If you close your eyes after taking the first bite of your wood-fired pizza, you’ll be whisked away to the cobbled streets of Naples. Open them again, and you’ll be charmed by the eccentric ambience of this cosy restaurant on Observatory’s popular Lower Main Road.
How it all started
In 2011, Diego Milesi and Kimon (Kiki) Bisogno started serving pizzas from their rented apartment in De Waterkant, using an honesty-pot system. After three years, they found a secret kitchen at the back of the Blah Blah Bar on Kloof Street, where they continued to satisfy Capetonians’ pizza cravings with their legendary creations.
But they knew they wanted a place of their own. A year later, in June 2015, they stumbled upon a licensed home where they could hold pizza parties. They named this safe haven after their quality controller, their pooch Ferdinando – and within no time, word about their delicious pizzas spread faster than you can knock back a grappa.
The menu features an eclectic mix of Afro-Italian starters and pizzas, as well as some internationally tinged dishes inspired by the owners’ travels and suggestions from supportive friends. If you’re a firm believer that pineapple on pizzas should be illegal, you can’t go wrong with a classic Margherita or a Mamma Mia (feta, baby tomatoes and rocket with balsamic reduction).
My favourite is the Kimonster – the ultimate union of sweet and savoury – with aforementioned pineapple and spicy salami.
There are a wide range of options for vegetarians, too, such as the highly recommended Parmigiana (pan-fried aubergine and provolone), while gluten-intolerant diners can order gluten-free bases (for an extra R20). And if you have a sweet tooth, we believe the Dessert Pizza (Nutella, seasonal fruit and roasted marshmallows) hits the spot.
For what it’s worth…
You don’t have to be rolling in dough to afford these circles of bliss – pizzas range from R75 to R125, and are worth every rand. Don’t leave without buying a bottle of secret aioli source. Handmade with love and garlic, this is a vital commodity that is served complimentary with breadsticks before your meal.
The restaurant now also caters for the homebodies – with takeaway and UberEats options. But if you’re looking to while away an evening at this purveyor of melted cheese, then it’s advisable to book beforehand as it is understandably pretty popular.
Fernando’s is an ambient and unpretentious restaurant – ideal for anyone seeking made-to-perfection pizzas. So, raise a bottle of Nero D’avola or an Aperol Spritz, as you tuck into a slice.
Contact 084 771 0485
Opening hours Tuesday – Saturday, 4pm – 11pm