Although the focus is predominantly Portuguese cuisine, Belsol turns out a very good pizza. The ebullient Luís comes out of his kitchen often and walks around the restaurant to discuss his daily specials, leaving his kitchen in the capable hands of Chef Gustavo Alves, who was born in Lisbon and has been with him for three years.
Da Silva, who has travelled extensively to study international cultures and trends in cooking and was involved in the establishment of the first SA Chef’s Association, regularly cooks for Mozambican president, Armando Guebuza, his wife and friends, as well as parliamentarians and staff from various embassies in Mozambique.
He has also cooked for Frank Sinatra, Sir Cliff Richard and the Village People, not to mention a number of South African celebrities.
The extensive menu comprises of 18 starters, 41 main courses and a selection of eight desserts. The wine list is comprehensive and includes a good selection of SA red and white wines of varying prices, with some very quirky and interesting selections among them.
The variety also includes French champagne and SA Methode Champenoise.
Interesting items on the menu include bacalhau á lagareiro do reino (cod fish with olive oil, garlic, onion and potatoes) and galinha á Vasco da Gama (chicken with clams and calamari).
As quality and good service are vital, Da Silva hand picks his produce from the best sources. These include Namibia for oysters, Portugal for cod fish and sardines and sea food and spices from Mozambique. Staff are regularly trained so they have a full understanding of how dishes are prepared.
He says what sets him apart is quality, flavour, atmosphere and portions. He is quick to point out that he serves traditional Portuguese cuisine.