Italian restaurant with a twist – a modern take on your favourite dishes

Sotto Sopra has a bold, dynamic, playful, and colourful aesthetic. Pictures: Supplied

Sotto Sopra has a bold, dynamic, playful, and colourful aesthetic. Pictures: Supplied

Published Jul 21, 2022


South Africa’s Italian restaurant scene is as varied as the food-loving country itself, from old-school pizzeria to new-wave small plates, and the best home-made pasta.

Whether you want fresh antipasto, bowls of steaming risotto, hearty ragu, or boozy tiramisu, there are the best Italian restaurants in South Africa for you to check out and Sotto Sopra is one of them.

Situated on Keyes Avenue Rosebank, the restaurant is your local Italian restaurant with a twist. Offering an Italian dining experience with a modern take on your favourite Italian dishes, Sotto Sopra has taken Italian cuisine and given it a contemporary look while keeping the integrity of the traditional flavours many have come to know and love.

The dishes are synonymous with the name Sotto Sopra. In Italian “Sotto” means “under” and “Sopra” means “on top”. Together the two words describe something being upside down or topsy turvy. They play homage to a bold, dynamic, playful, and colourful aesthetic. Plus add the glorious food.

The restaurant is headed up by owner and head-chef Jared Melamed, who gained his experience while travelling through Europe and the East.

Melamed is a self-taught chef who believes that Italian food should be respected and celebrated. He is passionate about the plating of his food and that everything is made from scratch, on-site.

When asked for his signature dish, Melamed insists that all his pasta dishes are to be considered as the essences of his cooking and have to be tried.

The restaurant is split into two dining experiences. Sotto is designed for a more casual dining experience, equipped with a cocktail bar – perfect for business lunches, a catch-up with friends, and a few cocktails and nibbles before a night out on the town.

Sopra offers a more luxurious dining experience, designed with comfortable, cosy seating behind glass doors looking out onto the buzzing city. With the choice of two dining options and experiences, Sotto Sopra allows you to choose which type of dining experience you want to enjoy, without having to compromise on the quality of your meal.

Whilst in and around Joburg you can also check out ONE80° Pool Deck & Bar. This is a new rooftop bar situated at The Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton which has the exact vibe to lure you away from the warmth of the indoors.

At a media launch, IOL Lifestyle experienced the amazing 180º view of Africa’s richest square mile, while hanging out by the poolside. The bar pool serves really well-mixed cocktails and the menu offers a range of food from ribs ‘n wings to freshly baked pizza.

General Manager, Shaun Wheeler of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton said: “There’s a noticeable demand for more outdoor spaces for people to socialise regardless of the changing seasons.

“This is understandable since we’ve all been isolated and indoors for the past two years. The space is specifically created to welcome walk-in guests as well as guests staying at the hotel.”

The Sandton skyline serves as the perfect backdrop for those social media snaps.