CHILL RESTAURANT AND COCKTAIL LOUNGE
170 Florida Road, Morningside
Telephone: 031 3039095
WHEN I first visited this restaurant, situated in the epicentre of the Florida Road vibe, I had heard very little about the operation, but after a delicious lunch wrote that it deserved many more customers than it was getting.
Nearly 18 months later, Chill is still there, and like many restaurants is going with the flow, which means it is a bit of a roller-coaster ride with busy nights and then quiet trade during weekday lunches, something endemic to Durban and, I assume, many SA restaurants. This is a pity, because Chill has plenty going for it, though strangely it seems hidden away on the veranda of the Florida Park Hotel and was once a coffee bar which was used to serve breakfasts to guests.
This week my son and I decided to give it a try and he, being a part-time bartender of note, was impressed with their array of cocktails and shooters, all made by owner Vini Naidoo, who owns Chill with husband Vunesan.
Chill starts its operation at 7am every day of the week and though I have not tried the breakfast menu it includes such appetising items as eggs Benedict, mushroom melt, an English breakfast with everything you can think of (R55) plus a designer omelette and a health snack.
As it was turning out to be a late lunch, we quickly ordered our starters. These were the Casablanca creamy prawns and the calamari.
The prawns came on a dish usually used for serving snails and with the superb sauce and baked cheddar cheese, my son wolfed it down in about two minutes. My calamari, pan-fried Cajun style, was suitably tender and perfectly seasoned with some well-made tartare sauce.
My son was still hungry and loves his ribs, so ordered this dish. This turned out to be just what he wanted, grilled ribs marinated in spicy honey-glazed basting and chips, and this took him considerably longer to devour, messy hands and all.
I was not sure (my usual malady), but on recommendations decided to combine two dishes, the Manhattan chicken and prawn curry, while our photographer, who pitched up to take pictures, decided to stay on and try Vini’s lamb curry.
At this stage Vini also suggested we ordered some Mozambican prawns.
Before long we had a feast before us, and it was all good.
The chicken and prawn curry was boneless cubes and prawns marinated in secret spices with yoghurt, pan-fried in garlic butter and cream topped with smoothly ground cashew nuts, which gave it a wonderful tang.
The lamb curry was out of this world, a lovely whisp of cumin in the ingredients and the meat flavourful and tender. On the side, we also munched away at the prawns, which left a lovely bite on the end of the tongue with its chilli and spicy flavours.
Though the prawns are R119 this is still good value, while the chicken and prawn curry is R99 as is the ribs and chips. Chill also features four pasta dishes including Alfredo at R59, six pizzas at the R65-R73 mark and also a rump steak (300g) at R99, another good option.
There are three vegetarian options and then under meat one can order braised chops, kebab chutney plus you can also get trotters and beans and tripe, which is not for me.
There is also grilled kingklip and a seafood platter while other combo dishes are the Portuguese chicken and prawns, prawns and calamari, ribs and chicken, again all at R99.
There are also light meals such as sandwiches and burgers, desserts and as mentioned cocktails galore and some excellent wines including a Porcupine Ridge Merlot, which went down well on a chilly afternoon.
Once again I left Chill feeling very satisfied, full and content.