Scala Pasta Bar: Not Your Mamma’s Pasta

Changing the way we eat pasta!

You won’t find lasagne on the menu at Scala…. which is exactly the point! This hot, new underground New York-style pasta bar deliberately does not serve your mamma’s pasta. They’re riffing on the sharing-plate dining style, where you get to taste all the dishes, a fabulous procession of different styles and interpretations of Italy’s beloved staple. The vibe is urban and happening: black walls, tan-leather booths and seats, a spotlit open kitchen and a bustling bar producing a sparkling raft of signature cocktails.

The king of carbonara

Scala 2022 King Of Carbonara

Consultant chef Luciano Monosilio, Italy’s youngest chef to earn a Michelin star (for his former restaurant Pipero al Rex in Rome), devised Scala’s menu concept. A longtime friend of Scala’s owners, Luciano has generously taught the team (headed up by executive chef Justin Barker) his signature spaghetti alla carbonara – lavish with the smoothly rich golden sauce, added salt and crunch from crispy morsels of guanciale (pork cheek), a creative refinement of the classic.

Pasta party

Scala 2022 Ravioli

All the pasta (including the durum-wheat semolina ones) are made at the in-house pasta lab – silky smooth ribbons of egg pappardelle wrapped around a savoury chicken ragu; pici (fat, hand-rolled spaghetti made with 00 flour), peppery (and utterly moreish) with a creamy cacio e pepe sauce; small plin packages of slow-cooked beef shin, served in a jus that demands a spoon. The single oven-baked pasta avoids the clichés: paccheri stuffed with ricotta and basil in a rustic tomato sauce, plated in vertical pasta pillars, transport you to the south of Italy in flavour if not presentation.

The offcuts of the pasta-making are lavished with a truffle sauce and made into a delectable welcome pasta lollipop, a bite of pleasure in itself.

Artful antipasti

Scala 2022 Leafy Prawn

It would be remiss not to start with an antipasto or two – the sharing-plate format makes this easy. We sampled hearty beef-shin meatballs with salsa verde and sweet mustard; a delicate raw prawn and tomato consommé confection with burrata foam; and rustic, chargrilled melanzane with all the flavour notes of melanzane alla Parmigiana in a delicious deconstructed form.

Aperitivo hour: Cin Cin!

Scala 2022 Drinks

Scala embraces the spirit of the Mediterranean with fabulous pre-dinner aperitivi and cicchetti (snacks). Only available during aperitivo hour, the dedicated cicchetti (pronounced cheek-etti) menu features burrata with focaccia croutons, chargrilled seabass with hummus, and many more delicious bites in between.

As for the aperitivi, we didn’t get any further than the signature cocktails: three different negronis, some rather seductive spritzes (elderflower, prosecco, blood orange and raspberry, anyone?) and several more cocktail classics with Italian twists. But there is an extensive winelist (local vintages with a sprinkling of Italian vino) for the oenophiles among us.

Good to know Buy any two cicchetti (R79 each) and get a complimentary Martini Prosecco, Fiero Spritz or Negroni Sbagliato.
When Monday –- Sunday, 4pm – 5.30pm (except on First Thursdays)

La dolce vita

Scala 2022 Tiramisu

Another of Luciano’s signature dishes, Scala’s tiramisu plays with the classic: a hidden layer of chocolate becomes the secret of a visual surprise, sweet, rich, and a joy to chocoholics who need more than a sprinkle of cocoa to satisfy their craving. A decorative millefoglie and a torta di mele (apple tart) complete the concise list of desserts.
View the menu

Not like your mamma would serve it, but a dedicated pasta restaurant with lashings of urban Italian style. Buon’ appetito!

Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 10.30pm
Contact 021 424 7204,
Where to find it 81 Church Street, Heritage Square, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan

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The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 05 December 2022