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Italian restaurant Gemelli opened its doors in Bryanston in October last year and is already seeing great success. It specialises in dishes with a modern take on classic Italian cuisine. We chatted to head chef and co-owner, Paulo Santo, to find out more.


What sets you apart from other Italian restaurants?

Gemelli is an extension of the people we employ, our own approach to life and the old-world understanding that the customer is still king. We’re a uniquely contemporary Italian restaurant, so as much as we love to serve deliciously classic lasagne, our food presents itself as very modern. We also experiment with other food influences, particularly Asian, to showcase our unique understanding of how flavours work together.

Your restaurant is now a few months old. How has the Joburg public reacted?

They have shown us so much love, and we’re humbled by the relative success we’ve enjoyed thus far. This particular area of Bryanston is undergoing quite a facelift, and many popular brands and different types of food establishments are now trading here. We’ve become a popular food destination even in our current financial climate, so we feel very lucky.

What are some of your most popular dishes?

Our dishes span quite a range, from truly classical Italian, to very contemporary South African Italian. We have a superb range of risottos that are easily some of my favourite dishes to cook, as they’re deeply satisfying and nostalgic. I have quite a sweet tooth, so desserts are very close to my heart. Our cheesecake breaks hearts daily, as do our home-made ice creams and other confectionary. Our ciabatta, with its deep, dark crust, makes me reach for a bowl of pasta every time I cut a slice.


What kind of patron is attracted to your restaurant?

Our patrons showcase a true diversity, from high-profile white-collar workers to easy-going young families. A-listers, Joe Soaps, and happily dynamic Joburgers: they all come to enjoy the hustle and bustle on the floor created by co-owner Alessandro (Mosupi Khojane), and the honestly prepared Italian cuisine coming out of my kitchen.


010 591 4333


Words: Belinda Mountain


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