Tag Archives: eat out

Eat Me!

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A few tried and tested spots to grab good chow in and around the 031.

 Blueberry Cafe

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It’s mos def worth the mission to this Midlands eatery. Country vibes, spectacular views and a cheesecake that makes them famous.

Tip: Take
along some extra cash money for the shop (The Winkel), next door.

Also, if you
ask nicely, they may make you the world’s most amazing veggie burger.


El Hombre

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Hungry, in a
rush and feel like the best Mexican food in Durbs?

Hit up El
Hombre
and order like, everything. Especially
the chili-chocolate churros.

Tip:
Chili-chocolate churros. Oh and chili-chocolate churros.

Afro’s Chicken

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Well yes, I’m
limited to chips but the rest of you meat-eaters can chow down on some pretty
impressive looking chicken strips and burgers (and they’re delicious according to my carnivorous crew). Everyone can enjoy the unique vibe and friendly staff.

Tip: Return your plate to the counter like a decent person and score some Wilson’s toffees.

Little Gujarat

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I can’t
express enough how wonderful this Indian-vegetarian food joint is. Slap bang in
the middle of town’s chaos, cheap as chips and tasty and hell.

Tip: Order a
veg thali and get a selection of all sorts of curries, chutneys and sambals. Also,
try the masala chai tea for a heavenly sugar rush.

 Bon Appetit yo! 

Dating in Durban

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As it happens, I have had a few people asking me what do to over the holidays as they introduce friends/family/partners to their beloved home city. It’s a difficult thing – showing someone the place you grew up in and trying to get them to fall in love with it that same way you have.How do you take the essence of a place and get another person to understand it when they only have a few days with you – whether they’ve traveled from abroad or even just from the other side of the country? 

Follow me…

While there are no doubt many impressive places in the 031, here’s some of my first choices that I took a certain individual to for “Durban’s Best Date Ever." 

We kicked off the morning at Bike and Bean along the beachfront. The promenade is best in the earlier hours of the morning – there’s just the right balance of still, ocean tranquility and the day bursting into life with surfers, joggers and skaters on the go.

After we felt sufficiently caffeinated, we headed to Warwick Junction for a guided tour through the 9 markets. Warwick really is the heartbeat of Durban, with over 460 000 people passing through the stalls and station daily. This kids, is Durban at its most honest and raw. (BTW FYI, I did a full post on the tour a while back – read it here.)

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We also got to check out the Faith47 murals up close, which is something I’ve been dying to do since blurry snaps taken through car windows flooded my Instagram feed. These portraits represent prominent members from each of the markets and really are a sight to see, reminding us of the city’s intense history and diversity. Try to hold back those tears now folks.

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Two hours of walking through the crazy bustle of a Monday morning warranted some decent chow, so I swopped out my usual lunching spots for a gem in the CBD called Little Gujarat. This tiny vegetarian restaurant pumps at lunchtime and our whole bill came to a grand total of R96. The food was ridiculously delicious and we didn’t even make a dent in all the selections of curries, sambals and rotis that we got with our two veg thalis.

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The Durban Natural Sciences Museum is possibly one of my favourite places, no matter how old I get or how many times I see it. I still get stoked to meander in between the animal displays and mummy replicas and of course, checking out what art exhibitions are on rotation upstairs. And guys, it’s mahala.

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My little un-airconditioned car was well over the crazy CBD traffic and relentless sun by 2pm so we headed out of the city towards Mitchell Park Zoo for an ice-cream and walk through the gardens. Most of their animals are rescues and all the grounds and enclosures are kept impressively immaculate. It’s only but R10 to get in and check out monkeys, parrots, meerkats and over-enthusiastic toddlers. And me talking to the guinea pigs like I’m Doctor Doolittle reincarnate. True story. 

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We had some time to kill before the final destinations so we hit up Bay of Plenty for a quick swim. Even in the Christmas chaos, our beaches shine. At about 3pm the water is perfect, the sun glints off of the Elangeni and the skaters regroup at the skate park to take advantage of the afternoon shade. You’re just waiting for Ludacris to pop out and film another music video.

