Sisters are doing it for themselves … and their customers!

In 2021 and 2022 Claudia Lau’s Bedfordview-based restaurant, Osteria Rossa, and her sister Cristina De Almeida’s Edenvale branch, Piccola Rossa, were voted into the Top 10 of the country’s favourite eateries in the Porcupine Ridge Pizzeria Challenge by their loyal customers.

So, it should come as no surprise to learn that the siblings have once again entered this year’s competition in the hopes of claiming the number one spot.
Says Lau: “For both of us, it has been incredibly humbling and very special to receive the recognition we have over the past two years, as our customers are the ones that vote for us! We are always so moved by their support, especially since it means that all the hard work the Rossa team does is acknowledged and appreciated by our amazing patrons.”

Has Rossa’s success in the annual competition had an impact on business?

“Most definitely,” says De Almeida. “People heard about the competition on the radio or read about it online or in the paper and have wanted to try the venues that had placed in the Top 10. Both Claudia and I had lots of new faces coming in to try our pizzas and see if they were worthy of all the fuss. People like to try new places they haven’t heard of or been to before, so it’s been wonderful having them travel from neighbouring areas to compare us to their favourite local.”

Osteria Rossa has been in operation since 2009 while Piccola Rossa has been serving up pizzas and other Italian fare since it opened its doors in 2014.

Both establishments pride themselves on making authentic Italian food, using only the freshest ingredients.

Says Lau: “Rossa’s pizzas are different from anything else in the market. It has no side crust and is made with only the best ingredients – dough, tomato, cheese, and a choice of toppings. The secret to our pizza’s success lies in its dough. We use only four ingredients – 00 pizza flour, fresh yeast, salt and water and then a 72-hour cold rise process that allows the dough to mature for three days before being used.

“The result is a pizza that is pure goodness from edge to edge. It is light, airy, and has a unique texture that customers cannot get enough of, which is why we have made our pizzas the centrepiece of our menu.”

De Almeida stresses that they are passionate about authenticity, quality and taste.

“We source all our ingredients – from the mozzarella cheese to the homemade pancetta – from local and international artisanal suppliers and everything in the restaurant is carefully selected to ensure that customers have the best possible dining experience.”

When asked about Rossa’s bestseller, both sisters agree it’s the Grande-size pizzas, which they describe as 600mm long and 400mm wide and enough for six people to share.

“Customers love it, because they can choose up to four different toppings so there are no arguments if someone wants pineapple,” says Lau.

Both Osteria Rossa and Piccola Rossa are running the same promotion they held last year, whereby customers that vote for them while dining in, can win weekly prizes of Porcupine wine and a Rossa pizza hamper. They also have a hugely popular weekly Tuesday special with three large pizzas for the price of two. which has been running since 2019.

In a friendly rivalry the siblings have had growing up, the race is on to see which of the two restaurants will place higher than the other in this year’s Top 10. In 2022 it was Piccola Rossa that edged out Osteria Rossa, with the restaurants coming in eighth and ninth positions respectively.

“Ultimately, it’s all just lots of fun and it doesn’t really matter which of us does better than the other,” says Lau. “The important thing is that we have each other’s backs and it’s ultimately our wonderful and loyal customers who win because they inspire us to keep serving them the best pizzas.”

The Porcupine Ridge Pizzeria Challenge runs until September 30, with the Top 10 and winner being announced in early November. The challenge is open to all restaurants offering pizza on their menu and holding a valid liquor license.
Each week, one lucky voter can win wine from Porcupine Ridge and pizza accessories from EarthFire. A grand prize winner, drawn at the end of the challenge will receive five cases of Porcupine Ridge wine, an EarthFire Table Top Pizza Oven and pizza to the value of R2 000 from their favourite pizzeria.

For more information and to vote via the website visit: and for more on Porcupine Ridge visit:

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

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

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