Probably the biggest success story to come out of this year’s Porcupine Ridge Pizzeria Challenge is that of Osteria Rossa, the Bedfordview-based restaurant that leap-frogged from ninth spot in 2022 to second place in this year’s competition.
Owned and managed by Claudia Lau, Osteria Rossa is fast becoming one of Gauteng’s top family-friendly eateries with a menu that includes over 30 different pasta dishes (including gluten free and banting options), meat, chicken and fish mains, panini wraps, antipasti, a selection of salads and an array of tempting Italian desserts. But it is their pizzas that have become the talk of the town and the reason why customers keep going back for more!
They’re also the reason why the restaurant climbed seven places in this year’s competition to take silver and come in just behind another Johannesburg restaurant, Gino’s which is based in Robertsham.
We caught up with a beaming Lau, shortly after she was told the news, and asked her a few questions:
What was your reaction on hearing the news of your Top 10 placement?
I was so proud and excited to have place at number two this year. I loved this year’s competition and was not only eyeing the number one spot, but also beating my sister, Cristina (de Almeida) who manages Piccola Rossa in Edenvale. Last year she pipped us at the post, so it was good to get one over her this year, although of course it’s a very friendly rivalry.
How proactive were your customers throughout the promotion?
They were really engaging this year and loved getting involved. As soon as they heard the challenge was running again, they couldn’t wait to start voting. It really is such a fun and engaging competition. Our customers kept telling us that they had seen the latest leaderboard on social media and wanted to continue voting for us the closer we got to the top.
Do you have any final words?
We are so grateful for everyone’s support and very happy that all our hard work and passion for what we do is enjoyed by all who try our food. I am also so grateful for my partners – my husband, Elton and my sister, Cristina. For the past six years we have been on a whirlwind journey in such a tough industry that has tested us in every way. Osteria Rossa is entering an exciting new phase. The founder, Ezio that started the restaurant in 2010 has joined us as a partner and we are delighted to continue this journey with him. Ezio has an exciting menu planned that we will be launching very soon that brings some Italian classics to the new age with simplistic Italian flavors. We cannot wait to have the customers try the new menu and tell us all about it.
Cristina, Ezio and I have run the brand over the last 13 years and have invested so much of ourselves into it and now we get to do it together which is really incredible.
One more question! Will you be entering the challenge again next year?
Yes we definitely will be in it to win it – I can’t wait.
Osteria Rossa is located at Bedford Village, Cnr Van Buuren/Nicol Roads, Bedfordview.Tel: 011 455 5912. For more information and to see the menu visit www.myrossa.co.za.
Piccola Rossa is located at Shop 24, Glen Curve Shopping Centre, Elm St, Marais Steyn Park. Tel: 011 022 1075. For more information and to see the menu, visit www.myrossa.co.za.