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Mezze platter of chicken skewers, carrot and coriander hummus and olives.

Mezze platter of chicken skewers, carrot and coriander hummus and olives.

Published Jun 30, 2024


Dukkah Restaurant and Bar

Where: 59 Florida Road, Morningside

Open: Monday to Friday 10am to 11.30pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am to 11.30pm

Call: 031 271 3531

The Poet wanted to get the bridge crowd together, and so we descended on Dukkah in Durban’s Florida Road for Sunday lunch.

Dukkah is a beautifully stylish restaurant that opens onto the street. It’s light, it’s airy and feels classy. The art is impressive and it has style in spades. The plus is the swanky cocktail bar is loaded with some super-serious brands.

Crispy Korean pork belly bites.

We’re greeted warmly and are soon at our table, drinks in hand. The Poet relished a good virgin mojito.

Starters include the likes of marrow bones, fish cakes, chicken livers, chicken wings and lime and chilli calamari. Fresh oysters and west coast mussels make an appearance. We opted to share a few to nibble on. The Dukkah mezze (R165) was chermoula grilled chicken skewers with green olives, roasted carrot and coriander hummus and cucumber raita with pita. I liked the unusual flavoured hummus. The chicken skewers were pleasant enough, lifted by a good minted raita. We also nibbled on the Korean pork belly bites (R120). These were good: suitably crispy and nice and sticky. They came with a cucumber and spring onion-type salad. But the dish looked bizarre with this messy drizzle of Korean glaze all around the plate.

Railways chicken curry.
Seared ostrich with pea and bacon risotto.

For mains one could take in a small selection of pastas, including a mushroom panzerotti and seafood linguine. Plus there were some salads. The Poet liked the look of the seared Asian beef fillet salad (R160) as a nice light lunch. This was a strange dish. It was a sliced beef fillet that was probably cooked medium well rather than medium rare, on top a pile of tempura carrots on top a mound of bok choy. The carrots were not in tempura batter, but more of a bhajia-style batter. There was very little evidence of any Asian flavours and certainly no hint of the chilli and soy dressing. I know exactly what vision she had when she ordered a dish that reads Asian seared beef fillet salad, but this was miles off the mark.

Oxtail with mashed potatoes.
Lamb chops with chips

The rest of us went for more substantial mains. There’s linefish in a curried mussel veloute, Norwegian salmon with teriyaki glaze on noodles, a fillet bordelaise, and duck with seared breast and confit leg. There’s also a selection of steaks with sauce options like red wine and pearl onions, and cognac and peppercorns.

Jeff liked the look of the railway chicken curry (R175). I don’t know about it being an Indian railways curry, but to me it was more Goan in style, mildly spiced and coconut based. It had a lovely flavour and came with all the trimmings. He enjoyed it. Heather and Vivek tucked into a tasty and generous portion of oxtail (R290). Arjun enjoyed the lamb chops (R265) which were cooked to order (medium) and came with some good chips. There was a strange untidy smear of beetroot purée on the plate which did little to improve appearance or flavour.

Asian beef fillet salad.

I enquired about the venison (SQ). It turns out the venison was ostrich and R210. I went for it because I liked the sound of the pea and bacon risotto it came with. The ostrich was cooked a good medium rare, the risotto had good flavour, but was a shade stiff, and I would have liked a little more of that port wine jus. But I enjoyed my lunch.

Dessert options include cheesecake, chocolate fondant and a rooibos panna cotta. I liked the look of the cardamom créme brûlée with pistachio ice-cream. For me, cardamom is always a hit. But sadly they were out of it. The Poet contemplated asking for just the pistachio ice-cream.

Food: 3

Service: 3 ½

Ambience: 3 ½

The Bill: R2 431 for six including a 10% service charge.

Independent on Saturday