Even in all its predicable cheese, the Roma Revolving is still something to show 031 newcomers (or even just individuals you are trying to woo). The view, the history, the kitschy décor that has been untouched since the 80’s – it’s all worth hitting up the bar for a whiskey to watch Durban spin as the sun sets over our harbor.

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I had left dinner plans open, not knowing how we would be feeling after a day of feasting and festivities, so we chose to make the most of the exquisite summer’s evening and chowed down on Blue Dolphin’s famous pizzas.

Durban ya little show-off!

 

Castles and Cappuccinos

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Every so often, you come across a little gem tucked away in between the status quo and busy bustle. This veggie cafe, snuggled in Hillcrest as part of a re-purposed 1950’s castle, is the perfect example of said gems.

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Thanks to my dad, I came to find out about Conscious Cafe at the Castle – a vegetarian cafe with plenty of vegan options too. No cool creds to me, it’s all Mr Kelly here. Smoothies, juices, wraps and all – this Indo-Indi haunt of my dreams had me wondering why I didn’t know about it until now.

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The castle was built over 60 years ago when the ‘crest was all mall-less forestry and has now become home to this cafe, a tattoo artist, a hypnotist and a crystal shop. It’s pretty much earthy hippie happiness in one single spot. I have to admit, this place was breathtaking and a complete culmination of every childhood dream I had of faeries and unicorns. Vine creeps up the abandoned areas and dilapidated look-out towers and pathways twist and wind around the gardens. 

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The gardens are host to veggie patches and soon, an in-house organic shop. The food is fresh, hella tasty and could convert a few meat lovers I’m sure. Basically, it’s a retreat for those looking for peaceful Sunday coffee in and amongst a bonsai garden and Buddhist prayer flags. 

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The cafe has previously been hired out for functions and hosts talks, music gigs and other events to keep an eye out for. You can pop in for food and juices from Tuesday to Sunday and experience the place that is a successful blend of my childhood fairytales and adult environmental ideologies. Deep. 

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Hit the click through link at the beginning of this post for more info and don’t forget to peep Soul Crystals while you’re there for your next nut milk chino.

Picnic in the Parc

Two things I generally find about “cool, hip” Durban restaurants:

1. They are fantastic but assume that you don’t need food or coffee on a Sunday and decide to close on the most important day of the weekend. (Brunches, coffee dates, eggs benny hangover cures etc are not necessary on the Sabbath, apparently…)

2. They have this amazing and trendy concept/decor but food that doesn’t come out the kitchen tasting quite as impressive as you’d hope for after all the hype. 

Well Parc Cafe happens to be:

A. A unique Durban restaurant 

B. That has food equally as amazing as the decor and vibe (Fa’real!)

C. Which you can get, even on Sunday! HEY HEY!

While this may be old news to some, it was a surprise to most that their favourite local haunt was open when they most needed it. Good food, value for money, amazing staff and a vibe upbeat enough to make me forget about the mistakes I had made with vodka the night before. I can’t wait to go back and try out the avo shake!

More from Parc here.

Mooki Noodle Power

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An asian concept restaurant by no means new to the Durban scene, but also by no means waning in appeal. 

Mooki Noodles is one of my go-to restaurants in the 031. Sunday night take-outs or date night – Mooki’s has enough yummy options, even for this here here vegetarian. Wonton wrappers, ramen noodles and chilli-chocolate sake shots, you name it! This place has taken asian street food and made it local.

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A menu as quirky as the decor and staff, remember Mooki’s next time you’re in a dinner-debacle. You can even treat your momma bear to a Mother’s Day 3 course meal this Sunday. Bookings essential!

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Peep their Facebook page for more details.

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Rainbow Jazz Lounge

A few weekends ago I had the experience of heading into the “seedy” depths of Pinetown to watch my (wait for it) boyfriends’ sister-in-laws’ father play some pretty dang incredible jazz music.

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I fell in love with this colourful venue almost instantaneously. What a beautiful vibe, mind blowing music and delicious traditional food. I couldn’t have felt more at home at a glorified beer-hall if I tried.

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We got buzzed on some quartz, ate beans with steamed bread and chatted to a few colourful characters before only heading home late afternoon.

