Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! by Marriott Durban in Umhlanga Ridge has made a mark on the Durban food scene.
The Umhlanga establishment is famed for its 46 flavours of milkshakes and their famous "jaw burger" with a 350g patty. Their Big 5 menu includes some popular African dishes that Durban is renowned for.
The hotel held an exclusive Chef's Table event on Friday, where they showcased their menu offerings. Chef Faraad Richards prepared a three-course meal.
He said: "We focused on our most popular dishes for our new Fire & Ice! menu. It celebrates Durban on a plate.
"We found that guests love the Umsila Wenkomo which is the oxtail simmered in butter bean and marrow sauce and the My Dahl-ing which is the chickpea and spinach curry, " he said.
Richards ran through the menu with us before heading back to the kitchen to get the meals prepared. Our table of 15 had a choice between two options in each course.
For starters, there was spicy tiger, a dish with mixed smoked cheese, Portuguese grilled chicken stripes, sesame grilled prawns on salad greens. For the vegetarians, there was the Big Feta Greek, a Greek salad with fried feta and a tangy cream dressing.
Most guests ordered the spicy tiger. I asked for the chef to remove the chicken.
My starter was light and flavoursome. The prawns were cooked to perfection and complimented the smoked cheese. The portion size was rather large and could have easily been a main serving.
For mains, guests had the choice between the Umsila Wenkomo or the My Dahl-ing with poppadoms and sambals.
I chose the latter. The meal is not something I ordinarily order in a restaurant.
The curry was delicious, although it could have done with more heat. Portions for both were rather large. I struggled to finish it all.
Dessert was a choice between choc a holic tart with orange caramel sauce or a Sunday Funday with seasonal fresh fruits, grilled pineapple, toasted coconut, and vanilla ice cream.
I enjoyed the torte. It was rich and delicious. The plating was a perfect 10 out of 10. The hotel has an in-house DJ who plays a set from 6pm to 10pm every Thursday to Sunday. It makes for a perfect after-work or weekend hangout spot.