Where: 295 Florida Road, Morningside
Call: 031 572 3664
Open: Daily lunch and dinner until 10pm
Things are happening on the restaurant scene in Florida Road. And the most recent addition is the opening of Jack Salmon in the magnificent old Edwardian villa that was once the Squires Loft.
This will be the fourth restaurant in the jack Salmon stable, and no, it is not a franchise, with the original flagship in Glenashley followed by Salt Rock, and Hillcrest.
And what a wonderful change to landmark Durban building. The house has been completely restored and overhauled and stripped of all the steakhouse claptrap. It’s lighter and brighter and those high impressive moulded ceilings give a proper sense of grandeur. Plus there is much better outside inside flow which will be brilliant on those many balmy Durban days, and will certainly make lunch a lot more inviting. Plus the entire area around the house is getting a make-over.
But on a fairly chilly (for Durban that is) winter’s night we settled for a spot in the corner near the fireplace.
Jack Salmon specialises in squeaky fresh seafood, and serves up a sushi menu in addition to the normal fishy options. Taking in a range of sashimi, ngiri, rolls, sandwiches and roses.
Starters include a seafood soup (R49) or crispy calamari tentacles (R59). or tempura or basil pesto prawns (R75). I’ve had the latter two previously and both were good.
The fish mezze of grilled haloumi, crispy tentacles, marinated olives, grilled calamari tubes and ciabatta looked good as did the new addition to the menu of poke bowls (R99). These are essentially a selection of sushi salads. The raw sushi sits atop the rice, wasabi, ginger and soy with a selection of interesting greens and salad stuff. It’s eaten with chopsticks from a bowl. I would like to have tried one, but unfortunately we didn’t have time for a starter.
Mains take on the likes of a Pacific rim prawn and fish curry, or seared tuna, island style calamari and mussels steamed in a seafood sauce or steamed in white wine, garlic, basil and chilli. Good ol’ fish and chips features as does a gourmet version and a fish burger. And there are numerous numbers of combos. It is also one of the few Durban restaurants where you can get a sole.
I opted for the kingklip cleopatra which was crusted with parmesan and panko breadcrumbs, grilled and served with a salsa of tomatoes, olives and capers (R179). It was and excellent dish with the flavours of the salsa giving it some real oomph. It comes with a side and I chose chips, which were hand cut and properly fried.
My friend had the paella which was a generous potion and had plenty of seafood in it. He enjoyed it immensely.
We skipped dessert in favour for a quick second glass of wine, but will be back to try more.
Ambiance: 3.5The Independent on Saturday