texture of a pancake and the mouthwatering combination of flavours was a winner! The Margherita (with a traditional pizza base) was as classic and gratifying as you could hope for.
We sat grinning and greedily stuffing our faces from beginning the beginning of the evening to end. Legit, honest food.
To finish off I ordered the chocolate ice cream with caramel sauce (all completely vegan of course). Chris told us about his desire to create a vegan key lime pie so hopefully now we’ve mentioned this and word is out there, we’ve left him with no choice..!
We eventually waddled out of Massimo’s with full hearts and tight waists!
And if you think this is all then wait there’s more…
Something that I believe speaks volumes about Massimo’s is their local ‘PayItForward‘ charity scheme. Customers can buy one or more R10 ‘virtual’ slices of pizza and for every 6 slices sold Massimo’s will deliver one pizza to a local charity/institution. To date, over 790 pizzas have been donated so far!
Check out their 2-minute YouTube video that explains it all!
Massimo’s is the PERFECT place for those looking for delicious, home-cooked food. If you haven’t been – GO! It is especially good if you are with a mixed party struggling to find somewhere that can cater for all food desires and preferences.
We will be back again and again….and again.
Before you go, check out my Top 5 list and see where Massimo’s ranks under “Italian Restaurants” and don’t forget to pop on over to my YouTube channel as well!
10 responses to Review – Massimo’s, Hout Bay
We went on Sunday with family and the experience was completely different. Pizza was okay, tastey base, shy on toppings, but the side dishes were less than mediocre. Albeit the restaurant was full, the beans in marinade were fermenting and we had to spit them out. Patatas had been boiled & lightly fried, obviously ran out so quickly made a plan. The oil that the beans crumbs, cauliflower & patatas had been cooked in was old & not very palatable. Siphe our waitress was lovely & ever so apologetic for the delay all the time. For the hefty price, 50 minute wait, portion size, it will be a while until we return. Lastly I asked the owner to taste his own food, he curtly said I don’t taste the food, I will give it to the chef to taste. #foodfail
I’ve been twice already since they launched the vegan menu, it’s like a dream come true! 🙂
Fantastic news! I’ll be sure to let Massimo know. Thank you for sharing. Xx
I went for dinner on my birthday on 27 December and Had a vegan pizza. They are using a different vegan mozzarella which does not melt. My daughter and I did not enjoy the change!
hi Mary, we have contacted the supplier of our vegan mozzarella (Urban Vegan) who confirms there has in fact, been NO change to their recipe. Below is a copy of Urban Vegan’s reply to the query we raised yesterday (as a result of your daughter contacting us)
“the recipe is unchanged. It has never melted. Melting is a property of casein which is only found in milk. Our mozzarella goes soft on heating and remains soft even when cool. I had it last week and it has remained unchanged in texture on your pizza. Internationally, true stretch in a vegan cheese does not exist”
Incidentally, every pizza with vegan mozzarella we produce looks the same – the cheese softens but does not melt. I hope this is informative and constructive.
Thank you Massimo. Do you use the same cheese for your Mellanzane? I haven’t tried that dish yet !
yes, for the melanzane parmigiana
hi again, after investigation we found out that it is possible the pizzaiolo might have forgotten the mozzarella and added it at the last second so it didn’t have time to melt.
we will make sure this doesn’t happen in the future.
Well then he wasn’t honest with us when we asked him! He could have just admitted that he had forgotten
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