Durban is a stunning coastal city that is often overshadowed by Johannesburg and Cape Town. The city, however, exudes a vibrant, creative energy, evident from its tantalizing restaurant scene. Even with this tantalizing restaurant scene, there is not even one Michelin Star restaurant in Durban and it begs the question – why is that? The reason has everything to do with how the Michelin guides work, and nothing to do with the quality of chefs and/or restaurants in this beautiful city. Also, this does not stop us from telling you about restaurants that serve absolutely Michelin-star quality food. Here’s a rundown of the top fine dining restaurants in Durban, South Africa. Bon Apetite!
1. 9th Avenue Waterside
On our menu: Free-range Duck Breast with mushroom cream, glazed carrot, hazelnut served with confit duck leg and cabbage...Posted by 9th Avenue Waterside on Friday, 7 February 2020
Run by a husband and wife team of Graham and Gina Neilson, the kitchen of 9th Avenue Waterside is famous for bringing to table locally sourced seasonal cuisine, cooked with attention to detail and full of flavor. The restaurant offers an a la carte menu for guests and a function-tasting menu if you want to book the restaurant for a private event. Each dish on the menu is a carefully curated. Among the starters, creamy shellfish orzo is a must-try, and among the mains, roast duck breast is mouth-watering. If you have a sweet tooth, then you would have a hard time to pick one from the dessert menu, as all of the dessert dishes are an absolute delight. No meal is quite complete without a good wine, so Gina has carefully picked a great selection of wine and is always happy to recommend the best wine to pair with your meal.
9th Avenue Waterside
Address: 2 Maritime Pl, Harbour, Durban, 4001, South Africa
Website: 9th Avenue Waterside
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 12pm - 2:30pm, 6pm - 9:30pm; Sun: 12pm - 2:30pm (closed on Mon)
2. The Royal Court Grill
Situated in the heart of the five-star Royal Sibaya Hotel, a visit to The Royal Court Grill will leave you completely mesmerized. An intimate setting with plush leather and warm lighting makes it the best place for a romantic dinner. You and your loved ones will be pampered by their impeccable service and treated to delicious and flavorful cuisine. A delicious variety of meals on the menu include tender meat dishes, curries, seafood and vegetarian items. We would suggest that you do not miss the Chef’s signature dish of rosemary & raspberry lamb loin, tender and infused served on a bed of calamata olive roasted garlic & mashed potato splashed with rosemary and raspberry jus.
The Royal Court Grill
Address: Hillhead, Blackburn, 4319, Durban, 1703, South Africa
Website: The Royal Court Grill
Opening hours: 6.30am - 11am, 6pm - 11pm (daily)
3. Restaurant Ile Maurice
#frenchcuisine #frenchfood #ilemauricerestuarant #umhlangarocks #durbanPosted by Ile Maurice Restaurant on Wednesday, 9 August 2017
A 44-year-old heritage passed down to generations is what distinguishes Ile Maurice from any other restaurant in Durban. Elsie Mauvis, the 90-year-old Nonna has passed on all her best recipes to the current chef of this restaurant, her son Jean Mauvis. He, in turn, takes care of the quality of the food that comes out of their kitchen. With excellent ocean views, the restaurant is inviting at any time of the day. Their facilities include a cocktail bar and a lounge area, ideal for those pre-dinner aperitif or after-dinner liqueurs. An a la carte menu celebrates the produce of the ocean and pair it with some of the best wines available. They even have a selection of vegetarian dishes to suit the palate of vegetarians. When it comes to desserts, don’t miss the Poires au vin rouge, which is fresh pears poached in red wine and cinnamon and served with vanilla crème and almond flakes.
Restaurant Ile Maurice
Address: 9 McCausland Cres, Umhlanga, 4320, South Africa
Website: Restaurant Ile Maurice
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 12:15pm - 2.15pm, 6:30pm - 9:30pm (closed on Mon)
4. Bel Punto
Spring is definitely the season for lamb. Juicy and tender, our grilled lamb chops cooked to mouth-watering perfection...Posted by Bel Punto Restaurant on Thursday, 5 September 2019
An authentic Italian fine dining restaurant, even owned and run by an Italian family, sits at the heart of Durban food scene. Bel Punto has been serving delicious food along with panoramic views of the ocean. They have both indoor and outdoor seating area, which are both spacious and comfortable. Well known for its seafood, you can expect starters to comprise of oysters, calamari, steamed mussels, prawn skewers, butternut cappuccino (butternut soup with a delightful chive froth), stuffed cherry tomatoes, and grilled snails. For the main course, you can choose from roasted crayfish, stuffed calamari, grilled baby chicken, beef fillet done in a number of ways, grilled and wood-fired quail and other options. Also, Italian staples like pastas, pizzas, and risotto hit the spot. Considering it’s a favorite with both locals and tourists alike, there are sometimes delays with the food when the restaurant is packed. So, try to go with time to spare and bask in the gorgeous sea views of the Indian Ocean.