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Without getting too soppy, I have to say that I left feeling like I had a truly South African experience – one where colour, age or wealth genuinely had no baring and everyone was relaxed in each-others company. There was such a surprisingly diverse mix of people, all just happy to chow down and appreciate good jazz. Everyone I interacted with, was friendly and helpful – which is sadly not a common experience to have these days. 

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I can’t wait to venture back and I’d love it if more people would support such a historical and culturally rich venue such as this. In fact, I’m sure we all would. 

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Mo’ info here. Click click!

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Spiga Durban North

I was fortunate enough to be invited to one of the test-driving nights of Spiga Durban North and am very excited to announce to you all that after months in the making, it opens up today to the public. Cue stampede.

Classic Spiga vibes with a just a little more chicness, making it my next go-to place for birthday bookings or predrinks. Hearty Italian food, boss service and the friendly, relaxed Spiga atmosphere us Durbanites have all grown to love.

Best part is that soon they’ll be opening up a deli as well as a collection of unique kitchen gadgets and decor especially sourced for the discerning Spiga customer. I say!

Paul and I were treated to a three course meal. Artichoke hearts, carpaccio, seafood pastas and a volcano chocolate pud, lawdy lawd, did we leave there with a fat food baby.

Spiga Durban North

Mackeurtan Avenue

While you were out…

In the spirit of the well-received list-post I put up last week, I thought I’d share with you all, what I was up to during my mini hiatus. This is the shit I should of been writing about during my December holiday, but I was too busy out having fun to give a fuck about the internet.

I know right – those words just came out of this mouth.

1.Red Huxley Came To Play

The boys from Capetonian band Red Huxley, crashed at my house for a weekend. Many gigs, many drinks and many hangovers were had.

image2. Fake Birthday at Spiga

Like, no-one is around for my real birthday, so I had a fake birthday at Spiga D’Oro. Yay for pizza and caramel vodka shots and the loudest rendition of “ Happy Birthday To You” that I have ever received.

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3. Klimstmas Pahty

One of many festive, champagne-fuelled dinners.

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4. This awesome bitch called Karla bought me a tree for my birthday!

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5. Besties got engaged. And I got emotional. 

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6. We ate some good food at Chihuahuas Pop Up Mexican Restaurant for my realizies birthday. Loved the vibe, loved the decor. Mixed emotions about the tequila.

7. Manning Road Madness House Party. RIP liver and dignity. A lot of enthusiastic dancing to Spice Girls thanks to DJ Fuego.

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8. Got my nose pierced (again). Cried like a baby (again).

image9. The Winston Ball. Dr Fly and the Nurses – enough said!

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Look here’s me derping about with Marty.

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10. Boxing day Cricket- beer and sunstroke FTW.

image11. Holiday Party at Live where I fell in love with, and fan-girled all over , The Dollfins. Again, what dignity? 

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12. Bestie came to stay and tear up the 031.

image13. New Years “No Plans Party” at the Upstairs with bottomless pizza.

 And 7 stitches.

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14. One of my dearest friends had her penis-clad bachelorettes. 

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Thanks Durbs, the holiday was one of the best. 

J xx

JuMeLi for Jane’s 25th

For my sweet,sweet little friend Jane’s coming of age, we found a Groupon deal for a High Tea at JuMeLi. 

Kristin went early to set up the table with bunting,flowers and her gift while we all got our party dresses on for a super girly affair.

However,when we got there, another group of girls celebrating a birthday had thought the set up was for them! This resulted in our very poised waitress having to sidle on up to them, and ask for the decorations and gifts back as they weren’t actually for them.It was a comedy of errors that had us giggling before we’d even been seated.I must commend our waitress on how she handled “the most embarrassing thing she’s ever had to do”.

We were treated to a three-tiered array of snacks including the famous JuMeLi cupcakes, as well as fruits and sammiches. Even though this was teamed with copious amounts of tea, the six of us were still hungry ( the others due to the fact that they had just done the Turbovite challenge and myself because I just love food) so we also ordered from the main menu. A simple but yummy menu that saw an assortment of savory sandwiches being delivered to our table, after we had gobbled up dessert.

We had a rad time celebrating one of our best friend’s big 2-5.

JuMeLi has a very quaint and personalised vibe which is great for a cuppa with the girls, or a quick tasty sandwich during lunch break.

https://www.facebook.com/JuMeLiCafe