Where: 16 Chartwell Drive, uMhlanga Rocks
Call: 081 393 8205
Open: Daily noon to 3pm and 6pm to 10pm
The ladies who lunch have long whispered about its exceptional value and food. Where else can you get a two-course lunch and glass of wine for R120, or three courses for R140? And the service is swift and efficient for a quick business break, or can be as relaxed for a languid ladies' lunch.
I’m convinced the real reason it’s such good value is that the ladies who lunch can now justify an extra bottle of wine or two.
And so three of us tried out the offerings at Little Havana one swelteringly hot Durban summer’s day. The veranda was cool and afforded views of the bustling plaza below, close enough to make you feel part of it, but removed from the heat and the hustle. Service was slick and professional. We set about that glass of wine promptly.
Starters took in peri-peri chicken livers – which could have had a little more chilli heat but came with good home-made bruschetta – and home-made nachos with all the trimmings.
These were most pleasant: baby individual nachos piled with avo, salsa, sour cream etc. My crispy pork balls were tasty dipped in a soy sauce.
Mains took in a good baby sole with fresh green beans and chips. The fish was nicely grilled and not overcooked. The pork belly had a moreish saffron-infused sauce, but may have benefited from some crackling.
My steak was a steak. Cooked exactly to order and a very tasty cut of aged meat. The pepper sauce could have had more oomph and less cream, but I enjoyed lunch immensely.
By now we were well on to our second or third glass of wine and happy to chill for the afternoon.
Much later we decided dessert might be a good idea. On the lunch menu was lemon cheesecake or ice cream and chocolate sauce.
As neither inspired, we looked at the desserts on the main menu.
I opted for a very good crème brûlée (R50) and a friend settled on the “not quite a cheeseboard” (R48). This was brandy snaps, a Gorgonzola parfait and poached pear. Well the Gorgonzola ice cream was inspired and the brandy snap nice and crisp.
Sadly the poached pear needed more time in the poaching liquid. It had to be cut with a knife.
The third member of our party settled for another gin and tonic. Good coffees rounded off a meal of remarkably good value.
Ratings (out of five)
Food: 3 ½
Service: 3 ½