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A hearty evening with the eisbein man

Pepper steak pie and chips at Crowbar.

Pepper steak pie and chips at Crowbar.

Published Apr 23, 2022

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Crowbar

Where: Riverside Hotel, 10 Kenneth Kaunda Road, Durban North

Open: Daily 10am to 10pm, 11pm on weekends

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Call: 031 573 1962

A friend had power, but didn’t feel like cooking. After three days I’d just had the garage door fixed so I could finally get out the yard. Minor inconveniences both compared with the devastation inflicted on our beautiful city. But we both had cabin fever and felt like going out for a meal. Nothing major, just a relaxing chow.

I settled on Crowbar just across the river that had caused much of that devastation. I’d had a good meal or two from them on Mr D during the heavy part of the lockdown.

It’s a large restaurant and bar spilling out onto an enclosed verandah and further onto a deck, which was where all the action was. There are glimpses of the angry Mngeni River roaring past below. On weekends I’m sure it’s packed and pumping and more of a pub. Tonight it was simply groups of friends meeting for a good value meal.

Service was swift and friendly.

Pulled pork burger in an onion, carrot and butter sauce with chips.

The customers were of the beefy sort, which goes well with the menu, a red-blooded pub-grub classic that covers everything from chicken livers to eisbeins. Listed as one of their specialities, the eisbein that arrived at the next table had to be the biggest hock I’d seen. That would be sandwiches for lunch for days. But the guy munched through it happily.

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Starters include the likes of cheese balls, jalapeno poppers, nachos and chicken wings ‒ all things you could snack on while drinking with mates. There’s drunken beef ‒ strips of steak in a red wine sauce ‒ or meatballs to spice it all up a bit, and the chicken can be done in a mango and sweet chilli sauce if the conventional lemon and herb or peri-peri doesn’t appeal.

Hungry, we skipped starters for the main event. There’s burgers including one with brie and cranberry and another with three cheeses. The menu boasts that the patties are home-made. There’s bunny chows with choices of lamb, chicken, and chicken and prawn as well as a trinchado chow, Portuguese steak strips done in wine garlic and chilli.

Grills take in ribs ‒ pork and beef ‒ steaks, chops, shanks and said eisbein. The pork belly is cooked in a Jack Daniels and apricot sauce. Fish options include salmon and sole, and yes there are even a couple of pizzas and pastas. It’s an enormous menu. About the only thing it doesn’t include is prawns.

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My friend fancied the pulled pork burger (R115) with an onion, carrot and butter sauce. He was asked if he’d like to make it a double ‒ it seems all burgers can be supersized ‒ but when it arrived he was glad he didn’t. It was stuffed full of succulent pulled pork, and came with decent chips. He enjoyed it.

I fancied their home made pepper steak pie (R125), billed as beef in a creamy pepper sauce. There was a steak and Guinness pie as well as a chicken and mushroom version to choose from. We were warned their pies would take a bit longer, but were told they were worth the wait. Not to worry, we’d enjoy another gin and tonic. The pie was a decent helping encased in good crisp pastry. It had one hell of a pepper kick which I liked, but might be too hot for some. It came with more good crispy chips. I was more than satisfied.

We didn’t need dessert which included malva pudding or drunken strawberries or chocolate mousse, but the eisbein man certainly did.

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Food: 3 ½

Service: 3

Ambience: 3

The Bill: R552

The Independent on Saturday

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