I recently did a Cape Town food vacation in July. My aim for the trip was to sample as much food as I could in the week I was in the Mother City. As a foodie, or at least I like to think I am, I love sampling different cuisines. Sometimes I fall in love with it and eat it till I get tired of it, or I just skip it altogether because it was not prepared well. For any food traveller visiting South Africa, they should definitely make a pit stop to Durban. As a city, she is a melting pot of culture and cuisine. I can guarantee that you will not leave the city without trying out something uniquely Durban.
Just last year, CNN boasted about Durban’s culinary appeal, rating Durban one of 23 cities around the world to savour street food.
Making the list was Little Gujarat in Dr Goonam (Prince Edward) Street, Afro’s Chicken on South Beach, and Johnny’s Rotis, or, as it is officially known, Sunrise Chip and Ranch, in Moses Kotane (Sparks) Road, Overport.
Street food aside, the uniqueness of Durban food can tantalise even the most fussiest eater and you would want to travel back for its delicacies.
Here are some of the food and drink you should try in Durban:
Get yourself a curry
What’s Durban without its curry. From lamb to vegetarian delights to a spicy crab curry, the city aims to please. The Oyster Box has a curry buffet where Kevin Joseph, their in house chef, showcase his culinary skills. There are 10 curries to be sampled, 4 which are vegetarian everyday at the Ocean Terrace for lunch and dinner. For a cost of R390, one also gets a starter and dessert. If that seems to high end, there are many Indian eateries, including Orientals at the Workshop mall in Durban central.
Grab some Shisanyama
Shisanyama's are a great way to interact and indulge in really good meat. If you're lucky, there'll be a couple of salads involved and drinks too. One must go to place in Durban is Max’s Lifestyle in Umlazi. They showcase traditional “Kasie” (ethnic township location) culture. Max’s Lifestyle started out as just a butchery and shisa nyama in a one room shack near a stream and built in front of former taxi rank in 2002. Other shisanyama places to try in Durban are Mashamplanez Lounge in Chestervllle and One and Only in KwaMashu.
Gourmet Gwinya (vetkoek)
Mavezi’s Corner Café in John Milner Road is the new fast food spot behind the gourmet amagwinya. They serve seven different kinds of gourmet amagwinya, including makhanda khanda-gwinya with egg, Frankfurter chips and mince, sunrise gwinya with egg and bacon and burger gwinya with beef burger patty.
The vetkoek are also paired with wings, burgers or tripe.
A bunny chow, whether in a bean or lamb curry is a Durban favourite. There are so many bunny chow spots, including Cane Cutters in Glenwood and House of Curries in Florida Road.
Robson’s Real Beer, situated at 72 Albert Terrace near Ushaka Marine World is ideal for travellers wanting to explore South African craft beer. The assortment of beer, including Cherry Beer, Skhokho lager, Miami Weiss, West Coast Ale, Vanilla Gorilla and Hammer of Thor, caters for all palettes.