This iconic restaurant, set on Durban’s North Beach, has the perfect location.
A lot of money has clearly been spent on the set-up.
We booked a table on the second floor which is called the terrace and has a more upmarket feel than downstairs. This includes a different menu. Those looking for an intimate lunch or dinner are definitely advised to book on this level, should you be able to secure a table.
I requested balcony seating overlooking the Indian Ocean but, due to the weather, I asked to be moved to a table inside, glass doors all around ensuring a magnificent view. From here you can hear the waves crashing as you enjoy a drink.
We started off with a Mozambique Hot Pot which is a creamy seafood pot filled with prawns, mussels and calamari, served with French baguette croutons. The other starter, ordered for my wife, Kelly Jade, was a Caprese Salad, which consisted of tomato and mozzarella served on cucumber ribbons, with a balsamic reduction.
The Mozambique Hot Pot was absolutely amazing, with a generous helping of seafood. The creamy sauce had us cleaning the plate with the croutons.
The Caprese Salad was so fresh that you could hear the crunch with each bite. The balsamic reduction added to the dish. This is a starter I would definitely order again.
The main for me was beef fillet, topped with creamy mussels and served with baby potatoes and seasonal veg and topped off with caper-infused butter. The fillet was char-grilled to perfection and although fillet is not the juiciest cut, I found this dish to be loaded with flavour from the meat itself.
My wife opted for something seafood, grilled kingklip served with crushed baby potatoes, seasonal veg and a creamy lemon butter sauce. The fish was really juicy and grilled perfectly. I think that with a backdrop of the Indian Ocean, a seafood dish is fitting.
For dessert we both opted for the California Trio, which consisted of a white chocolate and lemon cheesecake topped with dark chocolate mousse; a coffee and caramel crème brulée topped with almond brittle; and the last of the trio, seasonal fruit.
The fact that we practically had three desserts on one plate was an absolute treat. Service was beyond excellent and, without overstating this fact, I felt the waiter was very attentive and ensured that we were always taken care of.
California Dreaming is an experience with great food and that’s what I look for when dining out.
l Review: California Dreaming. Appetite by Imran Omar and Kelly Jade has more than 100 000 followers on Facebook. They review restaurants and showcase home-cooked meals.