UPDATE (2018): Rosto has closed in Linden and reopened in the far northern suburb of Kyalami.
Linden, a quirky Jozi suburb not far from Melville, has always been one of my favorite dining spots in town. The Cheese Shop is there, as is Hashi. There are at least five great Linden restaurants that I’ve eaten at but never gotten around to blogging about, and at least five more that I’ve heard great things about but haven’t eaten at yet.
So when I received an invite to have dinner at Rosto, I jumped at the opportunity to expand my Linden repertoire.
Rosto, which is right in the middle of Linden’s 7th Street restaurant row.
Rosto is new — less than a year old — and specializes in Italian-inspired roasted chicken and street food.
[Did you know that Leonardo Da Vinci invented the automated spit-roaster more than 500 years ago? I didn’t, until my meal at Rosto.]
This is a Quickie Restaurant Review so I’ll be quick.
What I liked about Rosto:
1) The decor. The restaurant is bright and cheerful and there is enough light to read the menu at night.
2) The staff. The people working at Rosto are nice, responsive, and knowledgeable about the menu, which is important because the menu is extensive and a little bit out of the norm. (Ask your server to show you the yeast.)
Our waitress, Bongani, shows us Alfonsina, Rosto’s 100-year-old yeast. This yeast, which someone’s uncle smuggled over from Italy, is the source of Rosto’s focaccia.
3) The rice croquettes. These balls of deliciousness come in three flavors. I loved all three but the spinach, ham, and provolone (back-right) was my favorite.
I wouldn’t have thought to order these if Bongani hadn’t recommended them. I’m glad she did — they exploded with flavor and were my favorite part of the meal.
4) The chickpea-flour fries. I know it sounds weird but trust me — they’re amazing. Apparently chickpea flour is a popular ingredient in Italian cooking.
My roast pork sandwich with chickpea-flour fries (left side of the plate). Ray is already eating one. Incidentally, Rosto roasts a whole pig every Thursday and that’s the only night pork is on the menu, which is why I decided to order it. The sandwich was tasty but I wish I’d had the chicken (see below).
5) The roast chicken. Okay, that’s a lie. Ray and I tried pretty much everything on the menu except for the roast chicken, which I realize in hindsight was dumb. The chickens can be ordered whole, halved, or quartered, and come with a choice of three sauces.
Look at all these juicy, free-range chickens, just waiting for me to eat them. Next time.
What I didn’t like about Rosto: Nothing. And I’m not just saying that because my meal was free.
My dinner at Rosto was complimentary. Opinions expressed are my own.
hi I have love your blog! I keep on telling my husband we should start it as a hobbie, but my newly retirman he is not on the same page as me! In Jhb and Pretoria is a lot of jewels!
Hahaha, thanks so much Estelle. I appreciate that.
i love their slogan “we make chicken fly” . i like chickpea flour fries with chilli sauce.
I know, it’s a cute slogan although it also makes me kind of sad for the chickens 😂
I am not a fan of chickpeas, but anything fried can’t be too bad?! They do look yummy!
They taste like puffy potato chips 😍
Are the fries more like English crisps? They don’t look like traditional fries.
Yes, actually I don’t know why the menu calls them fries because they are more like puffy chips.
To add on your missed opportunity to try the chicken: It is absolutely delicious. Forget Nando’s KFC and the like. They don’t even appear on the scale if you compare Rosto’s chicken. And its free-range.. I have been waiting for someone to finally serve free-range.