Address: Umdloti Centre, 1 S Beach Rd, Umdloti Beach, Umdloti, 4350, South Africa
Website: Bel Punto
Opening hours: 12pm - 10pm (daily)
5. Roma Revolving Restaurant
Serving guests authentic Italian food for the last 47 years is the Roma Revolving Restaurant, the only revolving restaurant in Southern Hemisphere. Situated on the 32nd floor, it is known for combining best views of Durban with the finest Italian food. For the best experience, book yourself a table for dinner, enjoy the setting sun, and dimly lit hues of Durban city at night. Apart from excellent food and impeccable service, one of the specialties of Roma is “River Gold”, their own boutique wine cultivated at their private chateau in Cape Town and available from the in-house wine cellar.
Roma Revolving Restaurant
Address: 32 John Ross House, Jonsson Ln, Durban Central, Durban, 4001, South Africa
Website: Roma Revolving Restaurant
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 6pm - 10:30pm; Fri - Sat: 12pm - 2:30pm; 6pm - 10:30pm (closed on Sunday)
6. Jack Salmon
Extraordinary seafood at unbeatable prices, if that sounds like music to your ears, head to Jack Salmon in Durban. With a menu purely inspired by the sea and a promise that their catches are the freshest in town, this is heaven for seafood lovers. Along with the usual seafood menu like grilled fish, prawns, calamari and mussels, you would be surprised with the Greek inspired seafood meze menu, which boasts of small plates of lame-grilled prawns, grilled artichokes, pickled octopus, freshly shucked oysters and mussels, calamari saganaki or fish keftede. Desserts include classic favorites like crème brulee and Death by Brownie. You can also expect a good selection of wine, gin and other cocktails. Overall, it is a very vibrant restaurant with stunning views of the Indian Ocean.
Address: Shop 15, Glenore Centre, 1 Aubrey Dr, Glen Ashley, Durban, 4051, South Africa
Website: Jack Salmon
Opening hours: 12pm - 10pm (daily)
7. Wodka Restaurant
Wodka is the only restaurant in the city that serves teppanyaki and that’s what makes it stand out from the rest. It is said that the Japanese-style Teppanyaki is an art and the chef at Wodka is Picasso. Nestled within the Waterfront Hotel, this restaurant is particularly known for its interactive fusion menu carefully designed by its renowned chef. Apart from a Teppanyaki station, the restaurant also offers an array of dishes such as the homemade fish and lamb burgers, duck and chicken breasts and steak. The chef also utilizes Asian influences, evident in the Wok stir fry dishes. Among desserts, the most notable is the Banana Samoosa, which is served with hot caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. With stunning indoor and outdoor spaces, the restaurant is ideal for dining throughout the year.
Address: 40 Mahatma Gandhi Rd, Point, Durban, 4000, South Africa
Website: Wodka Restaurant
Opening hours: 7am - 10pm (daily)
8. The Cellar Boutique Restaurant
This cozy and critically acclaimed restaurant is co-owned and run by the husband wife duo - Dylan and Kate Smith. Dylan is also the head chef and manages the kitchen. His fusion style cooking produces dishes that leaves your taste buds tantalized for more with every morsel. The staff are well-trained in all areas. With indoor seating available, only to accommodate 30 guests at a time and a few more outside, it is best to book in advance. Do try the crispy duck and white chocolate crème brulee.
The Cellar Boutique Restaurant
Address: 32 Abelia Cres, Sea Park, Port Shepstone, 4241, South Africa
Website: The Cellar Boutique Restaurant
Opening hours: Mon - Tue: 6pm - 10pm; Wed - Sat: 12:30pm - 2pm, 6pm - 10pm (closed on Sun)
9. Cafe 1999
For the past two decades, Café 1999 has been a wonderful vegetarian-friendly eatery, serving both locals and tourists alike. When your fork and fingers wander between dishes like breaded olives stuffed with ricotta cheese and beef skewers with peanut satay and crisp sheets of pancetta, you would find it difficult to put the food down. The triple-chocolate brownies with white chocolate and poppy seed ice-cream makes for a sweet finish.
Address: Shop 2, Silvervause Centre, 117 Vause Rd, Musgrave, Durban, 4001, South Africa
Website: Cafe 1999
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 12:30pm - 2:30pm, 6:30pm - 10:00pm; Sat: 6:30pm - 10:00pm (closed on Sun)
10. The Grill Jichana Durban
The specialty of The Grill Jichana is that it uses only local produce to prepare the delicious food. Jichana in Swahili means means “eating good” and The Grill Jichana stands true to those words every single time when serving grilled chicken, fish and meat to its guest. Pepper crusted ostrich fillet and roast duck are signature mains from the kitchen, and every main is served with a choice of side. For those with a sweet tooth, you would be thrilled to see the dessert menu which has options like white chocolate lemon curd lava cake, baked lemon tart, chocolate valrhona chocolate ball and rose water panna cotta.
The Grill Jichana Durban
Address: 63 Snell Parade, Durban , Kwazulu-Natal
Website: The Grill Jichana Durban
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 6pm - 10:30pm (closed on Sun)
Excellent dining in Durban
If you have done the rounds of these fine dining restaurants in Durban, then you can boast of having experienced the best of the dining scene of Durban. With some of the best chef’s, delicious food items and mesmerizing locations, these fine dining restaurants will cover you for all of your events and needs - be it a romantic dinner, a Sunday brunch, a business lunch or just high tea.
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